MCC News & Updates

Community Artist Spotlight: Painter and Printmaker Penny Sidi

Penny Sidi has been an art student at Educational Alliance Art School for over three years. She has taken a variety of art classes including printmaking, and both oil and acrylic painting. She is one of the artists from our community being featured in the 14Y Artists Group Show that will be on display until September 4th at our sister center the 14th Street Y. Penny shared about the exhibition and her time as an art student at MCC:

I started taking art classes at Manny Cantor Center in 2015 with Tom Gillespie’s class in oils, and then moved into acrylics. My degree is in textile design from Manchester University in England. I did a lot of art through high school and university, then none for 20 years before coming to Educational Alliance!

During my time at MCC I have enjoyed “Paint Your Vision”, and benefited from the instruction of several teachers. I have painted mostly in acrylic on wood or canvas. Most recently Jodie Niss has been my teacher, though I also recently took a linocut printmaking class with Hilary Lorenz which was extremely stimulating.

Through my EA Art School classes I have gained the confidence to experiment in different painting styles. I have worked on a much larger scale, with new mediums like gold leaf, wood panels, and palette knives, and have painted on new forms including on unstretched canvas and lino cuts. I have worked on very abstract pieces, representational ones, landscapes, self portraits and been supported in each technique very fully by the instructors.

I am so grateful to have this excellent space—so close to home— with such a warm community spirit. I have found the instructors invaluable in their support of my growth. I have also enjoyed the mentoring that I have been able to provide to my new classmates and have seen personal growth in my own work because of this role that I have adopted.

The best part for me is the flexibility to use open studio time and the ability to store work and materials—making it feel like my “home away from home”.

Art is my therapy—and MCC has provided me the venue for growth and improved mental health. I value the support I have found here and the friendships I have made.

“It’s In the Eyes” – Penny Sidi

It was exciting to be selected to show my work in the 14th Street Y gallery show celebrating the meaning of community. This venue has a lot of foot traffic and it was humbling to see my piece selected for such a prominent location at the show.

My 81-year-old mother was visiting from Israel and she was able to attend the opening along with my 9-year-old son and husband. The show gave us a moment to celebrate the journey my art has traveled over the past years.

Please help us celebrate Penny’s journey and the community of artists at Educational Alliance Art School at Manny Cantor Center by visiting the 14th Street Y Community Artists Group Show before September 4th. Exhibition hours are 9-6, Monday-Friday and 9-5, Saturday and Sunday. Photo ID is required for entry.

For more of Penny’s incredible work you can check out her website here or find her on Instagram here.


  1. REPLY
    Susan shilling says

    This is greAt to read and truly reflects the community of teachers and students at the center

Post a comment

I accept the Privacy Policy