“Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.” 

Robin Wall Kimmerer 

Summer in the city is in full swing, and we’ve been welcoming so many new Seedlings to the League to join us for classes while school is out! This month, we’re featuring stories from several budding artists looking to carve out careers in the arts and take advantage of all the resources the Art Students League can offer. Carlos Jose Lovera aspires to become a concept artist, and to inspire younger generations with stories told through movies, tv shows, and video games. Iuliia Batorova shares about her reservations about pursuing the arts as a career but knows she will continue to make art-making part of her life no matter what happens. Similarly, Kayin Bann tells us about his fear of failure, and how studying at the League will challenge him to face this fear as he builds his skills and connects with other artists in this community. 

In light of both the beautiful blooming gardens across the city, as well as the tragic clouds of wildfire smoke that enveloped NYC last month, our inspirational stories focus on artists who connect their work to the environment. Ebony Patterson’s show “…things come to thrive…in the shedding…in the molting…” is now on view at the New York Botanical Garden, inviting viewers to both connect with the natural world, and grapple with themes around race, colonialism, and social invisibility. Andres Jaque eerily predicted June’s orange smog in his recent work XHOLOBENI YARDS: Titanium and the Planetary Making of SHININESS / DUSTINESS, a piece that reflects on the racialized relocation of environmental issues. And finally, we feature a review of Richard Mayhew’s show “Natural Order.” According to Mayhew, his paintings “are not landscapes but ‘mindscapes’ — places only imagined or remembered.” 

Come back next month to check out our August newsletter! 

Victoria L. Valentine

In Recognition: Ebony G. Patterson’s Multifaceted Practice Taps Beauty of Botanical World to Start Conversations About Visibility, Violence, and Survival

Shanti Escalante-De Mattei

How an Installation by Architect Andrés Jaque Predicted New York’s Apocalyptic Orange Smog

Jonathan Griffin

At 99, the Painter Richard Mayhew Is Still Upending Expectations

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