Great Art, Great People! Come to the ICS Art Show and Reception

Art_Show_2014Just My Imagination, the 2014 Summer Art Show to be held on June 27, from 3 to 8 p.m. at ICS Brooklyn, will feature more than 100 works. Paintings, drawings, sculptures and crafted objects by more than 30 artists—active participants in ICS’s Artists on Wheels Program—will be on display and for sale. There will be a reception, too, with music, spoken word (at about 6 p.m.) and light refreshments.

To see the ICS Artists on Wheels program in action, check out this short video.


Our community of artists

At ICS we know that everyone is creative, and we love giving our members the opportunity to express themselves through art.

“If you can hold a brush with your hands, your teeth, or your toes, you can become an accomplished artist,” says ICS painting and drawing instructor Richard Toler. “When you’re involved with art, it’s a chance to be free. If you can’t talk or you have trouble talking, art is a way to channel your feelings.”

“There are no limitations here. Anyone can come and whatever challenges they may have, we’ll work around it,” says instructor Fran Perrone. Fran teaches an “Art Sampler” class where ICS members can try out different art forms and materials.

For instructor Michelle Martinez, who teaches what she calls “Craft-o-Mania,” when it comes to art “There is no right or wrong. I make mistakes. But guess what? From mistakes we’re able to create something different and unique.”

Some of our members have been making art all of their lives; for others it’s a recently-acquired pleasure.

Ana Cruz is a passionate painter, but it wasn’t until a health crisis landed her in the hospital that she discovered her love of painting.

“I never knew that I had that inside of me. I never brought it out. Everything was work, work, work.” The hospital offered art in its rehabilitation program. “I started painting and the hospital took one of my pieces and hung it on the wall,” Ana says proudly. My mother came to visit and she was amazed. She didn’t know I could paint.”

Today Ana comes to ICS for painting and crafts every week. “I love the classes. I won’t make any kind of plan or appointment that interferes with my coming to art class at ICS.”

Ana will have a landscape and a still life in the art show.

Yolanda Castillo started painting more than 20 years ago, while in college. “I was studying psychology, and I’ve always been interested in art so I decided to take it as a minor for relaxation. I continued on my own after that. I learned by watching the PBS show, Bob Ross’s Joy of Painting.”

Yolanda likes to mix it up. “When I got my computer back in 1997, I began doing artwork with software. I was attracted to the idea of trying to ‘paint’ with the mouse and computer. I also work with pastels, colored pencils, charcoal; I like to try different mediums, anything that I have. I draw, sketch and take photos. I paint with water colors. Sometimes I combine water colors with pastels—I love pastels. The result is a bit similar to oils because you can blend colors, and it creates a nice effect. I like colored pencils also. You don’t mix them but you can layer them on top of each other. You have to know the tricks.

“I like it here,” she said, referring to the Bronx work space. “At the same time that you are working on your art you socialize, share ideas.” Yolanda will have three pieces, in different mediums, in the art show.

Learning from each other

A recent morning class in the ICS Bronx office was taught by Instructor Rebecca Singer, an artist who works in many mediums and who was teaching students painting and drawing that day. As the class warmed up Yolanda shared her collection of charcoal pencils with Josue Sinvil, who wanted to try them out.

“I remember from elementary school, I was always drawing, Josue said. “I used to draw with pens but because I have MS, which can make it hard to control, I switched to pencils, which are easier to erase.

“Drawing is my favorite medium because with painting I make more mistakes, but I do also paint,” he said, showing off an arresting acrylic of boxers squaring off in the ring. “Your picture is like your baby,” he added.

These days Josue is working on mastering the female shape. “When I try to draw women, the shoulders are too high or there is something about it that looks like a man,” he explained. “I asked my teacher, Carlos, to help me learn how to draw the female shape so he’s been guiding me. At class I’m also learning how to draw proportions.”

Josue’s recent pieces include “Obama Dog,” a commentary on “stop and frisk,” and a portrait he calls “The Enforcer.” He will have several drawings and perhaps one painting in the art show.

Like Josue, ICS instructor Carlos Espada, who teaches sculpture, started making art as a kid. “I’ve been drawing from as far back as I can remember,” he said. “My father was, believe it or not, a professional wrestler. He used to design wrestling masks so I would sit and draw with him.”

Nicole Failla, another instructor, works with found objects and encourages her students to do the same. In her class, “One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure,” students “make art with found items and donations—it’s recycling gone mad,” she said. “As a teenager, I and my friends would find things that people would throw out.  We would refurbish furniture, make coffee tables and it just kind of stuck.”

Instructor Liz Curtin teaches crafts. “We make all kinds of jewelry, we make books. I sometimes teach art techniques, but mostly I do crafts with my students. It’s interesting to see what the people at ICS accomplish and the skills that they have, which are very high. We laugh a lot. We laugh so much in this class it gets a little outrageous sometimes,” she said, cracking up.

Carlos added, “Every form of art speaks to someone in some way. Any time that you or someone else is enjoying your art, that’s amazing.”

“The art show is a yearly event that allows our members to show what they’ve learned through the years,” Richard explained. “They are not just doing art for art’s sake; they are doing art for you.”

If you wish to attend the ICS Art Show, please call 1.877.958.8427 or email

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