You are invited! Only a few days left to have a blast with us during our 2nd Annual Art at the Bar Networking Event and Fundraiser! Join us next Sunday, July 17th to chill, make art, laugh, and enjoy some refreshing drinks and some pitorro at Port Morris Distillery!
There will be something to for everyone; you do not need to be an artists to attend. We will have two models for artists to draw, mini canvases painting station, magnet making station, coloring station, games, food and music! $10 (online) or $12 at the door! Buy your tickets NOW!
Funds collected during this event will directly benefit our 2017 Free Art Workshop Series! So far, in 2016, your continuous support has helped us bring FREE programming to more than 300 people. Help us continue. Support our Fundraising efforts, share, join us!
For more information about this event please visit our Facebook Event Page. Also please find the flyer attached so you can share it and invite your friends!
We can't wait to see you there!
It’s not every day you get to take a drawing class with the guy who animated some of your favorite childhood films, and yet there I was sitting in the Bronx Music Heritage Center with a sketch pad and charcoal pencil in hand.
Mario Menjivar, an already tall guy, stood before like some hero out of the animated films he’s worked on as he effortlessly turned two eggs into a skull before fourteen sets of eyes. It was like magic, when he pressed his kohl black pencil against the oversized sticky paper on the wall and made a torso that would connect to the skull he had already sketched out, using only some simple lines and an even bigger oval.
It makes sense on a metaphorical level that even animated life would begin with an egg, but it hadn’t been the way I was taught to see the world.
Menjivar, a current Bronx native, began his artistic career in the animation industry for twenty two years, most of them as part of the Walt Disney Feature Animation studio. His work is featured in eight of the studio's films, among them: "Lion King," " Pocahantas," "Mulan," "Hercules," "Tarzan," and "Treasure Planet. He has gone to direct art and character design for several independent animation studios as well as designing merchandise for Disney and comic covers for DC comics and has taught animation and anatomy at The School of Visual Arts.
Natalia Zamparini a self-described “Artist. Human,” is a muse out of “Hercules;” the whole thing frankly felt unreal as she peeled off layers of royal purple fabric to reveal her form. There was no way I was going to be able to draw her, I thought. I was especially nervous because Zamparini is also an amazing artist, whose work with henna is some of the most inspired and intricate I’ve seen firsthand. (BxArts Factory was fortunate enough to get her to share her gifts with us at our anniversary fundraiser.) Henna out of hand, Natalia became the art herself. She leaned forward and stretched her arms out, giving us several poses to work with.
Mario, perhaps feeling how nervous some of us were, made it a point to walk around the room and dedicate more one on one instruction with the super beginner students, like me. By the end of the class, many of us produced work we were genuinely proud of. In two hours, I learned more than I had ever imagined I would. By the third class, I suspect I’ll be drawing my own business cards. Watch out now. I urge anyone and anyone to attend. This was the real deal.
Kant argues that “art can be tasteful (that is, agree with [artistic] judgment) and yet be 'soulless'” –But what is it exactly, that can give an often motionless object like art “soul?” What the hell is soul, any-how?
I wasn’t thinking about Kant as I pulled the beautiful fabric donated to us by Material for the Arts by way of Bronx Museum out of the Artist Craftman’s Supply Bag. An array of tulle, and bouquets of flower patterned cotton spread across the table alongside stings of leather and copper to tie them together later. We began making bows, and slowly, a tribe of toddlers approached us, escorting their mothers to the cornucopia. Our activity that Sunday, we explained, was making costumes for us to wear in the parade.
Parents soon joined and created costumes of their own, one mother grabbed a piece of white tulle and made a head wrap for herself. She smiled pleased, seemingly, with the way it turned out. Her daughter collected pieces of the long lace she hoped to fashion into a dress with grown up help. Elizabeth Ortiz scooped up and wrapped and tied until something out of a fashion show cat walk appeared before us.
On the other side of the table and makeshift wall, Trevon Blondet asked Boogie Bronxites, what was their art and Yolanda Rodriguez, collected little gems in jars as they answered who did art at home. Holding a tablet in hand, they told us what their art was as the cameras flashed.
No one was thinking about soul under the heat of a Bronx afternoon sun, not really, and yet there it stood before us. It was found in the way we shared our gifts with each other. We’ve become so accustomed to thinking of art in binaries, much like we view the world. Things are either: good or bad, high or low, right or wrong. We very infrequently allow ourselves to exist in ambiguity or as I like to think of it, imagination, the place of possibilities. This Sunday let us live there for a while, and it was Artful, and more importantly, it was soulful.
Bringing Art to Every Household.
Chief Editor/House Blogger
Natalie N. Caro is an editor, writer, and professor. She graduated from Lehman College, Magna Cum Laude, with double major in English Literature and Philosophy. She earned a fellowship and an MFA from City College. In 2013, she was awarded the Bronx Recognizes Its Own Fellowship by the Bronx Council on the Arts for excellence in Poetry. She was nominated for The Pushcart Prize, one of the most honored literary projects in America, in 2015. Currently, she's a doctoral candidate in CIAS- Center for Inter-American Studies, Bielefeld, University, where she will.