City Art Lab: Value collages and Memory drawings

City Art Lab is in full swing! As in the past, we’re offering two full 12-week sessions for NYC teens.  Today students began their initial exploration of Value and Perception.


Abstracted memories


What is waste?

Teaching Artists: Rafael and Valeska

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

After a warm up activity involving skittles(!), students began to identify things in their lives that they value. Through a brainstorm sketch session they laid the foundations for their mixed/recycled-media collages. As part of the process, students will be collecting personal ephemera to incorporate into their recycled artworks — stay tuned next week to see what they brought in.

Images of value.

Images of value.

Puzzle pieces into art

Puzzle pieces into art.

As inspiration for this project, students were introduced to the work of Vik Muniz, whose work is currently on view at El Museo del Barrio’s exhibit Superreal. Students focused on Muniz’s meticulous recycled collage pieces, specifically his rendition of van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Teaching Artists: Julia and Olivia

“I Remember…”


The perception group delved deep into their unconsciouses and retrieved some potent memories after hearing a selection from Joe Brainard’s seminal 1970 memoir I Remember. After sharing their recollections, the students spent some time using charcoal to sketch out a visual interpretation of a specific memory which were later pinned to the wall for critique.


In addition to their introduction to poet/memoirist Joe Brainard, the group  discussed the idea of memory through the work 20th century artists Kurt Schwitters, Marcel Duchamp, and Salvador Dalí.With so many young artists filling our classrooms, it’s clear we’re off to a good start.

I Remember

See ya next week!

See ya next week!

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