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Updated: Oct 30, 2020

ART YARD Students, Artists, Teaching Artists, Parents, Grand Parents, Board Members, and Supporters are all out there voting early. We and our cats are encouraging you to VOTE as well!

In case you need further encouragement, ART YARD Partnership School PS 6 students have put out spectacular public service announcements about voting. We love this one in particular:


Dennis opined about ART YARD Advanced Studio session this week was beautifully presented by Teaching Artist Jane Huntington. He praised her thoughtfulness in choosing artists to inspire the class and the evident hard work she put into planning.

This week, we discussed Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez’s Las Meninas and other artist's interpretations of this masterwork.

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, "Las Meninas"

Jane recounts: “I began the lesson by showing Velasquez's Las Meninas. We discussed his role in Phillip lV of Spain's royal court, the subjects in the painting, and it's composition. Oft-referenced topics included the reflection of the king and queen in the mirror, its pictorial elements, and the inclusion of the very high ceiling that often gets cut off in reproductions of the work. Eden brought up the idea of thinking of grouping the subjects into twos and threes. Ed brought up the issue of Velasquez's role as a court painter and how this work comments on that role. I created a pdf of the original painting along with several examples of other's artists' revisitations of this work. These artists included Pablo Picasso, Carrie Schnieder, Sthepen Yadzinki, Joel Peter Witkin, a Vogue Vietnam cover, Latin musician Ernesto Anaya's cover art for his musical interpretation of this work.

Pablo Picasso, "Las Meninas", 1957
Sthepen Yadzinki, "Las Meninas"
Cover Vogue Vietnam, "Las Menina's"
Ernesto Anaya, "Las Meninas"

The assignment was wide-ranging: you could do a version of the original work, or you could use different subjects as the basis for your piece.

Jane, Ed, Zahir, and Wayne all did B&W treatments of the original, Wayne's focused on the top half of the painting, Zahir populated the painting with his own characters.

Jane Huntington, "Las Meninas"
Ed Rath, Grey Value Study "Las Meninas"
Zahir Prudent, "Las Meninas"

Wayne Gross, "Las Meninas" (The Ceiling)

August began a pen and ink portrait of Velasquez.

August Levenson, Portrait of Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (detail, in progress)

Other students expanded on the themes as what spoke to them. Sarah used Anaya's cover art as the basis for her intricate piece done in photoshop. Eden also used photoshop as the basis of her work dealing with the exploitation of women in Hollywood.

Sarah Gumgumji, "Women Are Not Cakes"
Eden Moore, "Stricken by Hollywood" (in progress)

Nayarit did a lovely watercolor with a muted palette in the vein of her previous mapping work, we especially loved the idea of having the princess reading as a tree when turned upside down.

Nayarit Tineo, "Las Meninas"

Both Marilyn and Jacob's work dealt with the upcoming election. Jacob Rath describes his piece: “Here is my version of Las Meninas. The room is on fire, as a metaphor for climate change. There is a person passed out on the floor as a result of smoke inhalation. Donald Trump is in the stairwell, running away with a giant bag of money like a cartoon villain.”

Marylin August, Las Menina's Election 2020
Jacob Rath, Las Meninas with room on fire, as a metaphor for climate change

Jorden showed a figure of what Jane referred to as a "universal mother holding a child's hand", and Vera showed her own family. Akash did a portrait of a friend sitting in a restaurant booth, a nod to Carrie Schnieder's Las Bedidas."

Vera Tineo, "Las Meninas"
Carrie Schnieder, "Las Bedidas"

While there were some technical glitches with screen sharing and that sort of thing, it proved to be another remarkably inspiring ART YARD Advanced Studio session!


On this Halloween eve Carmen San Diego (AKA - ART YARD Kid Ailey Haynes) and her sister Marley are ready to celebrate!

ART YARD Kids Ailey and Marley Haynes, Dressed for Halloween 2020

We wish you a very safe and fun holiday. And remember....

Carved Jack-o-Lantern on NYC Stoop


Until next week,

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