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. And where I could clarify ideas and give feedback on the homework.
For fun, I named my test network Yum City, a place where you got all the nourishment you needed as a developing artist. 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.
Yum City kept it's fun name, adopted some venerable Institutions as places to learn and connect, and opened it's gates in August 2020. Yum City University held it's first course, Abstract Composition - The Deep Dive, in September. This course was a 6 week immersion intoStudents from that course, together with many new members who joined from outside the course, participated wholeheartedly in the life of our new community and helped make Yum City a uniquely connected, informative and supportive gathering place for abstract artists.
I hope you will join us.
Kim Evans, USA
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.
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.
Suzanne Gore, USA
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.
What Our Residents Say
Patricia W., CAN
Frequently Asked Questions
How are Courses organized?
Yum City University, or YCU, is the institution of higher learning within Yum City and houses all our courses.
What is included in the City Center membership?
Is it hard to learn to navigate within Yum City?
New software is always a challenge, but we try to get you up and running with the basics quickly.
Do you have live calls in Yum City?
Yes! Nurturing a rich community is one of our main priorities at YC and group calls are the best mixer we have found. Our monthly Art Parties are a great opportunity for residents to talk to each other and share with us what they are doing, in their studios or in their lives. We gather from our own studios and just chat as we work, free form.
How do you keep Yum City from getting too big?
We are very committed to making sure Yum City is a kept to a size where you can get to know your fellow artists and follow each other's growth in your work. As our population grows we have the capability on our platform to create Neighborhoods, smaller groups with their own local meeting places. You will never be anonymous in Yum City, if you do not want to be. We believe we all have alot ot share and alot to gain from doing our work in community.
Does Yum City have self-guided Courses?
Yes. While the teacher-led immersive courses are the richest way to learn, you have to wait for them to be offered. Many people want that info now! For those people, we have developed self study versions of our two master courses: abstract composition, and kickstart - developing a consistant studio practice.
Do you have to be a collage artist to get the benefit of Yum City?
Not at all. We have many painters and mixed media artists in Yum City. Our common aim is that we like abstraction and the visual problems that abstraction presents. I personally just love the collage process as a way of constructing my work, but whatever materials you use are welcome here.
How is Yum City Organized?
Membership to Yum City is free. Just fill out your profile and you are wisked to our basic level membership area called The Pavilion. From there our offerings branch into two areas: Communities and Courses.
YUM CITY UNIVERSITY
YCU is our Institution of Higher Learning in Yum City. For our inaugural 2020-2021 year we offered in-depth courses in Abstract Composition and Studio Practice. For 2021-2022 we will be adding short courses as well as beginner and intermediate level offerings. To get our Course Announcements delivered to your email inbox, add your name to our list below.
"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