When the 2020 pandemic struck and all of my in-person workshops were cancelled, I decided to start teaching my own online courses. But I wanted more than just video courses, I wanted built-in community where students could learn from each other, talk to each other, and share their work.
For fun, I named my test network Yum City, a place where yummy art was grown and nurtured. But this idea grew on me...
For instance, what if it could be like early 20th century Paris? The place artists flocked to, not only for the first class art academies, but also to live a vibrant, communal artistic life beyond the classroom – conversations in cafes, visits to museums and exhibits, studio spaces in close proximity, the sharing of ideas and knowledge. This rich environment was one of the places that really nurtured the development of Abstract Art.
We found an online platform where private community and courses were seamlessly connected (ie, no Facebook) and Yum City was born. We built some buildings (as visual people, a visual metaphor only makes sense, right?) as virtual spaces to learn and connect, and opened our gates in August 2020. Yum City University, held it's first course, Abstract Composition, in September. And we have been roaring ahead ever since.
One of the first things we learned, is that communities are always evolving. . .
In 2021, we added a free membership level. We envisage that you get off the train to Yum City and walk next door to the beautiful visitor's Pavilion.
From there you can travel to our premium offerings of Community and/or Courses.
COMMUNITY: Our paid community is known as City Center, a collection of artist-centric buildings organized around a central plaza. In 2022, we have added a Design School to the City Center architecture. Each month we focus on a new aspect of Art/Design Principles to help members grow their art. Members are encouraged to practice this principle in the Monthly Challenge, and share/discuss with the community. Each week we look at work of a new artist and how they use this principle in their work.
COURSES: Formal coursework takes place at Yum City University. For right now we are focusing on delivering our flagship course: Abstract Composition: The Deep Dive. We call it AbComp for short. We also offer mentoring packages for those interested in one on one study. Shorter courses and self-study courses are on the horizon.
We hope to see you in The City!
2022 Class Schedule
Abstract Composition: The Deep Dive
Spring session: March 12-April 19
Fall Session: Sept 12- Oct 16
Word on the Street
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.
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!
Thank you Melinda, for a wonderful six weeks of learning, fun and friendship. There is so much to go back over and learn from in the exercises; so many wonderful artists to study and lots to reflect on in my own work. I look forward to a masterclass down the track where we can dive even deeper. Thank you everyone for your company, your support and enthusiasm. It's been a blast!
"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, WA
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