Today I was so excited to pull out my son's old wagon, of which he only rode in a total of once or twice, to cart all of our art supplies from FoHi to LIC and then back to FoHi!! I thought it was a brilliant solution to a transient obstacle. Lol. Little did I know it was too large to carry on the bus. Lol. So you will now see it with our Forest Hills neighborhood. Our newest member of the team, the little red art wagon! 🤗
Today was such an awesome class!!! We had 3 new students to join us. The spirit of community was was so present today! The students collaborated on painting within their positive spaces and outlining their bodies with contour lines! To top the class off, one of the brother's who was new today replied, totally unprompted, "I have a new appreciation for heart!" My heart almost stopped. Wow! This! This! Is what the studio is all about out! Today was a long day of commuting, but hearing children respond to our art experiences like this, makes me know for sure that our work is important. We are so happy to have an opportunity to share this work and art withi our community.
Today was another fun day filled with problem solving and asking questions about positive and negative spaces! The coolest thing about today's class was how the older kids asked about our youngest artist. She was absent. I'm seeing how the students are starting to work and collaborate as a community of artists! So cool and really beautiful! That's what being at the Art Table Studio is all about. Sharing creative experiences!
Today we took class to the top! Of our tables, that is. lol Today we focused contour lines and positive and negative space. You should have seen the students' faces when they were told they could lie down on top of the tables! lol. So much fun!
This was our first week teaching 3 new classes in our new 2nd location: Forest Hills, within the Forest Hills Jewish Center! We are so excited and grateful to work within such an awesome community of caring parents! As a parent within Forest Hills, it was a double honor to serve and contribution within my neighborhood.
Here's a recap! We hired an awesome Teaching Artist Intern, Megan O'Boyle who worked with our 2-4yr old group last Monday. She was ahhhmazing! :) She's a natural. Her creativity and patience mixed made for a very personalized and intimate session with one of our youngest artists. Our first lesson was My Matisse Postcard: From Me to You!
Our 2nd class was equally as amazing! We didn't waste anytime, so we hit the ground running with a community arts collaborative art project in the likeness of Keith Haring.
Thank you for being apart of our FIRST FOREST HILLS debut week! :) <3 We will remember this day always! :) Can't wait till the next class!
Todays Art Reads: "A Color of His Own" by Leo Lionni + "Mix It Up" by Hervé Tullet
Creative Focus: Primary + Secondary Colors
Tip of the Day: Plastic sandwich bags and paint are a great combo for color mixing!!!
SPECIAL THANKS: To the parents of : James, Jeremy, Cara + Ciela for starting their Saturday w/The Art Table Studio at ! You could have chosen to spend your morning several other ways, but you choose to share it with us in the beautiful light and creative space of Artist & Craftsman Supply in Long Island City Thanks!!!
Bzzzzz, squish, laugh, whoa, cool, barf, pulp, press... Lol are some of the sounds and words heard during today's workshop! Our artists experienced the natural process of making paper! ❤️
Man! I feel AHHHHHMAZIMG RIGHT NOW! Just finished teaching 2 art classes at one of our new locations and the class almost sold out for the 2nd class! There were so many kids!!! I feel so bless and full of gratitude right now! Cloud nine! Thank you to all of my fellow young artists who decided to start this beautiful Saturday with a CREATIVE ENERGY! And thank you to the Mommies and Dads for supporting www.TheArtTableStudio.com and Artist & Craftsman Supply in Long Island City!!!
AND A VERY BIG THANK YOU to Artist & Craftsman in Long Island City, NY,
http://www.artistcraftsman.com/store-locations-lic-new-york, for letting The Art Table Studio use their beautiful most creative space!!!! We ❤️ them lots!!!!
Don't forget we will be there tomorrow morning to make homemade paper!!!!
After a lot of hard work, in November 2013, The Art Table Studio, was official, after receiving our LLC, which led to a lot of bold moves! Ha! Ha! For example, March 2014, I walked into the Falchi Building for lunch, in Long Island City (LIC) and was initially impressed by the crates used as food bar stands and the large scale Funny Food Art of Bill Wurtzel. I thought, wow, they are really fixing this place up! And then I thought, "I think I'm going to have my show here." (Suspense, lol), in April 2014, after working with the Falchi Building, The Art Table Studio held it's very first annual fundraiser for a collaborative project with PhotoVoice, a leading London-based charity committed to promoting and supporting the use of participatory photography as a tool for positive social change! 10% of sales went towards providing art education for children in NYC and abroad. Our country of focus was Costa Rica over the next 6 months! (This is still in-progress..see our BLOG-comming soon...) With support of the Falchi Building and our sponsors LIC Artists + Craftsman Supply, Neko Print, Made from Scratch, Artisanal Premium Cheese and Redd Buttons, we were able to exhibit 15 artists, with humbling 250+ attendees and patrons, with less than a month to plan! We will never forget how magical that night was. The exhibiting community artists were Danielle Boroumand, Holly Crawford, Donna Marie Fischer, Girlie Gagucas, Chelsea S. Jackson, Gamal Jones, Aviva Klein, Melissa Liu, Angela Matsuoka, Jamel Mims, Luis Rubio, Darnell Scott, Jess Vega, Andrew Williams + John Zisel. Thank you!
A Few of the Artists
Our largest expo to date has been the New York Birthday Show Expo at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI). During this time, we were also named 80 Birthday Party Places in Queens, NY.
It was there at the expo, I met, David Dynak, proud owner of the indoor play-space, PLAY Greenpoint in Brooklyn, NY. This introduction has led to a partnership/collaboration where the Art Table Studio currently holds classes! This is also where I met Girlie Gagucas who has been super instrumental in our formation and creating community relationships and teaching classes. I remember when I first met Girlie, she was so professional and she just seemed like she'd been with us from the beginning, lol, meaning the early part of 2013. lol.
During this honeymoon phase, with Girlie, as our sole teaching-artist, we have held a number of free workshops at PLAY Greenpoint and are now in our 3rd session this year with the indoor play-space! Wow! PLAY is very clean and is run by local owners, just like us - parents who work separate 9-5s, with a young child, who want to provide a clean, quality and fun experience for both children + their community.
Eager to get our name out there + test the curriculum, from July-Dec 2013, the art studio was a vendor in at least 1 festival/expo/workshop every month from Harlem to Queens! To date, The Art Table Studio has facilitated art experiences to 400+ children!
Well, classes were such a huge success at the college, that I decided to formalize the studio into something a little more tangible and to do this, I knew I needed extra capital. (Don't you just love the suspense? lol) So, in August 2012, I returned to work (my 9-5) and in-between playtime with Liam, family, house errands and learning my new job, I devoted the "extra" hours to developing the studio's business plan. I later, in March 2013 submitted my super business plan of 27 pages (and that was AFTER the edit! lol) into the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) Queens Startup Competition, upon which 4 winners would be awarded a startup grant of $10,000!!! Whooo Hooo! I thought this is IT! lol. I won't even drag the suspense out ...my studio did not win. But it was in that very moment, after calling my Mom - with the lump still in my throat, that I knew I still, more than ever, wanted my studio to happen!
The very next day after the competition, I connected with the beautiful-spirit Holly M. Crawford, who lived in California. We'd never met and I found her via Linkedin. Snap! We both attended the same graduate school and department - MICA (the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD)! I absolutely had to work with her after reading her experience in art museum education! She's been a complete blessing and asset with the development of our curriculum and I'm so incredibly grateful for her convictions and support. Thanks Hol!
In 2011, I began a new journey as a Mom and WOW, I LOVE being a mommy to our 3 year old son, Liam! I was totally born for this role! I digress. lol....As Liam grew older, I wanted to connect with other parents + adults, who not only wanted to challenge themselves creatively, but who also wanted to be apart of a larger global-local artist community; one of which the whole family could be apart of.
I was so excited to share my love for the arts with our son, that I held his very 1st Art Party when we was 2 months old! lol. (He slept the whole time. :)) And that's really when the Art Table Studio (ATS) was born. The party had a very short lesson and was themed from the work of artist, Jackson Pollock. Family and friends encouraged me to offer private art classes within people's homes. I piloted the classes and in January 2012, I taught my very first art classes as an Art Mommy & Me class at Queensborough Community College-Kids College in Queens, NY. Our first class had 6 students ages 8 months - 4 years old!
I suppose the love affair for working with arts + community grew from one THE MOST AMAZING experiences in my professional career. From 2007-2009, I was blessed to start the Art Institute at the Maya Angelou Academy (MAA) at New Beginnings in Washington, DC. MAA is an alternative school operated by the non-profit, See Forever Foundation for youth who are adjudicated as delinquent and committed to it's Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. "Without intervention, only 1 out of 10 students who have been adjudicated delinquent will go on to get a high school diploma" and more specifically, in 2007, 1 out 4 Baltimore male students would go on to graduate from high school. When I saw some of these statistics in the Baltimore-based film, Boys of Baraka, I knew I had met my purpose and that was to provide quality arts education to all. I saw first-hand how arts and expression impacted the lives of our scholars. I saw first-hand how art can bring seemingly 2 or more separate worlds together. This was both beautiful, humbling, risky, challenging and bottom line ....worth it! Our grassroots cohort used progressive teaching strategies and collaborated with community services to provide our scholars with the best tools for re-entry into their communities. This wasn't by far, the easiest job, but waking up every day knowing that I could introduce our scholars to a world that would allow them to vent, be right, be wrong and just be, was a pretty amazing way to wake up everyday. And you know what? I learned so much from them as well. I am so grateful for sharing the beginning of my career at Maya Angelou Academy, because it shaped me into the type of art educator and person I wanted to be.