Skecthing the City


Sketching the City

The concept behind the current exhibition Sketching the City stems from

the work of 19th century English writer Charles Dickens. Dickens is very

well known in the English-speaking literary world and is best known for

his very popular novels Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, and Great Expectations.

In one of Charles Dickens’s early collections of short stories,

Sketches by Boz, Dickens, under the pen name ‘Boz,’ wrote about the

lives of contemporary Londoners. These short stories and even Dickens’s

longer works do not convey an abstract or overly elaborate view of life, but

instead show life exactly as it would be for an early 19th century Englishman

and woman.

In the fall of 2011, The Bronx Museum of the Arts and the British Council

formed a partnership and held an open call to all New York City teenagers

to ‘sketch’ – in the form of an artwork or writing piece – a scene that

describes how they view New York City or their respective neighborhoods.

Like Dickens’s works, the pieces selected for this art exhibition illustrate an

everyday reality that is personal to its creator and yet still relatable to any

viewer. These artworks exemplify the views and experiences of the fine

artists, photographers, and writers of their respective communities, including

the landscape, objects, and various members of their neighborhoods

in New York City.

Curators and Selection Panel

The curators were selected from The Bronx Museum of the Arts’ Teen

Council alumni. All curators and selection panelists have recently graduated

from high school and are currently pursuing careers in the visual arts.

Amanda Eubanks

Travis Hewitt-Roach

Latoya Weeks

A special thanks to Katherine Casado for sitting on the selection panel.

Dickens in Pieces - Teacher Workshop

On Charles Dickens’s 200th birthday on February 7, 2012, high school

teachers from all over New York City attended a professional development

workshop as well as a birthday reception at The Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Local Dickens expert and Seton Hall Universtiy professor Dr. Jonathan Farina

conducted the workshop, “Dickens in Pieces” as a step-by-step process

for teaching Dickens to high school students.

British Council and

Dickens 2012

In 2012 the British Council worked on a global program of events across

50 countries to mark the bicentenary of Charles Dickens’s birth.

In the United States, the British Council USA partnered with The Bronx

Museum of the Arts in New York on Sketching the City, a project linking

local communities with the modern legacy of Charles Dickens’s writing.

Drawing inspiration from one of Dickens’s early works, Sketches by Boz,

Sketching the City encourages high school students to use Dickens’s social

realist writing and corresponding illustrations as a springboard for their

own creative writing, photography and artist expression.

As Dickens did in London more than a century ago, local teens have

‘sketched the city’ of New York, capturing the atmosphere of one of the

world’s most dynamic, diverse cities. This zine collects together those

sketches, showcasing a breadth of young talent and emulating a modernday

New York ‘Sketches by Boz’.

The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international non-profit organization for cultural

relations and education opportunities. We build engagement and trust for the UK through the

exchange of knowledge and ideas between people worldwide. In the US, we increase recognition

of the variety of higher education opportunities available in England, Scotland, Wales

and Northern Ireland, and facilitate institutional collaborations between the US and UK.

Through transatlantic artistic partnerships, we introduce Americans to high-quality, groundbreaking

creative work from the UK and our climate change programs support a network of

young leaders who are committed to tackling climate change globally and in their own communities.

We also develop initiatives that give a voice to the next generation of leaders on

both sides of the Atlantic, encouraging them to work together to explore solutions to current

and future global issues. With offices in Washington, New York and Los Angeles, the British

Council USA also builds global partnerships with US-based institutions to support our work

around the world. For more information, please visit

Thank you to all of the participants, their

families, their teachers, their mentors, and

supporters for participating in the global

celebration of Charles Dickens’s 200th birthday

and exhibition Sketching the City.

Winners For the Art & Writing Competition

Malik Shaw in Art

Ernesto Gonzalez in Photography

Syeda Nusrath Wahid in Writing


Jennifer Mejia in Art

Alvaro Ceballos in Photograhy

Syeda Nusrath Wahid in Writing

Sketching the City is an exhibition at

The Bronx Museum of the Arts

from March 30 - May 6, 2012.

1040 Grand Concourse

Bronx, NY 10456


Malik Shaw

Bronx High School for the Visual Arts

I am the City

Stencil print




Dana Leahy

Saint Vincent Ferrer

Creation Train

Colored pencil and oil pastel

Gus Yafcak

Bard High School for Early College

Chelsea Reflections


Chewon Kim

Saint Vincent Ferrer

My Neighborhood


Raquel Corcino

Bronx High School for Visual Arts

The Angel Down the Street


Jade Blake

Academy for Scholarship and Entrepreneurship

Mr. Dickens at Wall Street, N.Y.


Jasmin Medina

Academy for Scholarship and Entrepreneurship

Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge


A Glimpse In Time

Grains of time as fine as silver sand

You hold them close; they slip past your hand

Leaving the city still and clear

Droplets of rain hovering like diamond tears

Crimson buildings hold up the sky

As citizens pause with glazed eyes

Morpheus has come and cast his charm

Frozen in time without any harm

Leaves me to marvel and to delight

Over small shops tucked in plain sight

Or sulking branches raised with care

And a community with both reserve and flair

Peering through a window, I could see

Students bent over books in groups of three

These are the sights that would make you smile

So why not stay in the Bronx for a while?

Syeda Nusrath Wahid

St. Raymond Academy for Girls




Nicol Williams

St. Raymond Academy for Girls

Night Watch


Jennifer Cantada

Saint Vincent Ferrer

East Side Story

Watercolor, pen, colored pencil

Alvaro Ceballos

ELLIS Preparatory Academy

View through my window





Welcome Home


t noon, I was walking downtown on 5 th Avenue.

People turned to see me wearing some old

ripped jeans and a long blue sweater, well a

man’s sweater. Appearance, what would

be New York City without fashion? I go to school, and

everyone is worried about the latest Nike’s and Jordan’s,

the newest clothes and if they belong to a famous designer,

like Alexander McQueen or the newest Channel’s perfume

that smells fantastique. Downtown New York is all about

what you wear, like Carrie Latet once said “Pretty is the

Queen that rules our land.”

But does appearance, and the intent to be “pretty” ruleour

city? I ask myself that question until I head down to get

home. Uptown gives me a different feeling. Once I reach

225th street I pass the bridge connecting Manhattan and

the Bronx. I feel that I finally blend in.

I notice people wearing clothes that don’t combine, people

with crazy hairstyles, groups of kids hanging in the corners,

mothers holding grocery bags, smiles, smirks, the sounds

of horns and of the train moving in its filthy tracks. I listen

to the squeaky sound my sneakers make as I walk. In

these dirty streets is where I feel free, where they are not

pretense. Here I am not what I wear; I am who I dare to

be. I don’t feel fear, or insecurity. I feel powerful, but a

sense of caution still lingers in my head.

I check my phone. One missed call from Mama, which

means she’s already worried that I am not home. As I

walk, Marble Hill is empty. But it’s ok! It’s mostly lonely at

night. I walk and notice one of the biggest buildings in my

block. This building brings back old sour memories; this is

why I am not fond of it. In the summer, at the entry of this

old pile of bricks there’s a man that sits in his wheelchair,

his long beard resembles my grandfathers’ but his eyes.

They are cold and resentful. To me? No, I hadn’t done

anything bad to him, to life? Probably. He sits there and

drives young adults away from their road, he gives them

false hope, and guides to a false haven. Drugs end up

turning those youngsters into a pile of broken dreams.

The streets are like an open mouth that swallows you in one

direction. At night it seems like an abandoned, old street.

The lamps that light my path make me feel safer, but under

the broken ones, I can feel the coldness of the air and my

body hurries reaching for light. Some people tell stories

about ghosts; here people tell stories about angry men that

hold guns. At the thought of drunken or dangerous men my

heart accelerates with fear, and my pace quickens. A hand

comes down on my shoulder, and I jump on place. I first

notice the pain in my back, from carrying my heavy bag

all this time. Then, the smell that comes from the garbage

in the ground, and the smell of a perfume. In a time of

fright my senses seem to expand, and I suddenly listen to

the engine of cars and the bells moving in the top of the

church. I feel the cold air under my sweater and as I turn

around I embrace myself. I see his sweet smile first, and I

feel safe. As a reflex I push him a little, “You scared me!”

He smiles, “Did I? It’s your fault, you looked very thoughtful.”

I look at him “haha very funny.” We stay in silence until I

notice the light in my watch screaming at me that it’s already


“What are you doing at this time of the day outside, Luis?”

he doesn’t smile. “I’m on my way home. Let’s go” he starts

walking, without caring if I follow him or not. I sigh in silence

and walk behind him.

He doesn’t stop, he doesn’t talk. We are three buildings

away from home. I give up. He didn’t used to be like this,

but people change. They meet new people, they start to

like new things you don’t like, beer or weed, for example.

Then, relationships and bonds break. If I focus enough, I

can feel the link between Luis and me breaking.

We face the front door and I climb one step and ring the

buzzer for apartment number 6. Luis doesn’t press the

one to his home, and I don’t press it for him. A minute later

the door opens, and I push in the crystal door. I wait for

him to make a motion, to say a word, but he does none.

“Are you going up?” I ask, because there’s nothing else

I can do. He walks in, and gives me a fainting smile. I

can smell food wherever I turn my nose to, and feel the

warmness once you are inside the building. We walk the

first set of stairs and suddenly; I am facing apartment

number 6.

“You home!” Luis says rather happy which seems odd, I

see him walking down the stairs again. “Hey! Where are

you going? You live upstairs!” but I already know. He is

going 3 blocks away to an old gray house that has all its

windows broken and the door has to be rotten by now.

Most people think is abandoned when they pass by it, but

it’s not. In that house it’s where Luis lost its innocence and

since then it became his fake haven.

I look into his eyes trying to see the Luis I met 3 years ago,

but that Luis isn’t there anymore. He gives me a blank

stare, and turns and goes. His feet stomp in the marble

floor, I still can smell his cologne, the door opens and then

suddenly closes and I know I already lost him.

I look at my door and I whisper, “Welcome Home!”

Lisbeth Bueno

ELLIS Preparatory Academy

Gabriella Shull

Bard High School Early College

Great Unexpectations


Ernesto Gonazalez

Bronx High School for the Visual Arts

Urban Reflection





Gabriella Shull

Bard High School Early College

Who Knows?


Cory Smith

Bronx High School for the Visual Arts

Red City


Genesis Suero

Bronx High School for the Visual Arts

Bronx Taxi Drive


Home Sweet Home

Raven Hair and hazel eyes

Golden curls and blue eyes

Scarlet waves and emerald eyes

Black skin, brown skin, and white

Small and slim

Tall with bulk

A Sea of faces

A wave of sounds

Sprightly dialects and tantalizing aromas

Cold sunlight and brisk winds

Streaming rain and cool concrete

A row of houses standing sentry

Slender saplings dwarfed by brink giants

Under a wide-rimmed sky

Home Sweet Home

Syeda Nusrath Wahid

St. Raymond Academy for Girls




Jennifer Mejia

St. Jean Baptiste

El Barrio: Lexington Ave.

Watercolor and pen




Angelica Flores

Bronx Academy of Letters

Flowers Do Grow Here


Khine Win

Bard High School Early College

Graffiti Central


Tevin Brown

Bronx High School for the Visual Arts

My Town

Graphic design

Angelica Flores

Bronx Academy of Letters

Dreams in Streets


More magazines by this user
Similar magazines