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.  Students 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. Each course has a "textbook" that contains all the lessons, both text and video based. There is also a surrounding "classroom" where students can post their homework, get feedback and ask any questions. It is like facebook, with posts and comments on posts, but we are able to categorize the Feed into separate topics for weekly assignments, a topic for recorded zoom calls, etc.

What is included in the City Center membership?

We have 5 main buildings lining the city center main square. Yum City Management maintains The Library and The Museum, adding new art inspiration and art-making information, on a regular basis. The Gallery and The Cafe are buildings for our residents to do the talking. Posting work, commenting on work, asking questions, sharing ideas and sparking discussions. Office of the Mayor is where all the latest announcements are to be found.

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. In The Pavilion, we recommend your first stop is The Concierge Desk. Here you will find all the onboarding instructions to learn about what is available in YC and how to get there. For instruction on the fundamentals of really interacting in YC, we have a free course known Yum City Driving School. This course is a collection of quick videos that teach you the basics.

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.

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. Within Communities, you will find our flagship City Center community which, for a modest monthly fee gives you access to The Museum, The Library, The Gallery and The Cafe. All courses are found at Yum City University and are offered a la carte. You do not need to be a City Center member to attend the 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