Yum City is a community and education platform for abstract artists. We aim to connect, inspire, educate and support artists of every level to make more and better art. Yum City’s Mayor, Melinda Tidwell, is a gallery artist with a professional studio practice focused on abstract composition and collage processes. She is a passionate, experienced teacher and creative coach, whose students come from around the world.
“I have always wished that I could have lived in an artist community, like Paris in the 20’s. A place where artist sensibilities are nurtured with lots of great art to look at, Art Academies for education, and cafe’s full of lively art discussion.
Yum City is envisioned as a city for abstract artists of all levels who are looking for education, inspiration and camaraderie. You can come to Yum City just to get art instruction, or just to get community, or both. Many people join for a course and then stay for the ongoing supportive community.
The other piece I feel is extra important to empower abstract artists, is a working knowledge of art and design fundamentals. This emphasis on FORM (as opposed to CONTENT and SUBJECT) is the basis of my approach to art.
But wonderfully, whether it's courses or community, getting to know other artists is at our core either way. Participation is optional, but it is important to me that we are not a huge, anonymous, membership. Not only do we establish fun and supportive friendships, but we get to know each person’s work and can nurture and applaud its evolution.
Membership to Yum City is free. Just create your profile and you are directed to our Home level membership in THE PAVILION.
We have city info from The Concierge Desk, articles and videos from Melinda in The Reading Room, or conversation in The Lounge. We also host periodic free events in The Pavilion.
From here, our premium offerings are organized into two main branches: Community and Courses.
CITY CENTER is our flagship artist community where members gather to look at inspiring art, chat in cafes, ‘exhibit’ their work, and explore our information library. For a modest monthly fee your get access to all City Center buildings.
THE MUSEUM is curated collection of abstract art for inspiration. Every monday we look at a new artist with some commentary on their work. Lively discussion from members usually ensues. There is also the Blue Chip collection, artists at the higher reaches of the craft to keep us stretching!
THE GALLERY is for getting supportive, informed feedback on your work. Posts may be everything from sketchbook studies and bingo collages to works in progress and finished pieces. We encourage you to post here often: it builds your confidence, connects you personally with other members, and allows you to see your work and your progress through others’ eyes.
THE LIBRARY is for education. It is a highly organized collection of practical information, sparing us from the ‘overwhelm’ of the internet at large. We have a section specifically for collage artists, but we have general categories as well. There are library resources donated by our members in areas they have specific expertise. Some articles are group answers to a cafe question like: what is a good resource for floater frames? Or what are some good art books?
At THE CAFÉ is for conversation and camaraderie. Members have posted and commented on gallery visits, books and videos, sourcing supplies, photos of their messy studios, and participation in an upcoming exhibition. The Cafe is a also great place to ask questions of the community at large.
No. We like all kinds of media. Our main focus at YC is on the fundamentals of 2D art and design. We believe that just a little bit of education in these principles can help you improve your work. Alot. We have seen it happen over and over.
Collage is a very fluid medium for learning how to compose a piece of abstract art. It is quick and easy to rehearse a variety of elements and arrangements. But shape, color, texture, coherence, variety, etc. are qualities that all abstract art shares. Our Museum entries, for instance, have painting, fiber arts, mixed media as well as work that is strictly collage.
Abstract Artists of all ability levels who:
My membership in City Center is one of the best creative decisions I’ve made. This group provides encouragement and help in developing abstract collage art. Thanks to Melinda’s guidance, my work continually improves. I am always excited to see the inspiration she provides on a weekly basis. I highly recommend City Center to anyone who is interested in developing their abstract collage design skills. -- Kim Evans, USA
Having been a City Center member since its inception, I have nothing but praise for Melinda's leadership and guidance. The membership has steadily grown and friendships forged. We've been introduced to a wide range of artists; had a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips and shared our own work with one another. I highly recommend City Center to those looking for a group that provides direction, support and camaraderie, all at an affordable cost, regardless of where you live. --Lynne Fellowes, AUS
Yum City is a supportive group of artists who both cheer your work and provide feedback. Melinda is a skilled teacher and Yum City reflects her knowledge of what artists need to develop their voice and skills. -Sarah Short, USA
City Center is a unique, friendly on-line community for those interested in abstract art – and especially abstract collage. Melinda Tidwell…is a witty, inspiring teacher and creative coach. Yum City is rich with resources, technical tips and learning opportunities. Members are so supportive of one another. I love seeing the work others are posting, and receiving thoughtful, constructive comments when I ask for feedback on my own work. Through Melinda’s courses and my City Center membership, I have grown as an artist in so many ways. I highly recommend Yum City and its learning culture to others. –- Patricia W., Canada
YUM CITY UNIVERSITY (YCU) is our Institution of Higher Education and available to all members of Yum City. To date we have focused on highly immersive, instructor-led courses on two foundational subjects: the principles of abstract composition; and establishing a consistent studio practice. Lessons are composed of written and video material, and hosted within our online classroom.
But this is not just any classroom, ours really is interactive. Once students have absorbed the lesson, they start on the homework assignment. Homework is then posted (if you so choose) to the classroom feed for everyone to see and comment on. And the feed is Organized. Each lesson has it own homework feed. This makes it much easier to follow the progress of each student’s work and the valuable feedback they are getting. It’s truly a great way to learn, and very much with other people.
YCU is always growing. During the academic year 2021-22 we will broaden our course offerings to include introductory courses and specialized short courses, many of them self-directed and available on demand.
“Yum City is the best thing to happen to me artistically in 2020. The opportunity to connect with other artists and to have deadlines allowed me to actually create, post and share. In addition, Melinda also provides information on other artists to study, which has changed my perspective and practice completely. The Abstract Composition course was wonderful. I look at composition, and so all art, in a new and much more knowledgeable way. I am so grateful there is an upcoming class, with deadlines, to force my productivity back into action! Thank you so much, Melinda” -- Suzanne Gore, USA
Melinda I am so excited by all the work I created and how much I learned. It is all piled on the table with books and bricks pressing it.I am working towards putting a portfolio together with the thoughts of joining a cooperative. Thank you for being such a great teacher and taking us “ where no (wo)man has gone before”. I think I will do the course again and just keeping working with the grids. I can’t thank you enough for Yum City And all the wonderful people you have brought together. Looking forward to much more Yummie ideas and studies. -- Katherine McLean, CAN
Thank you Melinda for a challenging and wonderful 6 weeks of learning and creating art. You definitely took me out of my comfort zone to places I had never visited and artists I had never heard of. What I have learned will make my art stronger and more interesting. You and the women I have gotten to know in this course have inspired me to work harder, keep practicing and exploring, and learn to enjoy the journey. I am looking forward to Yum City membership to keep the energy and enthusiasm going! -- Rene Griffith, USA
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