Updated: Mar 22
This week in ART YARD Advanced Studio we enjoyed a super-fun session titled Still Life and Non-human: Our Unexpected Community with our very own Halli Beaudoin inspired by the paintings of Australian Artist Vanessa Stockard.
Asking the class to find the warmth of kinship within their homes, Halli reminded us that community is not just the larger world outside our homes;it is also made up of the objects and non-human companions we live with.
Halli explains her inspiration: “I selected artist Vanessa Stockard because her work shows the humor and magic that can be found in a still life. Her works seeks to capture emotion of the mundane by telling a story. Likewise, the objects we choose to surround ourselves with are so much more than just things taking up space. Working from home a chair or mug may be as constant a companion as a pet or plant.” After we looked at a clear and concise PowerPoint which highlighted the works of Vanessa Stockard and the different ways she tells story through objects and animals we got to work in the medium of our choice.
Inspired by Vanessa Stockards more surrealistic and magical pieces Halli depicted her two cats on what is no longer a basic office chair from Ikea!
Catherine joined us from Ofena, Italy for the session creating a beautiful portrait of her dog Olivia on her fuzzy bed dreaming of a bone.
Those of us who depicted our pets could think about how these beloved creatures move about our spaces. Jacob perfectly captures Frederick’s impish flicking of the tea box off the counter. Assata captures the after effects of her cat-scratched chair. (I think that cat is gloating.)
Ed and I both found it challenging to give more focus to the items we depicted and leave the background less defined.
We marveled at how Eden captured the glow of Christmas lights on her two feline boys.
Sarah writes: “I liked Halli’s session. It offers experience on a significant part of our life that gives us comfort and joy. A piece of furniture that provides us with rest and animals that puts a smile on our faces, it is the things that make our houses into a home. My small terrace view invites a Northern Mockingbird and squeals to eat some leftover bread while I read or work.”
The evening was truly a joyous one and not without a good bit of laughter. Pat positions a mini- Minaloush on top of her router (which she explains she’s developed a deep relationship with during quarantine). Also playing with scale Jane deftly paints (with a problematic paintbrush) her old cat with a looming Swingline stapler which belonged to her father.
Zeke’s excellent depiction of the Christmas tree out in the yard where it’s limbs are being sawed off for firewood. He had us all chuckling as he explained that mid-way through the drawing he realized the tree was in fact no longer living so he added a squirrel. And what appears to be the tree spirit flanking the composition.
Vera depicted the lush tropical plants tended by her grandmother next to a framed artwork (also of flora.)
Marilyn played with the animate/inanimate with a coffee cup depicting cats filled with leeks from the fridge. Wayne, winning the Most Prolific of the Evening award, created one painting of a cat with Morandi-like bottles and another of some fruit.
Looking a bit like one of Zeke’s green-tree spirits, Nayarit mid-beauty-regimen in a green clay face masque made an appearance for critique!
Teaching Artist Golnar Adili was back at ART YARD Art Matters at PS 282 on Zoom for the third and final session in this cycle Mapping the Inside and Outside of Your Life.
In this session artists were asked to cut and reconfigure artworks made in previous sessions. This proved equally challenging and rewarding! Golnar’s samples, PowerPoint with step by step images and careful demonstration paved the way to success.
Golnar exclaims: “Wow, Another wonderful class with PS 282! It is understandable that some students were initially hesitant to cut into their precious drawings, but they did. I think many ended up with museum quality abstract art.
Not everyone had both previous pieces to work from, so we solved that by working with construction paper and magazines.
Everyone was engaged, and getting into the zone. I loved the piece in which a set of stairs was cut and pasted and made even more jagged, there were roads that were interrupted by inside of homes, and strokes of color interrupting maps! I had so much fun working with the young artists of PS282!
We equally had a fun time working with Golnar!
For example: Miles who had a great time today was hesitant at first to cut up his artwork but “loved piecing everything together to make sometime new!”
Miles parent adds: “Thanks to all of Art Yard and Golnar for the inspiration the last few weeks. There’s a book called Neighbors that Miles enjoys because it’s similar to these drawings.
Sabrina just loves participating in ART YARD! Her mother tells us that after our class she kept working for another 45 minutes on her piece.
Our last session of the day with our oldest students, once again included an interesting conversation about linguistics, pronunciation and the etymology of words.
Each session finished up by sharing our work and a lively critique. Pre-kindergartener Lucy astounded us all with her deeply insightful comments at critique. She thoughtfully recounted: “Every kid had a flash of color that was mixed up. I liked how they mixed all of the papers up into tiny strips which helped make it easier to see that the drawings were so beautiful. I’ll give you an example: mine is ‘zoo/home/zoo/home.’ But my favorite favorite thing is that every kid had a different drawing.”
...Hold on, it’s the New York Times calling, I think they want to hire Lucy as a free-lance art critic and are calling for a reference!
You can check out this week’s PS282 Video Recap on our YouTube station!
Friday at ART YARD Art Matters at PS 6 in Jersey City teaching artist Richard Estrin presented Unity/Community the third session in the cycle.
Richard explains: “The Idea of this series of classes is to examine a particular community with the recognition that community can be thought of as a group that shares a common attribute, characteristic. This is a way to embed unity within the group. Further development of the concept of unity will take place as the triptych evolves.
In this final week, we explored the idea of a triptych. Looking at examples of Charles Schultz’ Peanuts comics, Faith Ringgold’s Harlem Street Scene quilts and Simon Dinnerstein’s Fullbright triptych, we discussed how different techniques were used to unify the three panels and how the panels taken together expressed so much more than each individual piece alone. We also noted how the format could be used to express the idea of the passage of time.
As part of the direction of today’s drawing was to combine the techniques we had used in the previous weeks, we looked at work of Catherine Kehoe and Jennifer Pochinski to get a better handle on the concept of value/color shape might look like.
For the final panel of the triptych, the idea was to layer linear marks on top of value shapes as a way to push the value range and add visual information, using whatever materials were on hand. In this way, the narrative of the triptych would be reinforced through the incorporation of technique from the previous weeks."
Dennis, who oversees this partnership as the ART YARD Administrator reports in that that students were engaged and really thinking about the lesson explaining: “Richard showed a 3 piece (triptych) Snoopy/Peanuts comic strip along with a mural painted outside a Brooklyn hospital and Faith Ringgold's 3 part quilt of a Harlem building to help students understand how a triptych can express the passing of time.
Tisha (5th grade) drew and painted a library, a view from across the street from the library, and then an interior scene of the house across from the library.
Nabiha (5th grade) drew/painted a school, then a school bus, then students getting off a school bus
Alex's hand print was an expression of his missing high-fiving his friends live and in person
He goes on to share Ben made a erudite comparison: Miassa's art reminds me of Gustav Klimpt's, Tree of Life. (Now that is quite a comparison!)
Sarah Gumgumji ART YARD Create Program Manager is working on the next CREATE Interview with teaching artist Aisha Tandiwe Bell. We anticipate this will be posted next week. In the meantime you are encouraged to read our interviews with Glendalys Medina and Cecile Chong!
Exhibitions of note:
We can’t wait to see work by Valerie Hegarty included in Nature Morte at The Hole in New York from April 8 – May 9, 2021. She will also be creating a new site-specific outdoor sculpture for BravinLee Off-Site: Re:Growth: A Celebration of Art, Riverside Park and the New York Spirit, a public art project produced by the Riverside Park Conservancy & curated by Karin Bravin from June 5- September 10, 2021.
Valerie explains the work: "The "Covid Diairies" series are works based on my journal entries during the past eight months and counting. In the series, mundane daily chores in isolation in my apartment collide with catastrophic world news.
An invasive foliage takes over an abandoned sink with a few kitchen items left behind as the pandemic continues to claim lives. The spoon, tea kettle and mug are placed at three heights to mimic the flowers in Ikebana where the tallest flower represents heaven, the medium flower represents man and the shortest flower represents earth."
Sending best wishes for new beginnings on the Vernal Equinox,
“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.” Pablo Neruda