Art Education Program Newsletter: Spring/Summer 2012

Artwork created by the student members of The Boys Club of New York Abbe Clubhouse was exhibited in a group show at the Flushing Town Hall in Queens during the last two months of June. The Art Studio after-school program at the Abbe Clubhouse is supported by the Joan Mitchell Foundation and led by Artist-Teacher Meghan Turbitt and Steve Rivera, who worked to organize the exhibition for their students. The artworks on display were primarily 2-dimensional, utilizing a common color palette and set of art materials. Due to these commonalities there was a feeling of similarity amongst the works while each individual piece still held a strong sense of the artist's voice and personality.

There was an overall feeling of collaboration in the gallery, where it was apparent that students of all different ages worked together as well as independently side by side to create art projects inspired by common interests, friendships, admiration, fun, pop culture, and games. It evident that the students at Abbe Clubhouse cherish a strong relationship with their Artist-Teachers, and vice versa.

This spring the Joan Mitchell Foundation partnered with Elders Share the Arts (an organization that advocates for equal arts access on behalf of older adults and the artists who challenge traditional notions about how people experience aging ESTA) Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House (JRS) to pilot a Friday morning art class with senior citizens from the Queenbridge community in Long Island City, Queens. During a recent class seniors were working on a mixed media collage project that incorporated color printouts and photocopies of their Queensbridge neighborhood. ESTA Teaching-Artist Susan Fleminger, along with JMF Artist-Teachers Antonia Perez and Abraham Salazar, seek to bring each art class closer to the seniors' life experiences. Fleminger asked participants to bring in family photos that will be photocopied and used for a mixed-media painting project. Class participants are also encouraged to bring in creative projects that they are working on at home. During class time the group took a pause to share and appreciate the intricate and brightly colored crochet cape that Doris Inoa was making for her friend.

Many seniors in this class had recently participated in an art program at the Noguchi Museum, an LIC museum and sculpture garden housed in the former studio of the late sculptor, Isamu Noguchi. John D. Smith, Sr. and his wife Francis were among the participants. Mr. Smith commented that while he had lived in the area for 60 years, he had never known that for many of those years Noguchi was creating such impressive sculptures so close by. Francisca Martinez also participated and proudly showed off pictures on her phone of the artwork she made in the program. Maude Askin had recent art-making experience in the intergenerational art programs at Jacob Riis Settlement where she worked side by side with the younger members of the community. Like Ms. Askin, a handful of the workshop's participants had previous art making experience prior to this class, but for many others, like participant Annie Norman, this was their first introduction to visual art. Ms. Norman decided to try the class hoping it would be a good way to become more connected to her peer group and community, and thus far she is enjoying herself. Later this summer the group will take a trip to the Museum of Modern Art with their Artist-Teachers to view many of the pieces that they have discussed in class firsthand.


Saturday Studios Exhibition At CUE Art Foundation
In late May The Joan Mitchell Foundation's Saturday Studios Art Education Program and CUE Art Foundation ARTworks Program presented Perspective, an exhibition of artworks by New York City youth that explored the theme of perspective and its many interpretations. The closing reception on June 2nd was an exciting event where Saturday Studio students, their friends and families, as well as, JMF & CUE staff came together to honor all of the incredible art projects on display in a gallery setting.

jumpstART Exhibition
jumpstART, located at CUE Art Foundation in Chelsea and in partnershipwith the Joan Mitchell Foundation, is a program offered to high school students throughout New York City who demonstrate a strong interest in the arts. Throughout the program, students create work around a selected theme while simultaneously learning the skills needed to curate their own group exhibition. Students learned how to conceive of, create, and mount a group exhibition from start to finish, SUPERHEROES was the successful result of their efforts.

St. Nicks All Sites Show
In April, Arts @ Renaissance, a community arts space in North Brooklyn, hosted a youth art exhibition in partnership with St. Nicks Alliance and The Joan Mitchell Foundation. Eight after-school sites and three Saturday Studio classes exhibited the artwork of hundreds of talented young artists. The opening reception brought a high number of proud students and parents to celebrate their hard work and creative exploration.

Multicultural Art Fair at Jacob Riis
In early March, our community partner, Jacob Riis Settlement, with help from the Joan Mitchell Foundation hosted a multicultural arts fair. After-school and Saturday studio students from Jacob Riis - Our Kids, PS 166 and IS 126, exhibited their artwork from the fall and winter terms.

Middle school students from the Saturday Studio program at Goddard Riverside Community Center entered a contest to design and construct a window display for Utrecht Art Supplies in Chelsea and they were chosen as one of the finalists! Students began with preliminary sketches following the Utrecht guidelines. The class worked collaboratively in the studio as well as on site to create a three-dimensional New York Cityscape filled with robots made of recycled art materials. In the narrative for the display, robots are programmed for destruction and are taking over the city! It's up to the wooden mannequins to save the city from demise.

Artist-Teachers Rick Diaz and Jenn Brehm's unique class is dedicated to the study of art and design. Middle School students in this class have the opportunity to build skills that are imperative in product, fashion, graphic, and set design. Diaz has been structuring his class this way for 2 years with a lot of success and positive response from students and parents. He began planning his curricula around design because he felt it's what his students were asking for, they wanted to learn valuable skills applicable to the job market, as well as, future degrees in design. Student Natasha Neil recalled when she won the fashion design challenge in class and when asked if she would one day pursue fashion design, she wasn't sure but she was interested in one day finding a job in the design world.

This year the mayor announced his decision to cut 50% of city sponsored after-school programs. This proposed budget cut may have effected many of the after-school sites with which the Joan Mitchell Foundation partners. But grassroots protests and staunch advocacy for after-school programs made a difference. On June 26th the new city budget restored funding for childcare and after-school programs.

Many JMF Artist-Teachers chose to take action against the mayor's budget cuts in their classrooms through artistic political projects. At PS 34 Artist-Teacher Anne Polshenski and her students made signs for a community protest march on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Similarly, Artist-Teachers, Molly Hernan and Carlos Mateau organized a March for the students and staff at School Settlement in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. At PS 132 Artist-Teacher Denise Schatz designed a poster that states, "WE LOVE AFTER-SCHOOL." On the other side there is a letter written by Artist-Teacher Antonia Perez to council members encouraging them to change their decision in regard to after-school funding for the upcoming school year. Students at PS 132 signed the posters and sent them to their council member. At PS 166 Artist-Teacher Sher Wouters designed a lesson where her Kindergarten through 2nd grade students made art about their appreciation of after-school and Wouters color copied each artwork to send to the mayor's office as well as the city budget office with an accompanying letter.

We want to thank all the JMF Artist-Teachers and community members who fought for the youth of NYC! Also, copies of the poster created by students at PS 132 are available. If you would like to receive a copy, please email the Art Education Program Director, Travis Laughlin, at
[email protected].

Artist-Teacher Lauren Luloff led an Indian Block Printing Workshop this spring through the Peer-Led workshop program in the Art in Education Program at JMF. Luloff conducted a slide presentation documenting her recent trip to India where she learned more about the process of Indian block printing through working alongside a community of textile block printers in a small village called Ajrakpur in the state of Gujarat in Northwestern India near Pakistan. This year marked Luloff's second trip to Ajrakpur, the first time she visited for only a few days. On the second trip Luloff stayed with her teacher, Irfan Khatri's family for 11 days.

Luloff was introduced to Irfan through Judy Frater, founder of the Kala Raksha Trust, an art and design school for Indian crafts people. Luloff first found her online, while researching places where she could study traditional textile work with local artisans. In her own work, Luloff re-interprets the block printed pieces she made in India by bleaching the patterns into colored bed sheets, which she then uses as collage material in her paintings.

During the workshop at the Joan Mitchell Foundation Luloff discussed the process of block printing in depth and brought many example textiles for other Artist-Teachers to look at. At the end of the workshop Luloff and workshop participants brainstormed lesson ideas and ways in which to incorporate block printing on fabric in the classroom.

This year 5 JMF students were chosen to participate in the Oxbow Summer Art Camp. The following students will spend 2 weeks in Napa, California immersed in art-making and community building.

Kayla Lopez, 10th grade, Saturday Studios at Goddard Riverside
Niko Lowery, 10th grade, jumpstART Program
Malikah Mahone, 11th grade, jumpstART Program
Ingrid Milner, 10th grade, Saturday Studios at Goddard Riverside
Anis Pimentel, 11th grade, jumpstART Program



Jun 26 / 11:30am
St. Nicks Summer Training

Jun 27 / 5:30pm
Summer ATC


Jul 9 / 9am
Summer Art Camp Begins

Jul 9 / 9am
Middle School Portfolio Intensive Begins

Jul 10 / 9am
High School Portfolio Intensive Begins

Jul 21 / 9am
Students Depart for Oxbow

Jul 30 /
Middle School Portfolio Intensive Exhibition

Jul 31 /
High School Portfolio Intensive Exhibition


Aug 6 /
Students Return from Oxbow

Aug 17 / 5pm
Last Day of Summer Art Camp

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News from the Foundation