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Last month the Society of Illustrators hosted its 12th Summer Illustration Art Academy in collaboration with NYC Parks. This is a completely free art camp made possible through grants and donations. For one week students are taught by professional illustrators and comic artists to learn different art techniques and explore new mediums. All art supplies, trip expenses, and lunches are provided daily.

On day 2, Materials for the Arts teaching artist Will Niedmann introduced the students to collage and led two workshops. Using a variety of recycled materials, the students created mosaic collages in one workshop and learned how to make envelope books in the other.

On day 3, illustrator James Yang introduced the students to sculptor and landscape artist, Isamu Noguchi, and read his award-winning children’s book, A Boy Named Isamu. Afterwards, the students used collage materials collected from nature and colored paper to create rock landscapes inspired by Isamu Noguchi’s body of work. We then visited the Noguchi Museum to draw his sculptures on-site.

On day 4, illustrator Adela Antoinette led a botanical illustration workshop. Using pencil and watercolor, the students learned how to draw and paint black-eyed susans and coneflowers from photo reference. Afterwards we traveled to the Queens Botanical Garden for students to apply their new art skills on site.

On day 5, illustrator Eva Redamonti taught the students about various techniques and styles of using ink on paper. They each had the opportunity to experiment with pen nibs and ink, and test out the effects of watering the ink down. This was the first time students used this medium. In the afternoon they spent time outdoors drawing their surroundings.

The Summer Illustration Art Academy is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, and NIKE Corporation.

The Society of Illustrators would like to thank our sponsor TeePublic for providing the awesome t-shirts the students wore each day!

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