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The Look Of Love

Updated: Jun 10, 2023

ART YARD Advanced Studio on Zoom enjoyed a session with AYB Artist Eden Moore titled The Look of Love for Mother Earth.

Keith Haring, Untitled (Earth Day)

Eden’s PowerPoint wove together the idea of love enforcing a social movement, using color to represent love, as well as Empedocles Theory of the Elements, the story of Spiderman, and the art of Keith Haring.

Eden presenting on zoom

“This lesson went rather swimmingly!” reports Eden. “The goal was to portray our love for Earth in the same vein that artists like Gilbert Baker or Jack Kirby/Stan Lee used the Pride flag and the invention of Spider-Man, respectively, to portray love for humanity.

Delphine Levenson, The Look of Love for Mother Earth

Ed Rath, The Look of Love for Mother Earth

Eden Moore, The Look of Love for Mother Earth

Marilyn August, The Look of Love for Mother Earth

I was very pleased by the in-depth discussion my presentation encouraged! I also really appreciated all the compliments that I got on the lesson. It was rather high concept, and I think that everything from the use of rainbows by Marilyn, Delphine and Meridith, to Ed experimenting with new mediums to the different portrayals of Earth really lived up to the theme. Everyone’s piece used a lot of intricate detail from Abby’s Eiffel Tower, to Meridith’s vase standing in for Mother Earth. I’m really proud that I was able to inspire some great art-making.”

Abby Johnson, The Look of Love for Mother Earth

Meridith McNeal, The Look of Love for Mother Earth

Karla interjects: "Thanks Eden for a great lesson. It was timely that my travel took me to the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City to see the Alberto Giacometti retrospective, “Toward the Ultimate Figure.” Eden’s presentation created a parallel for me in that the movie Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” encouraged individuals to “wear the mask!” I thought about the timelessness, temporality and universal nature of the Giacometti figures. The artist once said, “Painting a face is like painting a landscape of mountains and valleys.” Everyone’s face is a landscape, everyone wears the mask of individual identity and personality. Giacometti’s figures were earthy and textured and colored like soil. He merged landscape and figure. His faces and bodies seemed to resemble mountains - his expression, the enduring power of the human body as landscape.

Installation view Alberto Giacometti: Toward the Ultimate Figure. Photo by Karla Prickett

I enjoyed Zooming in while in transit! Everyone’s pieces were so thoughtfully composed!"


On Tuesday ART YARD Advanced Studio in person at BWAC proved to be a grounding and encouraging experience for all present. Teaching artist Iviva Olenick introduced the first of her 2-part book arts lesson.

Iviva shares her sample books

Iviva explains: “After demonstrating how to make accordion and star or pamphlet books, I shared examples of books I’d made and one by Elizabeth Castaldo. I also shared paintings by Ify Chiejina emphasizing women with plants or women in nature. I gave students a prompt of thinking of a place where they feel nurtured and depicting that place. Then added that the place can be imagined or internal (a place of the mind) versus external. I also explained that we could design the book content with the book opened up and unfolded, resulting in a surprise and somewhat recombined or scrambled image, or fill the book in book form.”

Elizabeth Castaldo, Miss Summer (poppies), 2020

Ify Chiejina, Let Us Be with My Imagination, 2020

Participating artists used collage, drawing, colored tape and watercolor to create their books.

Vera adds: “I loved working with Iviva creating a book. Iviva’s approach – showing us specific steps as well as modifications and variants -- really allowed me to delve into the book and anyway I wanted. I found I was able to overcome by hesitancy in working in the book format by thinking of the piece as a whole composition.”


A clan of hyenas, a pride of lions, a coterie of prairie dogs, a crash of rhinos, a herd of hippos, and a dazzle of zebras (yes, I had to look up all those collective nouns) - all consumed our mask making project at ART YARD Art Matters at PS 17 in Jersey City which is now complete.

Dennis reports: “With the school’s production of The Lion King only a week away, Teaching Artists Fatima Traore and Evelyn Beliveau, together with our afterschool students, put finishing touches on the foam masks (for the central characters), cardboard masks (for the ensemble and the hyenas), and headdresses for the five Rafikis.

Art teacher Ralph Pryzanowski created the title banner and completed Scar’s throne - it’s almost show time!!!

Fatima models Lion King hat mask

Dennis models Lion King hat mask


Great first week at our new ART YARD Art Matters partnership school, PS 34, The President Barack Obama School.

Screen shot from school website!

Enthusiastically Dennis recounts: “We hosted 4 to 5 classes each day (3 days this week - so a total of 13 classes) ranging from kindergarten to 8th grade. Teaching Artist Fatima Traore's presentation on the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat gave students an overview of his style and ingenuity to create their own pieces.

Fatima discussed various shapes (geometric, biomorphic ambiguous) and Basquiat's abstract techniques - as well as displaying a key she created indicating Basquiat’s symbols, signs, and parts of the body. She worked along with the students of each class on a giant piece of paper - nearly completing the piece by the end of the first day. Ideas and concepts discussed: inspiration, overlapping and spontaneity.

All worked in pencil and oil pastels.

Fatima created stencils of crowns, Basquiat’s hair, bones. etc - all for optional use. Most students jumped right into the lesson and drew freehand.

Teaching Artist Flavia Berindoague joined us on Thursday and offered students her insight into Basquiat’s life and work and worked closely with them from start to finish. Also, in the Thursday classes, students worked on black paper with oil pastels.

Flavia and Fatima teaching

One brilliant 4th grader recognized Basquiat as the illustrator of Maya Angelou’s book of poems called “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me”. Wow! Many others recognized Basquiat’s portrait of Andy Warhol.

Many thanks to the school's fantastic art teacher, Marilyn Carpena, for her participation and class management. We love working with her.”


Today at ART YARD Art Matters at PS 6 it was a very busy and very successful day!!

Dennis summarizes: "Students from Mr. Hamilton’s class worked diligently and stayed focused during their final class on map making. Color was added to their drawings with watercolor paint and colored pencil. Each very proudly discussed their piece and received rounds of applause from their classmates.

Once dried, their paintings went the express route to the gallery for installation. Fatima created a new sign for the gallery entrance pertaining to our theme of Planet Earth.

Installing at ART YARD Gallery at PS 6

Installing at ART YARD Gallery at PS 6 (use arrows to scroll)

Also in the gallery, Evelyn, Fatima, and Sarah finished installing while I hung birds and met with 8 docents for a preliminary training session.

Dennis training docents at PS 6

Join us for the opening reception!!


Other Art News

Congratulations to ART YARD Artist Golnar Adili, one of the short list of esteemed finalist for the sixth edition of the Jameel Prize: Poetry to Politics an international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition. The Prize aims to explore the relationship between contemporary practice and Islamic tradition as part of a wider debate about Islamic culture in the twenty-first century.

The exhibition of Jameel Prize finalists work debuted at the V&A in London, and has toured to Centro Cultural La Moneda in Santiago, Chile and El Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Franklin Rawson in Argentina, and now to Dubai where Golnar joins other artists for related presentations.

Jameel Prize finalists presenting earlier this week in Dubai (Golnar 3rd from left)


I am thrilled to announce my exhibition Meridith McNeal - Brooklyn Queen: Magical Things e altri dipinti will open Sunday June 18th at la Dama de Capestrano in Capestrano, Italy and remain on view through August 13, 2023.

If you are in the area, I hope you will attend the opening reception. If you are not close by, I will be doing a zoomed artist talk (in English and Italian) during the opening. More specifics on that will follow.



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Meridith McNeal
Meridith McNeal
Jun 10, 2023

Pipe in readers if you have a favorite banner! Thanks! 🍭


Meridith McNeal
Meridith McNeal
Jun 10, 2023

Thanks Carrie! I agree with you on the connections Eden made in her lesson. It was a remarkably erudite presentation (of course, we expect nothing else from Eden!) that challenged all of us. If you have any ideas on where we might share our Lion King project - I thought that it would be nice to spread awareness of AYB programs amongst theater people!

I am working on a Pride Banner for the top of our social media pages. Maraya should be posting those soon. So check it out. Oh, maybe I can share some of the options here....Let me give it a whirl. If it works, tell me what you think!

Meridith McNeal
Meridith McNeal
Jun 10, 2023
Replying to

Excellent feed back! Thanks!


Loved the connections Eden made in her lesson--that ability to discern affinities is an important form of creativity. Congratulations to the artists and the docents with their opening at PS 6; it looks amazing! The masks for Lion King are a triumph and I know the performance will be memorable. Congratulations to Golnar Adili; the video about their work is intriguing and makes me wish I could see it in person. Someday?! The range of expressiveness in one letter--a beautiful and moving record. And Meridith's show in Italy looks fantastic! So inspired by all the work, as always! Kudos to everyone, and happy Pride Month!!!

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