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Time flies when you're having fun!

Teaching Artist Jordan Hendrickson presented for ART YARD Advanced Studio on zoom a fantastic session titled Visual Storytelling & Storyboarding in which we learned the visual language of film and create storyboards for a scene. Jordan began his beautifully organized PowerPoint presentation with an introduction to his studio practice. We were rapt as he brought us from his gorgeous observed painted portraits (which called to mine Evelyn’s work!) to his work in animation.

Jordan recaps: “This past Mondays lesson was on visual storytelling and specifically, the art of storyboarding. I was surprised to see how many ART YARD Advanced Studio Artists were interested in learning about me, my work, and the ins and outs of animation, as well as the composition of shots in film. I was even more surprised at how quickly they took to the lesson prompt. The prompt was to create a unique storyboard using a one sentence scene starting a character I designed called Mega. (For example, the character got stuck in an elevator, or they went to dinner only to find out the waiter messed up their order.)

Jordan Hendrickson, Mega

It's quite difficult to draw a character using just a model but they nailed it and even made the character unique to their own. I was also really impressed with everyone's drawing ability and creativity; a few students such as Kevin and Zeke had really intricately posed and thought out shots, and others like Vera and Sarah both had creative ways of importing their unique art style into their storyboards -- Vera used drawings as well as digital collage while Sarah actually printed out the image and pasted him in to a collage of her own.”

Zeke Brokaw, Mega asks out his high school crush

Vera Tineo, Mega shows up late to the theater

Sarah Gumgumji, Mega realizes his Uber is taking him the wrong way

Kevin describes his work and compliments the session: “The prompt I received was Mega being trapped in an elevator. Therefore, I imagined what it feel like to be in this situation, and mapped out my reactions. The first panel shows Mega pushing a button [to see if the elevator is working], followed by trying to pry the doors open with his hands. Then we shift to panel 3, in which mega is banging on the doors to see if anyone can hear him. Lastly, in the fourth panel, I wanted to show Mega's reaction to him realizing that he is in fact stuck. Overall, this was a really fun lesson. I got to challenge myself by experimenting with different perspectives to convey what was happening and tying it all together within an emotional reaction to really sell how worried Mega is.”

Kevin Anderson, Mega gets stuck in an elevator

Maraya writes:My prompt was, Mega is on hold with customer service. My story board shows Mega first dialing the phone while sitting on top of the world. He slowly morphed into a phone while being on hold with customer service for 24 hours. In the end, he is shown in “deconstructed cowboy” mode or a broke down hero.

I loved the lesson and the time constraint allowed me to challenge myself under the pressure and think on my feet. It’s very interesting to understand the various components and labor that goes into making a movie.”

Maraya Lopez, Mega is stuck on hold with customer service

Marilyn adds: “Jordan’s class was exciting, enlightening and fun! Jordan’s portraits, animations, and films are spectacular. I loved how we were taken through the types of animation for visual storytelling, the “pop quiz”, and then moved on to composition and the types of shots in film. The storyboarding project was a great idea with everyone having a different prompt to illustrate. The results were often hilarious and always creative. Another super day at ART YARD BKLYN!”

Marilyn August, Mega sends his food back because it's not what he ordered

Jane Huntington, Mega is 10 cents short for the bus

Assata Benoit, Mega is scared to go to the dentist

Nayarit Tineo, Mega suspects someone is following him

Meridith McNeal, Mega walks into a barber shop

Ed compliments: This was a great lesson introducing ART YARD to several distinct styles of animation. Jordan really knows his stuff!

We produced storyboards for a character named "Mega." Jordan gave each participant a different vignette to draw. The resulting drawings were hilarious; each episode was emotionally real but somewhat trivial.”

Ed Rath, Mega discovers buried treasure

Jordan Hendrickson, Mega in the car


Teaching Artist Damian Quiñones who played music for our recent Live Jazz Advanced Studio session, returned to ART YARD Advanced Studio at BWAC to present a two part series on basic stop motion and cell animation using smart phone devices.

Damian: “During our first meeting we had a drawing/painting/finding session. In the spirit of healing, my prompt was “What are some tools we need to fix things that are broken?” These can be emotional tools, physical tools, actions, etc. My example was “It be something simple like putting a bandage on a cut, giving someone a hug, etc..”

Damian shares a clip of his performance with video projection

After my introduction the participants really hit the ground running with a wide array of impressive and diverse ideas. A truly great start to a 2 part session that will no doubt culminate in some really interesting and surprising pieces. Once again, the community of artists were incredibly supportive of one another.

Evelyn add: “This week's Advanced Studio lesson was a refreshing leap into the unknown, as I've never tried my hand at animation. It was great to get a glimpse into Damian's process and jump right into the drawing stage. I found myself drawing economically and allowing marks to stand rather than fussing with them, letting my hand lead the way.

Jacob Levenson, Fixing Things

Damian Quiñones, Fixing Things

Evelyn Beliveau, Fixing Things

Delphine Levenson, Fixing Things

Ed Rath, Fixing Things

Meridith McNeal, Fixing Things

Alison Guinet, Fixing Things

At critique, the variation among the works-in-progress was striking, from Jacob's deep velvety charcoal to Alison's bold colors to Ed's variations on a structure that already seem to flutter within their borders. I also found it touching (pun intended) that several of us responded to the prompt with depictions of hands. I appreciated the thoughtful comments from everyone present and can't wait to see how everyone's work translates into animation.”

This time of year the light in our studio at BWAC is just beautiful. The atmosphere of focused artmaking, camaraderie and, certainly in my case, the restorative action of surrounding oneself with smart, talented and kind people seemed to be tangible in the room

Evening light streams over our installation at BWAC. Paintings by Sigrid Dolan, Robin Grand and Nayarit Tineo


This week at ART YARD Art Matters at BNS, some students continued work on their stained-glass-inspired collages, while others began a new project.

Teaching Artist Evelyn Beliveau recounts: “Students are working diligently to translate their sketches into fully realized collages, some incorporating custom colored paper that they created with watercolors last week. Carson finished her image of a family group--she did an excellent job evoking stained glass, especially in the sky, which she constructed from many pieces of blue paper with gaps in between like the lead between pieces of glass. Nathaly, Olivia, Mark, and Akil's table was lively with discussion as they continued the detail-work on their collages.

Students at work at ART YARD Art Matters at BNS

Stained Glass Inspired Collage

(Detail) Stained Glass Inspired Collage

Stained Glass Inspired Collage

Students who are finished with their collages began our next lesson: Fantastical Treehouses! I provided a step-by-step scaffold for students to design imaginative drawings of treehouses: first, draw the structure (anything from a platform to a castle), and then draw the tree around it in such a way that the branches support the structure. The students took it from there, adding swimming pools, libraries, flags, and high-tech rooms to their elaborate treehouses. Charlie particularly enjoyed adding lots of details, each with a story behind it, and Emma piped in, "Time flies when you're having fun!" as we neared the end of the class.

Tree house drawings

As we examined works from both projects during critique, the most common compliment was for lots of color!

Students study each others work in critique


Managing Director Dennis Buonagura reports from Jersey City: Teaching Artist Evelyn Beliveau's spectacular presentation of the works of Swedish artist Hilma af Klint was extremely well received with 2nd and 3rd graders at PS 6, our partnership school in Jersey City. Students participated in a great discussion and offered thoughtful insight and their interpretations of her work. Sometimes we think that our discussions might be a bit too advanced for lower grade students - and then we arrive in the classrooms of PS 6 and are amazed at the maturity and sophistication of so many young people.

Looking at various geometric shapes and life-like shapes, students learned that the artist explored themes of life, death, nature, and the universe using them. Evelyn helped them to understand the meaning of 'abstraction' and how they might depict a cycle of their lives or other cycles using shapes, lines, and colors.

Some ideas for themes/cycles included the solar system, life cycles of animals, changes in seasons, healing and restoring, amongst many others.

Madison brought her drawing up to the front of the class and explained the shapes and why she chose “non-edgy” (her words!) shapes to depict happiness.

Madison's Abstract Drawing

David’s work was an abstraction of beach shapes and colors including red for a sunburn.

David's Abstract Drawing

As always, the first day of a new lesson is the drafting stage - setting the basis for a completed piece. Using pencil and paper, students began to create abstract works in the style of Hilma af Klint. The best is yet to come!”

Hilma af Klint “Group IV, The Ten Largest, No. 3, Youth,” 1907


Other news and recommendations:

Last week in our Advanced Studio on Zoom Teaching Artist Golnar Adili presented the work of Christoph Niemann, and raved about the episode on his work in the Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design. Nayarit piped up that she too loves the show, and Dennis sent a text this week to say he gave it a try and he is so enthusiastic that he’s already watched five episodes! We recommend you check it out!


CONGRATULATIONS to ART YARD Artist Abrielle Johnson on earning her Master of Business and Administration from Long Island University with multiple honors!! Abby received the Deans Award, got inducted into the Business Honors, National Scholars of Leadership & Success, and the Honor Society.

Then & Now: Abby in 2007 working on our Doll House sculpture inspired by my exhibition Keeping Room, and Abby at graduation 2022!


We are sure having FUN, hope you are too!


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