Visit to Sage and Coombe

On our last field trip we visited Sage and Coombes Architects. We sat at a conference table and were met by Sam Lee, one of the Art Ready Mentors who works for the firm. Sam gave us an inside look at projects he has worked on such as the Noguchi Museum, Rockaway Beach, Parks, Universities, and other public services. It was really exciting to see how much work is put into something we take for granted like public bathrooms, and the effort put into buildings we see everyday. It was impressive to be able to see what Sage and Coombe has achieved through their years of working.

IMG_0085 (1).jpg Sage and Coombe is decorated with wooden architecture models, which allowed us to get a closer look at the detail that goes into building a structure. We were also able to experience a VR simulation of a university made for the clients to give them a better feel of the end product, the simulations were full of computer generated people walking around, speaking with each other and interacting with the building so the experience was realistic and the client can see all of the functions being used. Being able to learn about the work they put into satisfying a client was insightful.


Towards the end Sam Lee explains that none of the work done is done by one person, and that everyone works together to get the end product and how they all make sure the client gets what they want by collaborating with each other. The advice is important to us as a group of young artists because we were able to see a perfect example of what collaboration really means and see the outcome of working together firsthand.

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Second Day at Smack Mellon: Gallery Visits.

By Taiwo.O

The students participating in the ArtReady Program set off to visit the Cindy Rucker Gallery located at 141, Attorney Street NY. The exhibition, I’m Not Allowed to be Mad, featured works by Crystal Z. Campbell, Joiri Minaya, and Malcolm Peacock. All of the artists in the show challenge a pre-existing history and share their individual stories.

 After looking around, students got the opportunity to speak with Malcolm Peacock and ask questions about his artworks. Malcolm spoke about his journey towards becoming an artist, how he sustains himself and his artworks financially, and the implicit themes behind his artworks.  Through his work, which is participatory and experiential for the students, Malcolm covers a lot of ground and brings up issues of race, gender, sexuality, history, and the core of his practice. From Malcolm’s artworks and speech, students were able to derive that art is not what you see, but what you make others see. Without a deep understanding of Malcolm’s artwork, one may only make an assumption about the story behind it. With Malcolm’s detailed analysis, students were able to learn that certain stories are neglected by what we know as history and public memory and the best way to express these stories are through artworks. 


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Our next visit was to Lesley Heller gallery to see Rachelle Dang artworks. The introductory speech by Rachelle reflected her experiences which included her struggles and the advantages of being an artist or choosing the career path. Her sculpture, Uncertain Haven, was made from wood, acrylic spray paint, clay, wire, stained glass, metal, and other materials.

Artwork by Rachelle Dang

 This piece was modeled after an 18th-century French watercolor drawing, which was originally produced to transport living tropical plant species across oceans to Europe and to other colonial territories. This piece made Rachelle feel like she was able to intertwine her ecological, colonial, and personal narratives. Students were able to ask questions and get information about expectations in regard to choosing a career field relating to art. The cabinet resembles a small house with an A-frame structure that alludes to a cage. The leaf forms were placed between the glass panes and the boarded inner chamber of the carrier on one side. Dang made reference to the cabinet structure which was surrounded with an undulating floor of worn and misshapen clay cushions. She further explained that the rigid and cracked surface of the cushions evoke a barren topography while the carrier and its surrounding elements suggest an unsettling landscape of loss and displacement in an Uncertain Haven.

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First Day At Smack Mellon

By Taiwo. O

It is fun meeting people from diverse backgrounds. The first activity was the “New Friend ” scavenger hunt. Everyone introduced themselves to each other and asked each other questions to find out more about one another. Each student had to find someone who could answer yes to each of the identifying questions; for example, do you have a dog? At first, students were reluctant but as communications began to increase, interns became more comfortable and open to discussion.


After engaging in the scavenger hunt game, interns got to meet the Executive Director – Kathleen Gilrain. She gave details about her motive behind the idea to create the Art Ready Program, which is to further high school students’ interest in every form of art. Following Kathleen’s amazing speech, students got to meet two artists – Esperanza Cortés and Gina Goico – who discussed in full detail their artwork, which represents their background, ideas regarding colonialism and how arts could take different forms.



Similar to Esperanza Cortés, Goico’s work includes the use of fabric. Goico’s work connects to the Carribean as Cortés uses fabrics that connect to Columbia. Goico makes pillows that are shaped like hands for users’ comfort. At first, we played the “Guess the theme,” a fun game in which everyone developed an idea on what each of the drawings passed around was trying to portray. Goico went on to talk about her experience with art and made interns pass around the pillows. 

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Towards the end of the day, we all connected our thumbs in a circle, which was difficult, but in the end we all were able to. The connection of thumbs symbolizes unity and friendship.

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Sid Blaize Was Here

Illustrator/Creative Director/Artist/Fashion Designer and all-around Creative Guru, Sid Blaize sat down with the team at The Bklyn Combine to share some wisdom on his creative process. He also listened to some of our challenges in creating a comic book.

Mr. Blaize has had a long career as an illustrator/artist in the world of fashion and has a rich history. He has worked with many brands like the NBA, NFL, and MLB to name a few. He currently has the Sid Blaize Collection of custom apparel with his one-of-a-kind designs and hand-painted masterpieces emblazoned on the backs of these unique jackets (see Bruce Lee motorcycle jacket).

Check out more of Sid Blaize’s work @blaize4real or on his website at

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Heejung Cho’s Studio_April,2019

We had a last session this week. My mentees worked so hard and had a wonderful time!

Thank you all and we keep in touch~

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We are excited to share some of the work we have been creating with oil clay, plaster molds and cotton paper pulp – all in preparation for our hand-made artists books. We are also getting ready for the final AR exhibition in the Smack Mellon galleries in May – hope to see you there!


In the studio with artist mentor Beth Dary

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Mentor Phillip Shung and his team of illmatic illustrators have a new plan for this year’s Art Ready exhibition.

This special ops team consists of Olga, Jayson, Addis, and Peter as well as a few of The Bklyn Combine’s contributing interns. The project is a comic book that will showcase the illustration/artistic skills of each student.

So far, the art is looking quite amazing. We cannot wait to share our finished book with the group.

Stay tuned.

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