Mentorship update from Amanda’s Studio!

Briana, Frida, Noah, and Sabrina have been busy exploring a variety of analogue and digital techniques and applying them to risograph printing! We’ve worked on several small exercises and three bigger projects thus far. These projects have allowed us to hone in on our drawing and digital illustration skills as well as getting familiar with using the Adobe suite.

We then moved into the MET archive project, where we picked one object from the MET open source archive and combined it with 2 different techniques to create a composition.

Briana’s MET archive 4 color print using Blue, Bright Red, Yellow, Sunflower
Sabrina’s MET Archive print using Fluorescent Orange and Bisque on Light Green paper
Noah’s MET Archive print using Metallic Gold and Cornflower on Black Paper
Frida’s Met Archive print using Fluorescent Orange, Fluorescent pink, Flat gold, and Yellow on Natural paper

For our final project we are exploring the theme of Nostalgia. For this project we will be using 3-4 risograph colors in the final print! We look forward to show everyone what we have been working on so far. 🙂

We can’t believe how fast this mentorship has flown by and we can’t wait to see everyone’s work during the final exhibition!

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Mentorship update from Florencia’s studio

We started by figuring out a pattern using cardboard and weaving strips of paper. Then we covered the whole shape in a LOT of tape and then drew on top of this to figure out how many pieces we needed to cut. Then we laid these pieces on top of muslin and cut two of each set out for one pair of shoes.

Then we learned how to use the sewing machine and sewed the front and back together leaving a little hole for the stuffing. Then we took scraps of old fabric and stuffed the parts. Once we had the parts we now hand sewed them together!

Here is a video with a step by step process as well:)

@flo_escu_me Make your own mschf boots! #mschf#bigredboot#diy#moneycantbuy#doityourself#100% #craft#localsoursed♬ Au Revoir – Sweet After Tears
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Mentorship update from Phill’s Studio

Our group decided to create a magazine, a short film, and a podcast. We have a diverse group so we chose to focus on our cultural differences and the art of storytelling. With that said, we had the pleasure of collaborating and connecting with a few guests who shared their career journeys.

One of our guests was Derek Smith, a creative director/designer and longtime collaborator with Phill Shung on many projects, namely a men’s fashion brand called Alador & Smith, his years working with NetJets, and funfact: Mr. Smith designed the Avion logo. Special thanks to D Smith for sharing with the team.

We also had an awesome visit with educator/photographer Brian Birkeland. He is a Combine family member and all-around brilliant thinker and creative. We had a great time sharing details of our project with Brian and appreciated his perspective on street portraiture vs. studio photography.


Notes from our creative team on the magazine project/Podcast/Short film:

Rui: For this project, I’ve been working with others to create a video, podcast, and a print magazine in which we talk about a past story either from our own voice or a relative’s. I’ve decided on drawing up pictures for my part of the story in the video, and will be editing the video using Premier Pro, Final Cut X, and After Effects. The experience of working and critiquing each other feels nicer than my usual projects in school where I’m solo working.

Bren: For this project, I worked on watercolor paintings to represent my story for this magazine. My peers did stories about their cultures with their families. However, I shared an experience I had from a few years ago.

Veronica: In my experience working with Bklyn Combine, I learned to creatively work together with my team members toward our main objective. I also learned new video and audio editing skills and working as a creative director.

Monica: I learned to collaborate, open up, and share my creative process.

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Mentorship update from Madjeen’s Studio!

Here in Dumbo, Bijou, Gabryela and Roxena all choose to freely explore mediums of their choice from acrylic paint, oil pastels, and charcoal. To garner up inspiration for their projects, during the first few weeks, they were encouraged to take photos of their neighborhoods, work on sketches or bring in items which they would reference within their works. 

They’ve been working on self portraits as a way to explore their individuality, interests or cultural upbringing. They each started out with under paintings, a technique to lay down a main ground color that appears throughout their paintings. They then proceeded to sketch with acrylic paint and worked their way up to layering color. This would get them comfortable working with varying paint consistencies, paint application and the surface in which they are painting on.

Gabryela and Bijou working on self portraits

Gabryela, who is interested in manga, chooses to depict herself in this style. She paints herself from the chest up and in a green dress as her gaze looks towards the viewer. The flowers around her relate to her cultural identity such as the Puerto Rican national flower called Flor de Maga, a type of hibiscus and flowers native to Honduras.

Bijou’s portrait depicts herself with a soft gaze looking away from the viewer, almost as if she is engulfed in a jungle inspired by her recent trip to Guatemala merged with her Thai heritage revealed through floral symbolism.

Roxena begins her portrait with a blue wash and is interested in introducing her Filipino heritage.

Be sure to come and see the finished paintings at Smack Mellon on May 24th!

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mentorship update from Janet Zweig’s studio

Janet has been working with Anniya Francis, Enayzah Rowell, and Dunya Vasquez. We have been looking at examples of public art and discussing ways the students can make a project in the public realm.

We took two trips: to the Department of Cultural Affairs to meet the director of New York’s Percent for Art, Kendal Henry, and to Colossal Media to see their amazing hand-painting sign company. We also had a wheat-pasting workshop.

For the students’ project, we have been working with Clara Schumacher and her team at the Dumbo Improvement District who have been kind enough to lend us one of their large three-sided signs and to print three banners for the students. Working in the computer, the students used photographs and added drawings to them for the banners.

From top: Janet, Enayzah, and Dunya at Colossal Media; Anniya, Dunya, Enayzah, and Janet in Dumbo; Clara Schumacher with one of the signs the students can use…

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January 4, 2023: Day 8

Group photo with mentor, Phil Shung

After a restful break, the students resumed their studio visits with not just one, but two mentor talks! On Wednesday, the students viewed a presentation from mentor Janet Zweig and also visited mentor Phil Shung’s studio in Crown Heights.

Students watching Janet Zweig’s presentation

Janet Zweig mainly works in public art, so she compiled a presentation for the students of past commissioned projects. Her projects included an interactive sculpture installation in Boston’s Commons Park and a make-believe airport gate in Austin, Texas that led to imaginary places such as Narnia. As she showed the students the wide range of projects she’s worked on, the students were filled with questions. “How long does it take you to complete a project?” “What would we be doing if we mentored with you?” These questions led Janet to delve deep into her process as a public artist. She also shared various spaces around DUMBO that have given Art Ready permission to install student artwork as public art projects. Her presentation and open-ended, free spirited approach definitely left many students intrigued.

After Janet’s presentation, the students headed to Phil Shung’s studio. Phil Shung is a graphic designer and a repeat Art Ready mentor. He immediately had the class talking and interacting as we entered his space, BKLYN Combine. Phil tasked the students with drawing exercise—to create a personal logo, and the first to finish won a travel-size ping-pong table! He showed students past work from Art Ready cohorts he has mentored, including printed books designed by students and a hand-built time capsule filled with artwork and 3D-printed logos. When it was time to leave, he gave everyone a souvenir of last year’s Art Ready student work from the time-capsule.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to stick around fro more updates!

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December 21, 2022: Day 7

This week’s Art Ready field trip was a visit to the Dieu Donne Paper Mill in the Brooklyn Navy Yard!

At Dieu Donne, emerging artists and hand-made paper enthusiasts have the chance to collaborate and make artwork out of paper pulp! Art Ready’s wonderful Program Manager, Willa, and Dieu Donne’s Education Director co-led a very informative tour of the studio and explained all the different ways paper pulp can be used to create pieces of art. They explained that layers of paper pulp can be stacked on top of one another, using stencils, to create patterns or images on the original sheet of paper. They also explained how paper pulp can be used as paint or even as a medium for sculpture. The students were also able to see the equipment used for every step of the paper-making process, including a hydraulic press originally made in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

This field trip definitely opened up some new career paths as well as medium choices for the students to explore as they continue their journeys as artists. Thanks to the Dieu Donne team for opening up their studio for this amazing tour!

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December 14, 2022: Day 6

On Wednesday, the students spent the chilly day inside Smack Mellon, and watched a presentation from a visiting artist, Esteban del Valle, about portfolio building and his own work!

Students looking at their peer, Alejandra Fernandez’s paintings

Esteban del Valle is a Brooklyn, NY-based interdisciplinary artist originally from Chicago, IL. He works primarily in mural/large-scale painting but has experience with film and sculpture as well. He has past experience being a panelist for several different institutions, including Smack Mellon, and has also conducted portfolio reviews for high schoolers. All of his experience made him the perfect candidate to give a presentation on how to submit portfolios to colleges, residencies, jobs, etc…

Mixed media sculpture and installation from Esteban Del Valle’s solo show at Mazmanian Gallery

The students were able to learn some insider info on how portfolios are reviewed and what panelists specifically look for in preparation for the curation of their own portfolios. It is an understatement to say they learned a lot from Esteban! Thanks to Esteban for the informative and wonderful presentation.

Thank you for reading, and be sure to stick around for more updates!

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December 7, 2022: Day 5

This past Wednesday was another museum field trip day! The students visited The Whitney Museum in Chelsea and explored the exhibit, No Existe Un Mundo Poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria.

Gamaliel Rodríguez, Collapsed Soul, 2020–21

The exhibit featured multiple Puerto Rican artists who reflected on the after-effects of Hurricane Maria through creative processes. The exhibit coincides with the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Maria, but the art portrays how Puerto Ricans are still bearing the effects of the storm, as well as the slew of political, emotional, and social fallout, today.

Throughout the exhibit, the students focused on four pieces in particular: Graft, Untitled (Valora tu mentira americana), Ojalá nos encontremos en el mar (Hopefully, We’ll Meet at Sea), and Garvin Sierra Vega’s collection of protest posters (pictured below).

Graft, by Edra Soto, is an interactive wall sculpture featuring small mirrors that magnify a photo of various Puerto Rican sites that were ravaged by Hurricane Maria. Untitled (Valora tu mentira americana), by Gabriella Torres-Ferrer, features a damaged light post with a propaganda poster. Ojalá nos encontremos en el mar (Hopefully, We’ll Meet at Sea), by Gabriella N. Baez, is an installation of 6 framed photos that are embroidered and connected with red thread. Lastly, Garvin Sierra Vega featured a collection of propaganda posters he produced in response to varying social issues and as an echo of El Verano 19. The series of works presented together allowed the students to learn more about the activism and social effects of the hurricane and political uprising in Puerto Rico as well as the physical and ecological effects it had on the land.

Thank you for reading, and be sure to stick around for more updates!

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November 30, 2022: Day 4

Last Wednesday the Art Ready students had their studio visit to Sage and Coombe Architects to talk with designers Max and Annabel! The studio visit was a special one, as many of the students weren’t familiar with architecture, but it was exciting to learn about architectural design, and that one does not necessarily have to be good at math to be an architect.

Max and Annabel talking to the students

Max and Annabel went over some of the cool projects Sage and Coombe has worked on in the past, such as the Noguchi Museum and the Rockaway Beach Open-up, and offered a sneak peek into the fun projects in store for students who choose to mentor with Sage and Coombe. For the students who mentor with Max and Annabel, the culminating project will be to create a concept for a public space that has an emphasis on comfort. Students will work on smaller projects along the way to help prepare them for the final project.

Max and Annabel helped to make architecture seem less intimidating and definitely drew the interest of some of the students! We cannot wait to see what kinds of projects students come up with during their mentorship with Sage & Coombe.

Thank you for reading, and be sure to stick around for more updates!

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