Summer Program Scholarship Recipient Shekinah Guab

Shekinah Guab is one of three Ashcan Studio Summer Program scholarship winners. She was referred to us by Lisa Feder- Feitel of Alliance Summer Arts Program (ASAP) at The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and also highly recommended by her high school art teacher. The artwork and essay that Shekinah submitted for review were outstanding and we could see that she had the talent, dedication and intellect that we value at Ashcan Studio. We happily awarded her a scholarship to study in the Visual Arts Summer Program from July through August. ASAP graciously provided Shekinah with a metro card for the subway and a gift certificate for art materials. We are proud of her for the work that she has made and continues to make here.

Below you can see her work and read the responses to the questions Scholastic asked her about her time at Ashcan.

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 Shekinah Guab at Ashcan Studio 

Scholastic– Was your summer program in your hometown?  If yes, describe your experience being away from home.

Shekinah– I didn’t mind being away from home, the commute from home to Ashcan Studio made it even more fun and adventurous. Experiencing the feeling of working in an art studio for the first time was enjoyable. It was all art art art which is basically a fun time for me since all my attention was focused to what I am very passionate about.


Scholastic– What did you gain from your summer program experience? What new techniques did you learn? What new skills did you develop? If so, describe these.

Shekinah– Throughout the summer program I learned to be able to push myself to success. The struggles I faced along the way gave me the motivation that enabled me to feel a sense of achievement. I really feel like I have grown as an artist.

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Shekinah Guab’s work in progress at Ashcan Studio 

Scholastic– How did participating in the summer program with other creative students affect your art/writing?

Shekinah– Being with other creative students was a great experience, rather than competition I viewed them as a big influence, as their artwork motivated me to improve.


Scholastic- How did working with a professional artist or writer influence your work?

Shekinah- Working with professional artists influenced the way I went about my work, through their assistance I was able to improve my skills in art making. With my Instructors at Ashcan I received advice that was very relevant and helpful. I was able to pick up things that they taught me a long the way.


Scholastic- Describe a project you completed during your summer program. Tell us how it was helpful developing your creative skills.

Shekinah- One project I completed was a painting “Silver Lining” which is oil on canvas. This painting was part of an exhibition titled “SAFE ROOM” at The CUE Art Foundation, located at 137 West 25th Street. The show featured the work of Ashcan Studio of Art’s Summer Program students. My fellow students and I presented work in many different mediums for an exhibition about disasters–either natural or human-made–and how we can overcome them.  I focused on the effects of natural disasters, specifically a typhoon, on the natural environment and the people who experience it. I wanted to convey dread and a sense of survival and hopefulness for a better future. Aside from the rescuers the majority of  figures in my painting are children since people are more likely to sympathize with images  of children. Working on this project actually opened up my understanding in regards to color choices in particular. From the advice of two of my art teachers, I refrained from using too many different colors that would overwhelm a viewer. I ended up using the a lot of the color blue not only to convey an emotion, but also a sequence that guides the viewer’s eyes from one subject to another.


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Shekinah Guab at Ashcan Studio 

“The background is actually a blending of two separate  scenarios to make it more creative and abstract. My teacher and I had a discussion about this at the beginning stages of the painting, when I was sketching ideas (I didn’t have that part included originally) and she recommended that I do that. On the top part of the painting I painted a typhoon in the sky as it moves toward the area where it is about to hit. Slightly below that I painted an “after-the-storm sky” when the sun peaks into the clouds a bit, the sunrays hitting the mountains show the “rays of hope” or some sort. The middle ground is the disaster as the rescuers help the victims. The foreground is the ‘attention grabber’ or the ‘mood maker’ element of the painting, a child watching a man drag the dead body of her parent. I’m actually really excited to build up this painting because its my first time working on a project so big.” – Shekinah describes the making of her painting “Typhoon”



Shekinah’s work in the SAFEROOM Exhibition  at CUE Art Foundation

Scholastic- Will you use newfound skills, techniques, influences you learned during the summer program in your current projects? Please give examples.

Shekinah- Of course, in my Sculpture classes I learned a great deal about wire sculpturing, although my skills at it aren’t all that great yet. I plan to practice wire sculpting in the future. As for painting, I plan to use my new understanding in color choices and incorporate them into my future projects.


Scholastic- What do you want to do as a career when you grow up?

Shekinah- I would like to be an Illustrator, or maybe an art teacher.


Scholastic-  If you would like to pursue a career in the arts, how does participating in the sumer program influence this career choice?

Shekinah- The Safe Room project gave me an understanding of how it would feel working as an Illustrator. The most important lesson I learned was the importance of meeting a deadline, with out sacrificing quality or conveying a very strong message. I learned that the work should not only please viewers but also myself, the artist as well.


Scholastic- Which College/University would you like to attend?

Shekinah- SVA

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