CMA Stories

6 Fun Facts About CMA Teaching Artists

CMA’s NYC Cultural Festival will be held on Sunday, January 27. We’re partnering with the Queens Council on the Arts, a nonprofit organization committed to fostering diverse artists and art organizations of Queens County, to present works inspired by traditional and contemporary arts practices. Public arts advocate and Queens Democratic County Committee member Nora Gomez-Strauss will be hosting Story Time alongside NYPL Children’s Librarian Kristy Raffensberger at 11 am. Children from Astoria’s Sol Dance Center will present a disco performance and interactive workshop at 12 pm and 2 pm. 1010 WINS News anchor and traffic reporter Brian Britain will be sitting in on Sound Booth workshops from 12 pm onwards.

Join us for a special workshop in our Fine Arts studio inspired by CMA Teaching Artists native to Queens! Come explore various methods of art-making and get to know the CMA community even better. To help us get ready for our festival, here are six fun facts about CMA Teaching Artists.

1. Did you know every CMA Teaching Artist is an artist with their own practice? That’s the number one requirement to be a CMA Teaching Artist!

2. Phyllis Yao is a second generation Chinese-American who grew up between Guiyang, China, and New York City. Through her art-making she’s hoping to understand how growing up in tow vastly different places and situations make up the way she interacts with the world, the circumstances and challenges her family faced when they immigrated to the US, and its continuous effect on her family today. Phyllis graduated with a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design where she received the Florence Leif Award, and has been an artist-in-residence at Lijiang Studio on Yunnan province, China.

3. Brandon Harris is considered by many to be the most adventurous witch of modern times. Brandon is attributed with designing Newt Scamander’s briefcase, suggesting the name for the Ravenclaw house, and writing the “12 Rules of Transfiguration”. However, he mostly enjoys painted with his cat Margery on the coast.

4. Bridget Villanueva is an artist born and raised in NYC. As a BFA graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology, she has a love of watercolors, oil paints, and charcoal. Her main goal when creating art is to capture moments that evoke nostalgia. When it comes to her favorite subject matter, portraits, she makes sure you are staring into the essence of someone’s being rather than just a face.

5. Ian Tousius is a visual artist born and raised in Queens, New York. He mainly focuses on cartooning and printmaking, but tries to learn something new often. He’s especially fond of working with cardboard, which is found all over CMA. Ian finds inspiration in anatomy, machinery, history, and children’s artwork. If he’s not working on a drawing or print, he’s probably eating a chocolate bar somewhere. He used to love riding his bike but then it got stolen. He’s still upset about it.

6. All CMA Teaching Artists love being inspired by children and their families that visit the museum.

Learn more about CMA Teaching Artists

This program is supported, in part, by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. CIVICKIDS is sponsored by Google.

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