Updated: Jul 22, 2021
We have concluded the virtual segment of ART YARD Summer Session 2021. These two weeks working with Teaching Artist Reg Lewis have been chockfull of deep introspection, cathartic ideas, rejuvenating practices, meaningful conversation, and inspired artmaking.
A few of us continued working on our Shhh pieces from last week’s session which centered on learning a mindfulness approach to the art making process, incorporating a mind quieting observation strategy to create still life pieces.
Reg reports: “Today was the 8th day and final virtual class of our summer session. The students were challenged to create artworks that reflected the healing, mind quieting strategy of the “Shhh” introduced in last Friday’s class. Words such as silence, surrender, serenity, and space provided additional guidance as the participating artist were genuinely pushed by the difficult challenge of creating images that reflect a mere sound that has an absence of form. Either way, the results were amazing as they created both concrete and abstract representations which revealed the diverse interpretations of the sound gesture of “Shhh.”
Thea Adams Bey, Shhh (ll) (1, 2 and 3)
Marilyn August, Shhh (ll) (1, 2 and 3)
Today's work followed an equally reflective assignment from the previous class (Day 7) which challenged the participating artists to create portraits of their hearts. Before beginning the art making process, the artwork of various artist such as Frida Kahlo, Keith Haring, Jim Dine and our very own Meridith McNeal served as an inspiration, for they each include striking representations of hearts in their work. Essentially, the participants again produced an extraordinary range of interpretations that were truly "heart" felt and imaginative.
Hearts by Zeke Brokaw, Thea Adams Bey, Sigrid Dolan, Nayarit Tineo, Meridith McNeal, Sarah Gumgumji, Reg Lewis, Robin Grant, Marilyn August, Kayla Morales, Karla Prickett, Jacob Rath, Elizabeth Morales, Eden Moore, Akash Wilmont, August Levenson, Eden Moore, and Delphine Levenson:
This class followed behind Tuesday and Wednesday’s classes (Day 5 and 6) which challenged the students to create artwork based on writing prompts that were essentially phrases produced by "an overactive, overwhelmed mind." These phrases were taken from the performance poetry text for the book that will be published for the upcoming ART YARD exhibition in September, “The Way We See It: Reflections Inside & Outside Our Window of Time Spent in the Institution of Mass Education.” Interpretations both direct and indirect forced the participants to reach for ideas that reflected upon their own mental health or reactions to the often demanding external world; some of the other phrases reflected stress, agitation, or emotional challenge while other phrases posed self-reflective thoughts while even others presented unpredictable ideas and/or reactions. Ultimately, the work from those two days helps to emphasize the purpose of today's class which focused upon the "Shhh" as a meditative solution for that overactive, compulsively thinking mind.
Courtroom Lines (Money is Time and Time is Money) by Meridith McNeal, Sarah Gumgumji and Jacob Rath:
Kevin explains his piece: "I did a quick Google search on the parts of an hour glass. The top is the future and the bottom is the past. I tried to show which words apply to myself that are a thing of the past at the bottom half, and which words that apply to myself that I am worried about in the future, which I placed at the top half. The hand at the bottom is supposed to signify how one can be consumed in their past if they are not careful. Another thing to note is the word happiness is stretch in between the bottom and top half."