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This is what we need right now

Updated: Jul 3, 2020

"This is what we need right now, to look at art that allows us to be with our thoughts." ~ Diana Rickard, In Reflection at Kentler International Drawing Space (June 15, 2020)


This week in ART YARD Advanced Studio Teaching Artist Richard Estrin presented Context is Everything—or telling a more complete story. As inspiration looked at work which aims to tell a more complete story by Titus Kaphar, Ramiro Gomez, Celeste Dupuy-Spencer.

Titus Kaphar, Painting printed on cover of Time magazine, June 15, 2020
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, Durham, August 14, 2017, (After Charlottesville)

Richard shared with the group a selection of images from the media to serve as possible springboard for our pieces. Participating artists then created an artwork that elaborates on an existing artwork, advertisement, or commonly held idea that tells an incomplete or story to be re-told.

Richard Estrin, Advanced Studio A New Story, June 15, 2020
Zeke Browkaw, Advanced Studio A New Story, June 15, 2020
Ajani Russell, Advanced Studio A New Story, June 15, 2020
Assata Benoit, Advanced Studio A New Story, June 15, 2020
Ed Rath, Advanced Studio A New Story, June 15, 2020
Kevin Anderson, Advanced Studio A New Story, June 15, 2020
Akash Wilmont, Advanced Studio A New Story, June 15, 2020
Abriel Gardener, Advanced Studio A New Story, June 15, 2020

Sage shares his beautiful piece during critique:

Sage White, Advanced Studio A New Story, June 15, 2020

More work from the class is posted on our Gallery page!


Fatima Traore posted our CREATE thread - The Sky.

Fatima Traore, Sky photos

A dramatic Red Hook Sky from Valentino Pier:

Meridith McNeal, View from Valentine Pier, Red Hook, Brooklyn

Dennis added: "I’m an early riser (when you have dogs, you have little choice) and the benefit is seeing the sky over Central Park. This was taken on a November morning (2019) while waking dogs before leaving for Art Yard classes at PS6 in Jersey City."

Dennis Buonagura

Sarah Gumgumji says: "I love a mix of colors when I look up in the sky."

Which prompted me to reply: "Sarah, what a lovely lavender-blue sky. When I was a kid I loved a book called Beyond the Paw Paw Trees written and illustrated by Palmer Brown. "It all began on a lavender blue day—the kind of day when anything can happen."

Marie added: "Prospect Park, last fall, when I could wander."

Marie Roberts, Prospect Park, 2020, paint on paper

Fatima will select two participating artists whose work ART YARD will submit to The Grey Cube Gallery on line Art Competition: Skies for the month of June 2020. The contest is open to all artists worldwide over 18 years of age. The primary focus of this contest must be any depiction of the skies (clouds, rainbows, storms, stars, planets, moon, the night sky, the day sky, dusk and dawn). All visual art mediums (except video and sound) are allowed.


Before the school closings, we hosted classes for every 5th grade student at PS 6, our partnership school in Jersey City. Several of them were slated to be our docents. Now those terrific students are "moving on" to middle school. Generally, we attend their ceremony in the school's auditorium but, this year, their ceremony was virtual. We sent our congrats via social media and received a lovely compliment from the school's Assistant Principal, Lauren Bernero Faccone.

5th graders performed their school's anthem, also virtually, which can be seen on Facebook.


Dennis participated in a webinar sponsored by Con Edison: Fundraising Under COVID19 - The New Reality. There were 91 participants from all types of not-for-profit organizations - many of which (like ART YARD BKLYN) were attempting to learn new ways to move forward with fundraising ideas, while continuing with programming, during such unpredictable times. The leader created breakout groups of 4-6 organizations and it gave Dennis the opportunity to discuss thoughts, concerns, and brainstorm for future planning. NOTE: we are open to YOUR ideas! Next week's webinar is The CARES Act and More.


Student, artist, curator, and overall terrific person, Kevin Anderson has become a bright light during these puzzling times. We first met Kevin at a gallery event at St. Joseph's College (where he's a sophomore) and knew he'd be a perfect addition to our ART YARD BKLYN family. NOW he's going to be a teaching artist for our final Advance Studio class of the semester. To help Kevin prepare, get his ideas together, and learn to create a lesson plan and manage his time - Dennis and Meridith met with him via Zoom and discussed tons of ideas and gave Kevin their experienced advice. They'll meet with him again before the day of the lesson but without a doubt, Kevin's on the right path and has a vision of his lesson already.

Kevin views work by Claudia Alvarez during Transformers lecture at St. Joseph's College Alumni Room Gallery

We are thrilled to report In Reflection curated by ART YARD Advanced Studio Senior Curators has received an excellent review!!


I hope you will have a chance this week to look at art that allows you to be with your thoughts.

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