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Making Our Mark

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

It was great to be back at ART YARD Art Matters at PS 282 after a week of spring break. We continued exploring the topic of community as we deepened our repertoire employing the artistic devices of overlapping, patterning and mark making.

Teaching Artist Richard Estrin shared a fantastic PowerPoint presentation with images of a community mural in Ohio, a tryptic by textile-based artist Faith Ringgold, a landscape painting by David Hockney and two ink drawings by Vincent Van Gogh.

Richard discusses overlapping with David Hockney landscape
Faith Ringgold, Street Story Quilt
Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night, 1889, ink on paper

In his sample project Richard depicted a community of toys using cross hatching, dots, dashes and swirls. Richard explained: “drawing is at the base of many artistic styles. I think it is important for young artists to develop their mark making skills, from there they can expand in so many directions.”

Richard Estrin, Sample drawing, Overlapping Toys, pen on paper

Miles explained his Dinosaur Drawing in the most complex terminology. (I think he must be working on his Phd thesis on Dino-Info!)

Miles, Overlapping Dinosaurs

Noelle said she loves the idea of overlapping and thinks it’s really interesting. She also did another drawing right after class with overlapping shapes.

Noelle, Overlapping Backpacks

Jack liked using pens this week!

Jack, Overlapping Drawing

Rhys tells us: “I did lots of overlapping and I did some textures like fur and the lines and dots in the basketball. I made the fabric on the baby doll’s dress but I left her head hard and shiny.”

Rhys, Overlapping Favorite Toys

I was impressed to see in that Rhys worked from life – with a still life setup of his favorite toys!

Rhys's still life set up and completed drawing

Richard encapsulates the session saying: “On this second session of the project, it was interesting to see that the students remembered so much about the last session after being away for a week. I was incredibly impressed with the kids. As an art teacher who regularly works with older students and adult artists, to see that these elementary aged students grasped overlapping and joyfully engaged in exploring mark making was especially gratifying.”

Lucy, Overlapping Outdoor Toys
Lucy at work
Lucas, Overlapping Drawing
Juliet, Overlapping Drawing
Aysia,Overlapping Drawing
Pesha, Overlapping Drawing

Check out this week’s ART YARD Art Matters at PS 282 video:


This week Flávia was scheduled to present for ART YARD Advanced Studio, but her trip back to Brooklyn after many months with her parents in Brazil meant that she would be traveling so I stepped in with a project The Way We See It (Eyes) with the idea that the artwork generated could be included in our exhibition this fall at FiveMyles.

I built upon the PowerPoint presentation I used for my I Spy classes with PS 282, adding in images of student work from those kids, and several examples of artists work using eyes to tell a political message including artists Emilio Villaba, Omar Khalaf, Diana Corvelle and Brian Selznick.

Omar Khalaf, Syria while at Damascus University
Diana Corvelle, Lover’s Eye no. 5

As I anticipated, the artwork created Monday night reflects a wide swath of important issues, concerns and areas of activism.

I think we can all relate to Marilyn’s eye image which reflects the sadness of isolation and loss that so many have experienced for more than a year of the pandemic.

Marilyn August, The Way We See It (Eye)

Both Assata and I addressed climate change and ecology.

Assata Benoit, The Way We See It (Eye)
Meridith McNeal, The Way We See It (Eye)

Berdscarnival, elucidates: “My concept was inspired by the book “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson. In a nutshell, it is about the failures of the incarceration system in the United States and sheds light on the wrongfully accused who sit on death row. My artwork is a “peepshow” into that world. The small eye shapes on the bottom half of the paper were created from an admission ticket from the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, Italy. I cut the eyes out of the Christ figure on the front of the ticket and used it as a stencil.”

Berdscarnival, The Way We See It (Eye)

Eden’s and Halli’s pieces show solidarity and social justice issues which they actively engage in.

Eden Moore, The Way We See It (Eye) 1
Eden Moore, The Way We See It (Eye) 2
Halli Beaudoin, The Way We See It (Eye)

Karla writes: “As I looked in the mirror at my eyes I noticed they seemed mostly green but reflected color around me as well. Our eyes are our windows to the world as Ed referenced. I wanted to address non-discrimination and thought about the fact common to all of us are the whites of our eyes and the contrasting pupils which are mostly black, absorption of all colors. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if we could see all colors with equal acceptance in both nature and in people. Our world is not black and white. Our eyes become metaphor for individuality and commonality, the color of living! One set of eyes are close together and introspective, one set looking straight ahead and one set looking outward beyond.”

Karla Prickett, The Way We See It (Eye)

Jane explains: "I care deeply about the world and my role in it. I’m a text leader for the Working Families Party, fighting for a more just society for working people. We work on campaigns from city council elections to presidential contests and everything in-between, and create platforms for voters to advocate to their elected officials for causes they care about. We are currently working on the Thrive Agenda, and you can find out more at

Jane Huntington, The Way We See It (Eye)

August, Vera, and Wayne’s pieces are quite personal. August inspired by exaggerated expression to convey a feeling. Vera’s piece is about capturing a moment in her life. Wayne likewise captured a self-portrait but also created two additional pieces which reference masterworks in which he felt the eyes convey profound meaning.