2018 Art Ready Mentorship Begins!


2018 Art Ready Mentorship is underway!

Mentors & Mentees are officially working together and learning about the intersection of art as a craft, art as a profession, and art as life! After three months of visiting studios, galleries, and meeting with our dedicated artist-mentors, nineteen students from all over the city are now gathering at the studio of their chosen mentor. We wish our Art Ready team, students and mentors alike, a wonderful semester of growth and discovery!

A very special note of thanks to the wonderful team at Artist & Craftsman LIC for donating studio materials!

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Get to Know Our 2018 Mentors!


PHILLIP SHUNG, Graphic/Web Design, Crown Heights, Brooklyn Phillip Shung graduated from Hampton University with a degree in Art in 1996 and since that time, his mantra has been to communicate intelligently to the masses. His career has spanned many roles in the creative design field ranging from Creative Director for Vibe Magazine to Promotion Art Director at Women’s Wear Daily/WWD. Shung has also done significant design work in fashion for brands like Enyce and Avirex as well as websites for NAS and Destiny’s Child. In 2001, Shung founded Sundree Brand Solutions focusing on all aspects of advertising, editorial, print and website design. He is a director of Brooklyn Combine.http://www.pixod.com/foundation/http://www.folio.pixod.com 


HEEJUNG CHO, Sculpture and Printmaking, Mid-town Manhattan Heejung Cho is a sculptor and printmaking artist born in Seoul, Korea. Currently, she lives in Brooklyn and works at a studio in Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Manhattan. Cho creates the urban landscape in one point perspective with reclaimed wood scraps in sculpture and printmaking. Her works explore how emotive visual memories of once-familiar places inevitably distort into architectural abstraction over time. Her works have exhibited at the Bronx Museum for the Arts, Islip Art museum, Gallery Ho, and the Cluster gallery in NYC and internationally in Korea, China and Sweden. She participated in residencies at Museum of Arts and Design, Newark Museum, AIM program at Bronx Museum of Arts, IAP program at New York Foundation for the Arts, Keyholder program at Lower East Printshop, SIP fellowship at Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop and Triangle Arts Association.


MICHAEL PAUL BRITTO, Photo/Video, DCTV, Chinatown, Manhattan Michael Paul Britto’s work addresses the misconceptions and assumptions surrounding people of color in the United States. It ranges from videos to digital photography, sculpture, and performance. He has had residencies at the New Museum in New York as well as Smack Mellon, The Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Michael has been featured in shows at El Museo del Barrio, The Studio Museum of Harlem, The Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw, The Kitchen, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in England. Britto graduated with a BA from the City College of New York. He has experience working with young adults in his positions as a high school media teacher, and as an instructor at DCTV. www.brittofied.com


BETH DARY, Sculpture/Installation/Drawing, Gowanus, Brooklyn Beth Dary is originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and currently lives and works in New York City. Dary holds a BFA from Syracuse University and an MFA from Memphis College of Art. She has participated in several artist residency programs including Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Most recently, Dary’s work has been curated into exhibits at Prospect.1.5 in New Orleans, the Islip Art Museum and Art in Odd Places in New York. Dary’s work has been commissioned by Battery Park City in Manhattan and she has received grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the The Manhattan Community Arts Fund. Her work is in several private and corporate collections including the Edelman Corporation and the New Orleans Museum of Art. www.bethdary.com


ESPERANZA CORTES, Sculpture, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Esperanza Cortés is a Colombian-born, NYC-raised artist. Exhibitions include the Bronx Museum, Queens Museum, El Museo Del Barrio, and Socrates Sculpture Park in NYC. Cortés has exhibited in Latin America, The Caribbean, Europe, and Asia and has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards including The Joan Mitchell Foundation, Puffin Foundation, and NYFA. Notable international artist residencies include: Joan Mitchell Center, Sculpture Space, MoMA PS1, Fountainhead Residency, Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic, Bielska BWA Gallery, Poland, and Medellín, Colombia. Cortés’s work is in many private and public collections including the American Embassy in Monterey, Mexico. www.esperanzacortes.com


CLAUDIA BITRAN, Video/ Painting/ Performance/ Installation, DUMBO, Brooklyn Claudia Bitran was born in Boston, spent most of her life in Chile, and currently lives inNew York. She has a BFA from the Universidad Catolica de Chile (2009) and an MFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design (2013). In 2014, she was a resident at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. In 2016, she was chosen for the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program in New Mexico. Solo show venues include the Museum of Visual Arts, Santiago, Chile; the Roswell Museum, New Mexico; and ThisFriday or NextFriday, Brooklyn, NY. Group show venues include the Museum of Contemporary Arts Quinta Normal, Santiago, Chile; Matucana 100 Art space, Santiago, Chile; Project 722, Brooklyn, NY; The Parlour Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY; Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY; and Plymouth Gallery at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, NY. Awards include the first honorable mention at the XXII Media Arts Biennale in Chile, the first prize at the UFO McDonald’s Painting Competition, the first prize in the Britney Spears Dance Challenge 2016, a Jerome Foundation for Emerging Filmmakers Grant, and a Hammersley Grant.




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Studio Visit with Phil Shung

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Egg Tempura with Beth Dary!

Take a look at some images from our visit with artist Beth Dary at her studio in DUMBO last week. These photographs have been generously documented by ART READY mentee, Femi Fleming.


Thanks for visiting! We have two more studio visits left before we are matched with a mentor for the rest of the year!

Stay tuned.

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ART READY Studio Visits 2017-18



Hello, my name is Damiaya and I am one of the new Art Ready mentees at Smack Mellon!

Today I’ll be showing you pictures taken in Heejung Cho’s studio during our visit on November 8th. Heejung showed us all of her artwork and talked about her process making city landscape sculptures out of wood. She also had us make our own sculptures out of paper and tape! This was our second studio visit for the 2017-2018 Art Ready program. We have four more to go! After we visit all the Artist Mentors’ Studios we will choose who we hope to be mentored by for the year.

Stay tuned!


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Come on down ! See what our young artist have accomplished

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Update with Paul Britto and his Mentees

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