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Memory Maps, Overlapping Watercolors, and Art & Text

ART YARD Art Matters at PS 282 has begun our next cycle titled Unity/Community with Teaching Artist Richard Estrin. Richard explained to us that while in each session over the next three weeks we will create an artwork, these three pieces will ultimately be placed side-by-side to form what we call a tryptic.

Today we learned some very sophisticated watercolor techniques including working wet-on-wet which allows colors to blend on their own, and how to employ overlapping to create the illusion of space. Richard showed us some fine examples of watercolor painting (including my favorite John Singer Sargent) which we carefully analyzed for technique.

John Singer Sargent, “Egyptian Water Jars” 1885, watercolor on paper
Skip Lawrence, "Pulling Together",1994, watercolor on paper

Does this sound like a rigorous painting course in art school? I thought so too. But we were wowed by the fantastic accomplishment our 4-10 year old artists! Richard reflects: “The exuberance of these young kids is so gratifying. The love of creating that they demonstrated is sensational and inspirational!”

Jack really enjoyed this week’s lesson and thinks overlapping is a cool technique.

Jack, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor

Lorenzo describes his composition: “one building, overlapping with another building, half overlapping another building, a little bit.”

Lorenzo, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor

Lucy loved blending colors by adding watercolor to wet paper! She said “I liked how the kids made all their paintings so beautiful because of all the details.”

Noelle exclaimed, “ I just LOVE painting with watercolors! This is a blue dog, eating an ice cream (with chocolate sprinkles) at the Park.”

Noelle, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor
Amalia, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor

In critique Rhys clearly articulated: “I overlapped these flowers and a house behind it. And the doorknob is only half because it’s behind the flowers.”

Emma’s colorful painting depicts her community of stuffed toys -- Elmo, Cookie Monster and her fluffy unicorn Esmeralda. She tells us: “I decided to overlap them because they normally sit in a bunch.”

Emma, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor
Kyler, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor
Kyler, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor

August painted a “rainbow, with a bird community, with a cloud raining over the ocean.”

August, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor
Sabrina, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor

Employing artistic license Lola made a painting of her school and the grass with the track which actually blue but she decided to make it purple.

Lola, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor
Lucas, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor
June, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor

Coco’s piece depicts a big unicorn hiding behind a snake with a bear on the side.

Coco, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor

These beautiful paintings are all depicting a particular community dear to the artist -- home, park, toys, pets and even a community of paint brushes painted by Max. Which particularly resonated with me – as I’ve painted a version of my own community of brushes more than once!


This week, fourth and fifth graders at ART YARD Art Matters at PS 6 began a 3-week memory mapping project with Teaching Artist Iviva Olenick.

Iviva summarizes: “After looking at artworks by Joyce Kozloff and Meridith McNeal, students identified places they haven't visited recently and miss, and drew maps of the journey to the place and the place itself. We used the term memory maps to designate the difference between a map based on geography and one based on emotion and memory, which might not be totally accurate or true to life. Students traveled places near and far in their memories, including local shops, school and their home countries.”

Meridith McNeal, Tiny Fringed Dress, 2007, NYC transit maps, Jade glue and glass bell jar

I was particularly impressed by the students observational skills and analytical thought process when viewing Iviva’s presentation. They concentrated very carefully as Iviva demonstrated the paper joining technique and enthusiastically worked on their pieces.

Artharva, PS 6 Memory Map
Matthew, PS 6 Memory Map
Thanmaya, PS 6 Memory Map
Harshita, PS 6 Memory Map

Elliot tells us: “I made a beach because I miss going there and having fun with my family and friends.”

Aarini, PS 6 Memory Map
Ved, PS 6 Memory Map

Vivaan explains: "I drew a picture of Pershing field because I used to go there frequently before Covid but now I can’t."

Manish, PS 6 Memory Map
Avi, PS 6 Memory Map
Sravani, PS 6 Memory Map
Aarna, PS 6 Memory Map
Yashas, PS 6 Memory Map

As Iviva points out: “Even if we mostly learn and stay at home, we can map paths inside our home, or micro movements around the neighborhood.”


We were pleased to welcome Teaching Artist & Poet Seldon Yuan to ART YARD Advanced Studio. In a spectacular overview of artists working with Art and Text we were all inspired to use language in our artwork.

René Magritte, “The Treachery of Images”, 1929, oil on canvas
Jenny Holzer, “Abuse of Power Comes as No Surprise”, 1983, projection
Glenn Ligon, “Untitled”, 1992, Softground etchings, aquatint, and spit bite and sugar lift on paper
Mel Bochner, “Bla Bla Bla”, 2017, Monoprint in oil paint with collage

Seldon writes: “I really and truly enjoyed the response from all the participants. I really didn't know what to expect or how they would respond or if I was overwhelming them with 20+ slides and such short overviews of the works, but all the positive comments made me feel like they enjoyed it and found it useful. With the project being so open ended, I was surprised by both the variety and how personal some of the work was but also the amount of collage that was used.

I was surprised to hear Vera say she has a tricky relationship to language and was impressed that she used it her own way and found that she liked it/found it useful. It was also enjoyable to see how inventive Ed was with making up words via collage. I also though Sarah's approach of doing an illustrated journal was definitely a unique approach/strategy.”

Vera Tineo, La Distancia
Ed Rath, Text out of Context
Sarah, Today Is Monday
Marilyn August, All Creatures
Meridith McNeal, I Imagine Change

Nayarit Tineo, My City

Eden explains her beautiful digital drawing: “It says Black Lives Matter but I overlaid it to be corrupted like an old VHS tape - made to convey how this phrase and organization has after 8 years has been attacked and corrupted and misconstrued. Black Lives Matter is not a terrorist organization. It does not exist to combat or delegitimize the importance of any other groups. It exists to bring attention to the brutality and ignorance paid to black bodies everyday by the US Justice System.”

Eden Moore, Black Lives Matter

Our critique was filled with insightful wise conversation. For example, Zeke complimented: “I liked how Ed and Eden’s pieces were both about noble causes being contaminated. Ed’s was letters from corrupt charities, and Eden’s was about people misconstruing the meaning of BLM.”

Zeke Brokow, Words Can Lose Meaning
August Levenson, 2020 The Sitcom!

Sarah voices what we all felt: “What a great lesson, essential yet therapeutic. Good to learn about so many artists working graphically with text. Most were new to me and Seldon did a great job with his presentation!”


Sarah has posted the most recent CREATE Artist Interview with Aisha Tandiwe Bell! Check it out to learn more about Aisha and her work.


Exhibitions, and other art related news:

We are excited to hear that Jacob Rath has two pieces included in "Jewish Authenticity and Identity" at Adas Israel Congregation of Washington D.C., and can also be viewed online.

Jacob also reports that he been attending a series of classes about Fashion hosted by the Slow Factory. Last week's class was about Fashion and Prison Labor. The classes are streamed live Fridays at 12 EST. Classes require a registration, but you can pay as much or as little as you want to attend. The website also has videos of their old classes available.


Congratulations to Marie Roberts who presented Sideshow: 21st Century Janus at the College Art Association 109 Annual Conference, February 2021 as part of the panel The Freakshow in Contemporary Culture and Aesthetics.

Marie also has work included in Neutral Nation, curated by Raphael Cuello and in Home: Near and Far, Gallery North, Latino Arts Council of Long Island, NY


Maia Cruz Palileo shares this virtual exhibition walkthrough of Maia Cruz Palileo: The Answer is the Waves of the Sea on view thru April 10 at Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago.

Maia Cruz Palileo, "The Answer is the Waves of the Sea", 2020

It seems to me we are energized in this first week of Spring 2021. I am noticing the shift in the light! Are you?

🌞 🌞 🌞 🌞 🌞 🌞

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