Melinda Tidwell
Melinda Tidwell

Welcome to YUM CITY

For artists who love abstract art, mixing their media, and lots of visual YUM.

My name is Melinda Tidwell and I am an artist, instructor and Mayor of Yum City.  My particular passion is vintage materials and the mechanics of abstraction in art.

What is Yum City?

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 instruction, and cafe’s full of lively art discussion. Wouldn’t it be great to have all these art friends to learn from, puzzle with, and generally share all these ideas you find interesting? We learn in a much deeper way in a community of like minds. A group gives us energy and helps us stay engaged. 

Staying engaged is a real challenge with online learning. Art courses typically relegate the community aspect to a huge facebook group where you feel essentially anonymous.  There are so many people posting their work that you have no way to keep up with it.  It is just overwhelming. This model misses the crucial benefit of taking a class: getting to know your classmates and doing this together. Especially for artists. Our work is so individual and solitary and arcane. Friends and family just don’t get it. We need to be with others who are also climbing this mysterious terrain. We can be a lot of help to each other. Especially when fellow travelers can reflect back to us the progress we are making and see our work with fresh, educated, eyes.

Our 3 Main Goals in Yum City

  1.     provide a platform where artists to get to know each other
  2.     to encourage artists to make and share their work
  3.     to provide an education path for artists that want to improve their          work

     >>>  With a minimum of distraction, complexity, and confusion.

What You Get in Yum City


In Yum City, creating community is our first priority. What we do different than a facebook group:

  • We keep our population manageable. If our group becomes too big we have the capability, within this platform, to split it into more bite-sized neighborhoods. 
  • We have a live Zoom call every month. It is so much easier to get to know people if you can see them in real time and converse together. Calls are recorded and posted. Shy people are encouraged to participate!

The Work

Getting to the studio can be a challenge, so we do our best to keep you motivated and empowered.

  • We keep it Inspiring. Every Monday we publish Inspiration: the work of a featured artist, and artist prompts. The artwork especially touches off lively discussion. We have a dedicated “Gallery” area for artists to post their work and receive feedback. It can be a response to the weekly prompts, your own project, sketchbook entries—- whatever you want. The goal is simply to keep making work.
  • We keep valuable information accessible. Yum City Management (YCM) maintains a well ordered library of information on materials, processes and useful tools. Any information that is relevant over time is kept stored where you can find it, not buried in a huge feed. 


Our education area is known as Yum City University.  Our core curriculum is the Abstract Composition courses which are 6 week immersions into fundamentals of art and design for non-representational art. 

Tour Our City

One of the first things we want to do in Yum City is tickle your imagination, so YC is modelled after a real city. Our posts are organized within the walls of 4 virtual Buildings:

The Museum 

houses all weekly Featured Artists. We also periodically publish Profiles of famous artists who have made significant contributions to abstraction/collage/etc.

The Library 

specializes in information on tools and techniques for collage and mixed-media making. We also have a section devoted to studio best practices, ie photography, framing, studio organization, etc.

The Gallery

Is a space for residents to post their art work. Your work will appear in the Activity Feed for all residents, just like Facebook (except private).

The Cafe 

General discussion is housed at the Cafe. Questions, ideas, anything you have to say can be posted here.

Why You Should Join Us

Her classes are worth it for the spot-on critiques alone, and the community they attract, continuing on in a private art group, is invaluable. -Liz Ruest

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

Yum City is a unique, friendly on-line community for those interested in abstract art -- and especially abstract collage.  Melinda Tidwell, Yum City's mayor, is a witty, inspiring teacher and creative coach. The site 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 their thoughtful, constructive comments when I ask for feedback on my own work . Through Melinda's courses and my Yum City Membership, I have grown as an artist in so many ways. I highly recommend Yum City and its learning culture to others.- Pat W.

My membership in Yum City is one of the best creative decisions I've made. This group provides encouragement and help 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 Yum City to anyone who is interested in developing their abstract collage design skills. -Kim Evans

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 Design 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

A Big Thanks

For checking us out.

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