Updated: May 22, 2021
This week at ART YARD Art Matters at PS282 Teaching Artist Claude Viaud Peralta guided us into to world of our dreams. We looked at work by Salvatore Dali, Remedios Varo, Wassily Kandinsky, and Edvard Munch as well as Claude’s own drawings. We agreed that dreams are a fascinating world unto their own, where the strange can seem real, and magical occurrences are not in the least out of the ordinary.
The dreams of sleep -- fantastical, wonderful, weird and at times frightening were the main focus of our work today. But we were also free to explore daydreams and imagination. Claude explained he felt that the world of dreams would be rich fodder for artmaking. He said he thinks about his dreams a lot and finds it an inspiring exercise to get stuck in his imagination. The excellent artwork created by the students proves that he’s not the only on to feel that way!
Sakura depicted a candy land dream. Saying that she had so much fun, as always.
Jack enjoyed using different colors and using his imagination to conceive and depict his dream.
John had a very in depth description to share with the class! He drew “one space rocket with a lemming chasing another space rocket with grizzly through stars and asteroids” inspired by his favorite cartoon show.
In her dream, Lucy was searching for bugs and birds while watching the sunset. She’s holding a camera and magnifying glass. Lucy’s mother Sophie adds that Lucy was excited to tell her mom that she was using mixed media (markers and gel sticks)!
Speaking of materials, Lorenzo is back at his sumi-e painting.
Logan, who has been practicing her watercolor skills between classes, made a beautiful painting about her dream which took place at a cabin in the mountains.
August painted a nightmare of people stealing from a bank using an exaggerated perspective to make the bank appear to loom over the street.
Rhys also drew a scary dream. He tells us: “it’s a monster under the water and its horn is sticking out but it’s disguised so it looks like a pyramid. You can only see its arms and legs and horns. There are reflectors coming out of the house reflecting the suns light and making it seem darker. There’s a camera on a kite taking a picture of the monster. This is the picture (points at black spider-like thing under the camera) and there’s an antique truck.”
Lola illustrated her dream of a doll house complete with quite a cast of characters.
Coco wearing a beautiful rainbow stripped dress, dreams of a magical rainbow staircase.
Emma projected an enigmatic space of emptiness. She shared a profound description of solitude during critique and explained that she chose to use polka dots are to make the space feel empty. Our budding philosopher suggests that if we feel empty inside, then we can simply chose to inhabit that feeling and call it home.
As Lewis Carrol penned in Through The Looking Glass: “In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die: Ever drifting down the stream- Lingering in the golden gleam- Life, what is it but a dream?”
As usual, Vera has done a great job on the video recap! Take a look.
ART YARD Advanced Studio were treated to a wonderful session called Our Signs Our Message with Vera Tineo! Vera combined several core ideas of interest to all of us, in particular getting our message out into the world.
Vera, who is currently in the Dominican Republic visiting with her extended family, prepared an excellent PowerPoint presentation which included work by Alicia Henry, Adrian Piper, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, her own prints and even a really funny TicToc project. Vera suggested to us that the topic of our piece could be deeply personal, light-hearted, serious, political, funny, inspiring – in short we had free reign for content. However, we were challenged to find a way to bring our work into the public realm.
Reflecting upon the session, Vera writes: “This Monday I was able to share my love of posters and striking imagery. We explored the power of images with an Alicia Henry piece representing the normality of Black Death and words with Adrian Piper - words that negate identity of race and gender. I chose to share artists whose work would inspire our community members to share a message with their community. Like something culturally important or funny on a poster that only people from our community, our family, could understand and relate to.”
Maraya, who created a very personal piece about her brother, Marilyn speaking out about litter, and I with a message about wrongful incarceration, made copies of our work which we hung and placed in public. Update: Two of Marilyn’s posters are still hanging. Mine were gone the next day, but that could have been my subpar double stick tape.
Karla explains her piece: “After reading Sunday's email about the subject of the lesson, I began to think about the essence of what seems to divide people, what I wish could change, what I hope for everyone. I was trying to distill my thoughts into one word that seemed at the root of everything. The word is CARE. Then I expanded it to phrases which include that word and have relevance to our relationships to the world and each other. CARE TO (get involved, join others, be kind, help someone, etc). CARE FOR (others, the environment, family, children, elderly, the world, etc.). CARE ABOUT (issues, solving problems, working together, education, acceptance, inclusiveness, the air we breathe, etc.). In Kansas, I feel such an environment of insular complacency and lack of looking beyond self. Materials used: vintage wooden alphabet stamps, ink, Sharpie, paper. The word CARE was stamped repeatedly as the graphic background. Key phrases were colored in with red sharpie...red a symbol of heart and warmth or of bloodshed, conservative politics or financial loss. Would like to see this reproduced rather large, like a vertical billboard! Or, maybe a T-Shirt or on the side of a bus!”
Nicole’s theme of unity, presented in a charming appealing image, is along similar lines. Nicole is making postcards of her piece.
During critique Nicole suggested that Kevin could make his design about all the ways he sees people wearing masks into a poster that would sort of blend in, sort of catching the viewer unaware.
Nayarit and Sarah both addressed current dire political situation in Pakistan.
Sarah compliments the session: “I really like posters design, and the effect of seeing signs. There is a specific message that could improve people's minds on some specific topic. Vera gave very excellent examples of artists create such amazing posters.
August takes on American politics while referencing both the vintage Uncle Sam Wants You poster and George Orwell’s novel 1984.
Pat’s piece has an overlay which makes it interactive. I love how it looks installed on a Boston bus stop!
The conflict of where is home? when family resides in another country is addressed in Vera’s work.
We thought Ed’s piece would work great as a sandwich board type sign.
Wayne’s two pieces are art-centric messages we were all really jazzed to see!
Zahir wins a prize for innovative thinking as he made sketches to redesign the emoji that one uses to say it’s hot outside into an image of the world bringing a message about global warming! We hope to post this soon and hope that everyone will use and share it to spread Zahir’s message.
Vera poignantly sums up the experience of teaching the session: “Once again, I was able to learn from and connect with my art yard community. I challenge the group to post their piece out into the world. With this challenge I want them to understand that our art will be changed by elements we can’t control and that’s okay. Because of all of the support I feel from my community, I recognize the need for me to believe in myself and understand that I’m capable of doing anything. I don’t need to limit my capacity because I was able to teach and see wonderful pieces come from it.”
ART YARD Art Matters at PS 6 students were excited to jump back into their work with Teaching Artist Flávia Berindoague.
Flávia recaps: Today we talked about patterns. The students looked around themselves to find patterns, and described patterns they could see and imagine from specific places in their community. The 4th graders were able to work on characters. Students were asked to think about an important person from their community. I gave examples like: "The place I chose was the post office, then I drew the postman. Next class they will draw more characters and will finish their collages.”
Sarah who took screen shots of the students sharing their artwork for the recap, chimes in: “Today's classes were full of colors, patterns, and characters that gave me the feeling I am at a virtual art museum. Flavia asked the student to request music to listen to as they were drawing, which they did. The choices were unique and new to me; others were from Disney movies, while others were for contemporary performance. We all enjoyed our time together.”
In other news:
Planning for our virtual exhibitions at the end of the year Teaching Artists Flávia Berindoague and Vera Tineo attended Building a Virtual Museum with ArtSteps a workshop offered by Arts for All Abilities Consortium where the documentary filmmaker Susan Abdulezer, a free online software that allows you to create a virtual gallery, or an interactive museum to operate online. Flávia writes: “The concept of a virtual gallery has intrigued me during the pandemic, and as a visual artist who is becoming aware of the benefits of an online presence and the challenges of creating a physical one, I was keen to investigate the merit of such a space. I believe a virtual gallery does not replace the physical gallery, the gain from physical work and space that cannot be replicated in the online experience. On the other hand, a virtual gallery can be a great solution to promote arts in a pandemic time where physical limitation is a reality. It is a powerful tool for featuring student work and voice. As we are reaching the end of the school year I found it a good solution for showing images and videos my students have produced along the year.”
Dennis got out to see some art and report in: “We took the subway up to the NY Botanical Gardens to the Kusama: Cosmic Nature show - an especially nice visit since the tickets are timed entry and we were able to wander and view without large crowds (as is the norm at the NYBG on a weekend). It’s an expansive show of enormous whimsical outdoor sculptures, trees wrapped in dots, and indoor (in the library and in a garden center) gallery exhibits and installations (sadly, photography is not allowed in the indoor areas). The library exhibit featured some of her large paintings and smaller soft sculptures - the garden center exhibit featured a small free standing Infinity Room.
Throughout the gardens and in the Conservatory were brightly painted steel flowers mixed amongst green foliage - mostly palms - which gave visitors (well, gave ME) the opportunity to think about Kusama’s work beyond what it looks like on the surface. Of course, there were pumpkins galore and a tremendous octopus sculpture. An interactive attraction called “Flower Obsession” let visitors add red flower stickers to a greenhouse installation (guess that was geared to kids - but since the gardens were empty, it was a pleasant addition to our visit).
It rained during our visit - and that was fine. Upon entry to the gardens is the big and bright “I Want To Fly To The Universe” - a sun with tentacles or some sort. I think this was the model for the Thanksgiving Day balloon that Kusama designed yet never made it down Broadway in the parade due to high winds in 2019 and the pandemic cancellation of the 2020 parade. Maybe this year?
To get out of the rain for a bit, we had lunch in the NYBG’s Hudson Garden Grill and couldn’t resist ordering glasses of La Grand Dame champagne - the bottle covered in her signature dots (or were they champagne bubbles??).
It felt great to get somewhat back to normalcy in NYC and enjoy a fun exhibition.
Marilyn attended Ask The Expert virtual session with Teaching Artist Marie Roberts. She reports: “Everyone was riveted—Marie is so engaging, and she had an audience of devotees! And there were lots of good questions and comments. The host did a good job of reading questions and comments to include all.”
Both Maraya Lopez (AKA BerdsCarnival) and Jacob Rath received press mentions this week! Maraya in the article Why We Need Unconventional Public Art Now in today’s HYPERALERGIC:
Jacob in the article An Art Exhibit That Captures the Pride, Doubt and Joy of Jewish Identity in Alma.
Congratulations to ART YARD Artist Halli Beaudoin who has work included in We’re Still Here opening tomorrow from 10am-5pm at J.J. Byrne Playground in Brooklyn. This exhibit will feature over 150 images of artwork from local Brooklyn artists printed on banners. On view from May 15th 2021 - June 25th, 2021.
I am planning to swing by J.J. Byrne Playground tomorrow. Hope to see you there!