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Patterns, Erasure and Cartography

Zooming into classrooms for “in person” sessions is pretty exciting. In fact, there are some surprising things that happen -- such as FIRE DRILLS 10 minutes into class!

Rik steps in as Teacher's Assistant Zooming in to the classroom at PS 282

During our introduction and recap of the previous week’s session, the alarm bells rang and we watched as our kindergarten and first grade teachers expertly and calmly lead their charges on this important safety measure. We were deeply impressed that after the drill students and teachers promptly returned to class and got right down to business.

Teaching Artist Vera Tineo prepared a fantastic slide show about patterns. We learned about regular and irregular patterns, patterns in nature and patterns made by people. We also identified patterns we know by name such as: polka dots, plaid, stripes, and concentric circles. Inspired by these photos of iguana skin, veins in a leaf, and honey combs; paintings by Thaneeya McArdle, Gustav Klimt and Vincent Van Gogh and Vera’s own samples we got to work using the materials of our choice.

Thaneeya McArdle, Pattern Paintings
Gustav Klimt, The Kiss, 1908

Students were inspired by the patterns in the room around them, the images from Vera’s slide show and their clothing and toys. Joshua perfectly matched the color scheme to his striped shirt, Nico looked to his shark themed shirt and Gabriel to the web pattern on his Spiderman doll and Emily depicted the patterns from her oh-so-fashionable pants,

Emily with her fashion inspired pattern mixed media collage
Nate, PS 282 Pattern Drawing
Mikhayla, PS 282 Pattern Drawing
Aria, PS 282 Pattern Drawing

Mya, Sigurd and Julissa all used brilliant color for their pattern drawings:

The next step in our artmaking required carefully the cutting out our portraits from last week to glue onto our pattern pieces. In effect making a beautiful mixed media collage.

Zoe, PS 282 Pattern Drawing with Mixed Media Shape Portrait Collage
Leonidas, PS 282 Pattern Drawing with Mixed Media Shape Portrait Collage
Maya, PS 282 Pattern Drawing with Mixed Media Shape Portrait Collage

Lorelei, Liam, Haru, Alessandro, Zeke and Rocky all made energetic colorful pieces:

Ms. Lescure enthuses: “I love how the children created unique patterns around to their artistic imagination, used creative shapes, bold colors, and really filled the page. They did great at making regular and irregular patterns”

We loved seeing articulate Lucy’s baby sister Clara just outside the frame (and slightly smaller than the melon Lucy had on hand as pattern inspiration!). And Miles was inspired by the room around him noting the lovely triple apple artwork on the horizontally striped paneled walls.

Lucy, PS 282 Pattern Drawing with Mixed Media Shape Portrait Collage
Miles, PS 282 Pattern Drawing with Mixed Media Shape Portrait Collage

Kyler and Juliet changed the order of business, carefully cutting their excellent portraits out before beginning their patterning.

Kyler, PS 282 Pattern Drawing with Mixed Media Shape Portrait Collage
Juliet, PS 282 Pattern Drawing with Mixed Media Shape Portrait Collage

Vera explains that she feels that perceiving patterns in the world around her was the first step to understanding composition. While that might sound like a hefty art concept for 4-8 year old artists. You can see that our students were likewise empowered by the lesson.

Yes, it was an exciting week for ART YARD Art Matters at PS 282! You can also watch the fun on our Video Recap!


This week in ART YARD Advanced Studio session Teaching Artist Golnar Adili on a project called Transformation Through Erasure. Golnar showed us fabulous work be several of her artists who use some form of erasure in their work including Tara Homasi, Sepideh Salehi, and Titus Kaphar.

Golnar shares her presentation

About half way into our working time Golnar shared Titus Kaphar’s TED Talk: Can Art Amend History which we found very inspiring!

Watching Titus Kaphar speak as we work

Golnar recounts: “We transformed existing images through erasure! I was blown away by the amazing variety of approaches in class, and collected some cool processes and mediums too.

Zeke turned an existing image into an image taking place in his room. His use of color was wonderful and here really made a non-personal photo his own (in his own words).

Zeke Brokaw, Erasure

Wayne made commercial impersonal furniture imagery into really cloudy and atmospheric images through the use of acetone (erasure with acetone) while another participant used water.

Wayne Gross, Erasure 1-4:

Meridith covered a bridge in Rome using gold and made a lovely scene to look at.

Meridith McNeal, Erasure

Sarah's piece played with text in a very interesting way turning Gucci into Google, as she did with the figure. Likewise, Nayarit used text to very strong effect.

Sarah Gumgumji, Erasure 1

Sarah Gumgumji, Erasure (color and black and white):

Nayarit Tineo, Erasure, Empowerment

Ed was extremely active in his transformation as he developed an initial image in many steps and really moving away from the original.

Ed Rath, Altered Breitling, Erasure

Jacob had us all laughing with his humorous pieces done on top of a math textbook he uses for tutoring.

Jacob Rath, Erasure

Robin and Golnar both did poignant pieces about their mothers.

Robin Grant, Mother, Erasure
Golnar Adili, Mother and Self, Erasure

Vera worked on ideas of protest.

Vera Tineo, Protest, (Erasure):

Golnar adds: “The ART YARD Advanced Studio Artists are exceptional. Someone thanked the lesson during critique and I had to admit that the lesson was perfected because my college students were so difficult to motivate and I kept making the presentation more clear and exciting. As I was blown away by the level of participation and good work done by the ART YARD Artists, I had to reciprocate complement back to the participants for teaching me so much about the possibilities of different kinds of erasure!”


The Unity of the World: CARTOGRAPHY

Finalizing the cycle of FLAGS and MAPS OF UNITY, teaching artist Sarah Gumgumji mixed in the art of cartography at ART YARD Art Matters at PS 6 (Jersey City) this week.

Sarah cycled back to the first presentation of Jasper Johns and 3rd graders discussed his works of maps - and most especially maps painted over flags. Also, students viewed the works of Fra Mauro, Al Balkhi and Al Idrisi - in which their views of what the earth looked from above (without the benefit of satellite photographs) were depicted.

Fra Mauro, map of the world, 1450
Abu Zaid Ahmed idn Sahl al-Balkhi, Map of the world, (850-934)
Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Idrisi al-Qurtubi al-Hasani as-Sabti, or simply Al-Idrisi, world map, 1154

Students were given lots of creative free range. Their maps could be of places they’ve lived, countries their grandparents or great-grandparents were from, places from books they’ve read, places they’ve missed during the pandemic, or an imaginary place. Works could be realistic or abstract and could be drawn with pencil (and/or colored pencil), watercolor paint or even collaged.

Hamza created a treasure map, in great detail. Muhaddis and Harita both did maps of Jersey City. Jacob’s map outlined his route from home to church. Megha’s map of India was superimposed over an American flag. Aghillas’ map of the states of the US was in abstract form, following the ideas of Jasper Johns. Ali’s map/flag was 2 sided - one side is the US flag and the reverse side is the flag of Egypt, which he attached to previous flags using tape to create one giant piece! Camille created a map of the interior of her home in Mexico (where she attended class from, remotely) with a key to the rooms in Spanish.

Mayank, PS 6 Map

Map by Rayansh, Prateek at work and Map by Paridhi:

Lindsay, PS 6 Map
David, PS 6 Map
Hazel, PS 6 Map

Maps by Kamakshi and Hamza:

Sarah adds: "Students did a fantastic job imagining their creating their map/cartography. Their work included a Candy map, state of hero, nature, fiction, mountain map, American Dream map, a glop, Parisian map, and a future, past, current map. Some of our third grade artists used different shapes for the map, and others could cut the map and add over the flag they created in the last two classes."

Aghilas, PS 6 Map

Great work by all 3rd graders and we look forward to seeing them LIVE in Jersey City in September !


In other art news:

Congratulations to ART YARD Artist Robin Grant who has work included in On The Fence 2021 at Robert Fulton Park in Brooklyn through the end of June.


ART YARD Artist Jacob Rath shares his end of school year artwork! Jacob explains: “It's our last week in school in Minneapolis. I made some drawings on MS Paint of some experiences of the past school year, which happened mostly on zoom. The drawings reminded me of the lesson the Reg Lewis taught about Winfred Rembert and Jacob Lawrence.

The first drawing is me holding my whiteboard to the screen, explaining how to add fractions (I spent a lot of time this year talking about numbers that aren't whole numbers). The second drawing is of the 8th grade class dancing together in their classroom. I didn't get to dance with them in person, but I did over zoom. The third drawing is me showing my cat Jane Eyre to the class over zoom. Showing each other our pets was something that was possible because of distance learning.

Jacob Rath, School Year Drawings

I am pleased to have work included in several upcoming exhibitions: PAPERWORKS 2021 curated by Sewon Kang, Archivist at The Easton Foundation NY on view for the month of August at b.j. spoke gallery, Huntington, NY. Landscapes Built and Grown, curated by Jennifer McGregor for Site:Brooklyn Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. And in 40th Annual Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors August 7 – September 26 at View in Old Forge, NY.

Meridith McNeal, Inside Outside Unnamable Books (Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn), 2020, watercolor on paper, 55x41”

Never a dull moment!

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