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Scintillating Summer Summary

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

ART YARD Summer Session 2020 was a resounding success!

All of us involved felt a bit stunned when this powerful program finished up the season. The challenges of virtual programming – sketchy internet connections, time lag on sound, lack of technical know-how (that would be me) – were present but did not in any way hinder our experience, the intellectual rigor or advanced art making.

In an email earlier this week Teaching Artist Claudia Alvarez wrote to me: “The Summer Session participants are ALL developing their voices! It is incredible how well Maya and TJ are so thoughtful and creative about their work. and TJ WOW. I love how Marilyn engages in her work and keeps pushing forward. Kevin is so thoughtful and asks questions that reflect his seriousness about his art. Nayarit is a power house. Zahir is such a deep thinker as is Jack both tackling profound and important concepts. Zeke has moved into new artmaking terrain. Ailey and Sarah are so creative. Their work is very strong, concise, and meaningful. Riley is so thoughtful and speaks so well about art.

I really enjoy when they participate and interact with each other. I think the break out groups and our back and forth conversations are the most rewarding. The best part is when they say WHY they complement the work or what it means to them.

Vera Tineo, Mental Health - Hidden Emotions particularly in Black and Brown Communities, Painted Object Sculpture, clay, hair extensions and paint
Claudia Alvarez, Bag for Food Drive, Painted Object Sculpture, paint on shopping bag
Jane Huntington, Food Justice and Reform, Painted Object Sculpture, paint on cereal box
Meridith McNeal, Dream/Empower/Act - the power of ART YARD and its Artists, Painted Object Sculpture, paint, thread and sequins on pillow sham

This final week of Summer Session 2020 Claudia challenged us to use a found object as a painting surface. Now, in general this can be a challenge, but we had a very important layer in this task – the artwork had to address a community or social topic that we found particularly moving.

Environmental concerns, body image, racism, sexism, education, current events, and art as a tool for social change are some of the topics which inspired the work we created.

Jack Brokaw, Mental Health - Body Image, Study for Painted Object Sculpture, paint on canvas

Nayarit Tineo, End Gun Violence, Painted Object Sculpture, paint on book

Maya Cubarle, End Sexism & Womens Rights, Painted Object Sculpture, paint on cardboard box

Riley Philipan, Ecology for Marine Life, Painted Object Sculpture (in progress), molded and glued paper
Kevin Anderson, Ecology & Environmental Protection, Otter with Plastic Drinking Straw, painted object sculpture, paint on paper shopping bag
TJ Edgar, Global Warming and the Environment, Painted Object Sculpture, Painted umbrella (in progress 2)

Marilyn August, Ecology & Environmental Protection, Painted Object Sculpture (in progress), paint on watering can
Sarah Gumgumji, Environmental Concerns, Painted Object Sculptur (detail), paint and thread on canvas tote bag
Jordan Wolff-Cho, Spread Awareness about Protection of Animals, Painted Object Sculpture, paint on iPhone box
Sigrid Dolan, Upcycling Clothing for the Better of the Environment, Painted Object Sculpture (in progress), stenciled paint, recycled fabric, thread and glue on shirt
Ailey Haynes, Ecology, Painted Object Sculpture (3/4 view)

During in person classes I take scores of photographs of students at work. I find taking a photo of the computer screen just does not measure up. So I asked if participants could send in photos of themselves at work on ART YARD projects.

Claudia teaching ART YARD Summer Session from her studio at home.

Marilyn set up her camera to take a timed photograph of her dining room studio!

Ailey’s mother Tangie took this great photo of Ailey hard at work during class.

Claudia encouraged all of us participating in Summer Session 2020 to find a way to make our work a public act. For example, Claudia and Kevin are both painting on paper bags which they intend to donate to a food drive so meal recipients will get art along with their meals.

My pieces created in the third week of Summer Session focused on the power of art education and the work being done by ART YARD Artists. For my community action, I’ve sent each of the participants one of my artworks created in our program.

Vera's piece has arrived!

Vera and Nayarit happy with the art that has arrived in the mail!

For more of the work created in Week 3 visit our Gallery.


This week in ART YARD CREATE Sarah has asked that we consider the notion of iconic NYC. One of the things I love about CREATE is that it is a dialogue that is both language based and visual. The circuitous nature of discussions means that the tangents deepen and inform the larger ideas.

Sarah’s initial image of a building with fire escape, led to Dennis recalling the beautiful graphic from the musical West Side Story.

Claudia’s favorite statue of Alice located in Central Park, spurred on Marie to post a drawing of creating art in and of Central Park.

Jane’s fond reminiscing of the annual Book Fair at PS1 (cancelled this year due to the pandemic), made me recall that Blaze and I visited the fair last year when we went to PS1 to attend a lecture by ART YARD Teaching Artist Glendalys Medina.

We would love to hear from YOU in CREATE. If you are wondering how to add to a post, take a look at Sarah’s short How To Video!

As we head into August we will mostly be on summer vacation and I will be taking the month off from recapping. However, Sarah will post bi-weekly CREATE threads in August. We encourage you to participate. Sarah promises the topics will be perfectly suited for Summer Vacation!


Our home base Kentler International Drawing Space will be open in the fall, but not for regular programming. They will hang their benefit exhibition and make that available for in-person viewing by appointment.

This means that for the 2020 fall semester ART YARD Advanced Studio will continue to be a virtual program on Zoom. While we would all prefer to be in the studio together in person, we are very excited to get back to our regular 5:30-7:30pm Monday evening sessions starting in September!

Frankly, the virtual platform grants us the wonderful opportunity to continue to work with people from all places and that is a very cool thing as 2020-2021 is the ART YARD Year of Community!


I hope that the remainder of the summer finds you inspired and creating. That’s my plan at any rate.

Thank you so much for caring about and being part of the ART YARD community.

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