The Monroe College Art Collaborative Club

Legend of Ryo

By Max Nieves

Story Synopsis

16-year-old Ryo, his older brother Kyo, and younger sister Mayu are separated when they are transported to another world. Ryo begins his search for his family, but many obstacles such as magical beasts, assassins, and other supernatural events block Ryo’s path. However, Ryo must find his family before an unimaginable evil finds them first.


Minami’s Library


A lonely warrior rests in her tower before her next assignment. She spends her time admiring the many wonders of the world that she reads about in her books. However, she secretly wishes that perhaps one day she can go see these wonders in person.


Minami the Teacher


After a fierce battle, Ryo and company take a long rest in town to heal. Minami is offered an opportunity to teach in a small school. Minami decides to take on this challenge in order to teach Yuuki she can live a normal life like any other child.

Minami and Ryo


After sharing their feelings with one another, Minami closes her eyes and prepares herself mentally. However, Ryo sees this as a perfect opportunity to tease Minami, which he will soon regret.

Rajkumari Roy: Artist

Rajkumari Roy is a talented Honors student here at Monroe College. If you like what you see below, make sure to check out her webpage and Instagram:







Turkish Woman



Coffee House February 6th: Black History Month

“Black History Month is a social construct I will not conform to because it does not define who I am.”

“For Black History Month it is great to celebrate what we have done. But let’s not forget we still have a lot more to work on if we want to be equal.”

“No more Black History Month. Just speaking during the discussion I was given many evil looks even though I am mixed. (I look white) There are so many other races that went through similar or worse situations. Why do the blacks just get a month?”

“I think discussions like this help us unite not only us as a community, but us as a people. This program is something I’ll always come to when I can.”

“Engaging and insightful meeting. It raised awareness of the importance of black history!”

“Today’s discussion was very eye-opening and gave me more insight on my own history.”

“I believe this discussion was effective. I like how open and inviting it was.”


Journey for Fantasia

By Max Nieves

Story Synopsis

Queen Yennefer of the Kingdom of Mavrickus has gone missing. The kingdom’s bravest knight, Madelyn, has been tasked to find her. Madelyn has been given an ancient artifact to aide her in the search, but must first find a powerful magician who can use it. Madelyn’s search will require her to overcome many trials and tribulations in order to find her queen, and discover the true meaning for her disappearance.

Journey for Fantasia: Juliess and the Journey for Peace


A retired hero travels the land in order to find her purpose in life without war. She meets with new friends and discovers new places, but must confront her past before being able to truly move on.

Journey for Fantasia: Madelyn at the Final Battle


Madelyn has spent her entire life suppressing her strength, but now she must shatter her limits to protect the one she loves.


Max Nieves is an Education Major here at Monroe College. The Journey for Fantasia is an ongoing series. More of his world will be posted soon!

Class HN-243-72H: The World of Modern Art with Rebecca Mills

Class led by Professor Rebecca Mills

Assignment: Students were instructed to create a work of art based on the prompt “Time of Day”.

Artist: Bryan Diaz


Description: A trip to one of the most well-known forests in the world. Also the biggest.

“Present Time”
Artist: Teliah Paige-Gaston


Description: A sunrise, with water and mountains. Nature.

“Windy Day”
Artist: Rajkumari Roy


Description: I tried to capture the cold, the edges of the wind, and a cold New York day. Cubist, a chicken, flowing lines.

“18.1539° N, 98.3869° W”
Artist: Nancy Ramirez


Description: The hidden mountain in the painting is the only mountain, la peña, in the town of Huehuepiaxtla, Mexico.

“The Kitchen”
Artist: Gianna Aquino


Description: I spend most of the day in the kitchen. Cabinets, sinks. Nothing in the kitchen goes smoothly.

“The Unknown”
Artist: Ameia Peters


Description: An orange sunset, mixing colors.

“Alice in Wonderland”
Artist: Keyana Aldridge

Description: Wonderland, the beginning of spring, bright colors, and butterflies.

“Something Abstract But Not Ice Cream”
Artist: Linna Linn


Description: A showcase of the things I see in my daily routine.

“A Perspective of Space”
Levon Beccan

Description: This is how outer space looks.

Artist: Jaianna Johnson


Description: The sun is setting, the moon comes out, coexisting in the sky.

“Sun in Bloom”
Lex Martin


Description: It’s a spring day, with the flowers looking at the sun.

Anjelica Simaoanjelica

Description: A crazy day at the airport, planes are being diverted.

“Setting Passions”
Kerianne Vaz

Description: Isolated moment of a setting sun on the beach.



Not pictured: Angel Jimenez and Ariana Joy Songsong


January 31st: Fan Poems

Present: Joseph Muschette, Jasmine Jerkins, Gianna Aquino, Angel Jimenez, Malique Henry, and Javon Fowler


Poem 1: Candleism

I like baked cookies.

An octopus has eight tentacles.

It was as hot as a summer’s day.

In a world of darkness is anything certain?

Too many lights to see the stars, I dream of somewhere far.

This is known as Candleism.

Sometimes you wake up dead.


Poem 2: Driving Will

Her skin reminds me of constellations at night.

My Band-Aid is on my thumb.

A pencil in Spanish is lapiz.

When you’re asleep you are not awake.

A driving will that will push you forward.


Poem 3: A Vial of Hope

If you wax the candlestick, the candle is wax.

Her hair burns like the brightest of fires.

The dog named Lambo ate cheese.

A male seahorse is the one who gets pregnant.

When you are wet you are not dry.

A vial of hope is all you need.


Poem 4: Seriously

I talk with a melody and walk with beats.

Once you wax the candle, the candlestick is waxed.

Her eyes are like the deepest of oceans.

My friend the alien eats fish.

A peanut is part of the bean family.

When it’s not day it’s night.

Nothing can be taken seriously.


Poem 5:  Flower

A starfish has five arms that can grow back.

I remember as if it were yesterday.

A cliff of uncertainty looms.

I see my name in lights I just hope it aint a typo.

The candlestick’s potential, is to be waxed a lot.

She is my most treasured flower.


Poem 6: Peaches

It hurt looking at her.

An undying fire burns bright.

The only way out is through.

The candlestick to its fullest burning potential.

Her cheeks are like the brightest peaches.



Coffee House January 31st: Immigration Ban

“Not everyone is bad. We need to deal with things at home before we expand.”

“Bombs are made by people to kill people.”

“Don’t walk in the dirt before you put on your shoes.”

“The executive order was too soon. Solve the small problems first.”

“We need to fight the government.”

“People just need to be open-minded.”

“Knowledge is power. Ignorance is bliss. America needs to shine light on what’s right.”

“We should stop the idea of perpetuating hate, it only facilitates the perfect environment to make things change for the worse.”

“I’m an immigrant. I can’t imagine the ban being put on my country. Good topic!”

“Make America great again! Let us as people united try to deport Trump himself!”

“Politics are so much of a strong social issue but I don’t know if the subject is good for this kind of setting.”

“We don’t need to judge an action just because it comes for one specific person. Regardless of our feelings, we should be able to think reasonably and not think in black and white.”

“I feel that history repeats itself in new and inventive ways that we have to deal with.”

Shelly-Ann Leslie





My name is Shelly-Ann Leslie. I am 19-years-old and I’m from Jamaica. I’ve been drawing from a really young age. I would usually just do little doodles in the back of my notebooks in math class. I also did it whenever I was forced to or upset. I’m introverted but whenever I get a topic I enjoy or find interesting I tend to speak a lot. I find anime interesting. Most of the artwork I do is anime, but I’ll play around with realistic drawings if I feel like it.

I would love to learn to paint and use various software designed to create artwork. I still have a lot to learn and I hope to get better at drawing.



Join the Writing Club!

Students Joe Muschette and Gianna Aquino are starting up the Tuesday night writing club for this semester! To join, please contact Joe at: or Gianna at:


Whether you like writing or kind of like writing, we invite you to join our club! Together, we’ll develop some new stories, poems, creative writing activities, etc. It will all be fun, exciting, and you can make new friends along the way! Some sample activities include:

Creating thriller short stories

Writing shape poems that can be displayed around campus

Putting together stories made by your peers

Participating in Poem Week

Journal Decorating and a whole lot more


Professors’ Corner with Rebecca Mills

By Professor Rebecca Mills

When I turned 14, the legal age of working, my mother took me right down to the city hall of New Rochelle to get working papers. Shortly after, she placed me in a program that helps young teenagers prepare, look for, dress for, and interview for jobs. When I completed the program’s training course, I was given a list of places to pursue and hopefully get an internship at. The program pays the trainee for the internship, which is why so many places were available to choose from; those places didn’t have to pay us themselves. I looked through the list of places that were available and had no interest, in the least, in most of them. They had a bunch of positions at the YMCA that was formally in Mount Vernon, it was closed a few years ago, and some others in offices. The only place that seemed of interest was the Pelham Art Center because it had “art” in the name. I was set up with an interview and shortly after meeting with Lisa Robb, the director at the time, I was given an opportunity to be an intern.

Previously before ever having worked in an art related environment I was heavily into reading. I read anything and everything whether it was a comic book, manga, fashion/music magazine, romantic fiction novels, or crime solving mysteries I would read it. Most importantly though, I loved comic books and manga. I loved the illustrations and the dramatic story lines. It catered to my love of cartoons as well. So, when I started to work in an art related environment I felt as though I was being entered into an expansive world beyond what was available on my television or my weekly trips to book stores and comic book shops. The Pelham Art Center offers classes and a public gallery along with free workshops catering to cultural traditions such as Chinese New Year celebrations or my absolute favorite the Diwali Hindu festival of lights. I learned a lot being there. I still am there except now instead of an intern, who then was promoted to work front desk, became a teacher’s assistant, was a camp counselor, gallery help, and whatever else they threw at me, I am currently a teacher.

While attending high school (New Rochelle High School), I was blessed enough to be amongst one of the first year of students that had the privilege of having access to the then new building dedicated to the arts. There are multiple studios for painting, photography, graphic arts, dancing, drama/theater, and music. The teachers are also very supportive of students who wish to pursue any kind of field whether it was in science, mathematics or the arts. I was able to grow as a painter and mixed media artist because of this. At the time, most of my work was heavily focused on gay rights, feminism, and bizarre (bizarre is good) teenage fantasies. Though I am not a homosexual, I had and still do, many friends who are LGBTQ and was the vice president of the Gay-Straight alliance. For senior year of High School I was a part of an independent study program that NRHS offers, W.I.S.E, and dedicated a whole series of paintings questioning why homosexuals weren’t allowed the rights of marriage. Before graduating high school, I was sure of myself as an artist but unsure of what I was going to do to pursue the arts.

My grades weren’t great because I always cut classes to paint. I lived in those studios. When I was home I would sketch, create, paint and collage works of art in my room. It was never an issue of my intelligence because I would read all the books my teachers would assign, write fantastic essays, and engage in conversations with my teachers. My grades suffered only because I was rarely in class, and it is the teacher’s obligation to deduct points for not coming, along with missing in class tests and quizzes. With that said, when it was time to go to college, it was very hard to be able to actually get into one. My portfolio was phenomenal, art schools loved it, but my grades were totally horrible and they couldn’t accept me. I ended up going to WCC for two years which has a fantastic art program. I eventually transferred to CUNY Lehman before receiving my associates degree.

Lehman was a stepping stone in my life because it was completely different from any other kind of environment I have ever been in. I hated it there for the first semester because I was not used to culture in the Bronx and thought everyone was angry all the time. Hear me out, I grew up in Westchester, would hang out in Chelsea with the gays, Brooklyn, L.E.S and Queens with alternative sub-cultures/aspiring conscious rappers/hippies; etc, or anywhere there was an artsy environment. The Bronx was a new setting for me and a new culture that I didn’t understand. People weren’t as open to me coming up to them and starting a conversation as though I have known them my whole life. I also hated my first painting professor. He is your typical macho painting professor that hazes everyone who wants to be an artist. This is something common in art schools and programs. The painting departments are typically white male dominated and they put pressure on their students but more so specifically their female students. They do this to show that painting isn’t just a hobby; it’s a serious discipline and you have to really want to be there. With that said I felt like I was in a nightmare. Up until that point I had never experienced a challenge to my knowledge of self as an artist. I even considered switching my major from painting to design.

At Lehman, students are required to take a course in every discipline including philosophy, science, language, politics and so forth. This is common at most Universities. My second semester, and so on, I was more used to the culture and was experimenting with different kinds of classes and fields and having an amazing time. I grew to really love the place. I took up creative writing as a minor with thanks to a childhood friend who inspired me to get into writing. I grew to understand myself as not only a black person but a black woman and what that means in relation to the world. Lehman caters to the African diaspora and Latinx community, offering a multitude of courses and majors that reflect the community they serve. This changed my focus as an artist as well. I became more interested in feminism and the perspective of a black woman which reflects in my artwork and writings. I also became a stronger painter because of that professor I hated so much. I now appreciate him because I became resilient and didn’t want to let a white man bring me down. Him and I became very close. He even told me he wishes he could adopt me as a daughter. There were other professors who I admire very much and learned a lot from but the experience with him, Professor Carrellas, was the most intense.

These experiences have shaped how I have moved forward as an artist and someone whose life is dedicated to preserving, understanding, teaching, and experiencing art and the different forms of it. To say that I live and breathe art is not only a cliché but an understatement. I’m so deep into this world that I think I would be horribly miserable if I were to take up something else such as being a lawyer, a doctor or those other jobs parents ask that their children consider as a child to guarantee a successful life. I intend to spend the rest of my life pursing a further career as an instructor of the arts, write about art and art history, and be a painter. Though, it is not easy to be represented by a gallery as a painter and have your work showcased internationally, I feel it’s never too late for anyone if they try hard enough and stay dedicated to their dreams. I am not currently represented by a gallery but I haven’t given up yet either.

About the Professor

Rebecca graduated from CUNY Herbert H. Lehman college class of 2015 with a B.A. in Studio Art concentrating in Painting while also minoring in Creative Writing; received a honors chord for graduating as a Dean’s List student. She exhibited as a member of NRCA ( New Rochelle Council of the Arts) for various public installations in downtown New Rochelle. She has curated exhibits, was a featured poet in spoken word events along with having written work published, has written a successful 10-minute play featured in two CUNY theatre festivals and has a passion for painting and working with mixed media from a feminist perspective.

I’d Like to Thank My Laptop

By Nelson Rodriguez

Working with my group was the best experience EVER! Not only did 60% of them never show up, but I also had to come up with the idea all by myself, well with the small help from one person of course. I will never forget how this other individual showed up last second and clutched his slides out and thought it was all good. In fact, I loved how we all individually did our own parts instead of sharing our ideas with each other, because you know, teamwork makes the dreamwork. I just loved every single moment of procrastination, because waiting for nothing is the best way to get things done. For extra credit, I decided to form a team where everyone could become better slackers. The name of this team is “Lounge-Lizard” and our motto is “We are too lazy to stop being lazy”. Why should people be forced to do work in college? Work is overrated and should be banned in every college across the United States. In fact, work is time consuming.

To be completely honest, I would love to do this again, but this time, don’t group me with all the hard working people because that’s boring. Instead, I want to get grouped with all the slackers in the class. Who wouldn’t want to stress people to do their work 24/7, isn’t that what college is all about? But on a serious note, I would like to thank all the people that helped me during this presentation: My laptop for always being there for me, my notes for always being a reference, my writing utensils for always being on point, and most of all, H2O because who doesn’t like water, right?

Nelson Rodriguez is a Freshman criminal justice major at Monroe College in New Rochelle, New York.


The Beast-Winter Contest 2016 3rd Place

3rd Place Winter Contest 2016

By Timothy Spinella

The Beast

So I am known as The Snow Beast when winter is involved. If anyone gets snowed in my phone is ringing off the hook. Sometimes, when this starts I don’t even want to answer but I know I have to get out there and start shoveling.

Well, I know the money is good no matter if I’m working for myself or Big John. I know my pockets will be full at the end of the day. If I’m working with Big John, I’m usually in a payloader plowing parking lots. I honestly like doing that because it’s a lot more money and not as much back-breaking work. If I’m working by myself I’m usually going from house to house with my friends in The Beast. I usually man the snow blower and the hundred dollar bills start flying. Sometimes when people see how easy I make the job look they can’t resist asking how much for my services, and I can’t wait to hear them say, “Do it.” If I’m on one of my usual calls I know I’ll be getting five to six jobs out of that one phone call. I also know that it will be six to seven hundred dollars in my pocket. Just while doing all of this we like to have a lot of fun, so we go drifting and have lots of snowball fights. At the end of the day I know when the white falls from the sky the money is falling with the snow.

Timothy Spinella is a Freshman culinary arts student at Monroe College in New Rochelle, New York.



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