Archive for the "Featured Events" Category

Local Youth Create Art at MLK Jr. Day Open House

Open house success! More than 35 families stopped by The Art Effect on MLK Jr. Day to enjoy pizza and participate in workshop demos led by The Art Effect instructors Morgan Suter, Zach Reid, and Nia Scott.

Participants of all ages produced expressive paintings, figure drawing sketches, original melodies, and short animations. These wonderful works were only a preview of what students will learn this spring at The Art Effect in courses like Adventures in Digital Music, Portfolio in the Human Figure, and Exploring Digital Animation.

Learn more about & sign up for spring classes here! 

Also on display at this event were posters created by The Art Effect’s Media/Arts/Design Lab for the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute. These posters showed visitors easy yet effective ways to be more eco-friendly in their daily lives. 

It was incredible to welcome members of the community to 45 Pershing Avenue, and to see youth engage with different kinds of creative learning on their day off from school! From the paintings, sketches, songs and animations produced in workshop to the long-form collaborative posters from the youth workforce development team, many forms of artistic talent and hard work were celebrated.

Arts for Healing Workshop at Vassar-Warner Home

In December, The Art Effect’s MADLab students helped facilitate an incredible Arts for Healing workshop with residents of the Vassar-Warner Home. The workshop involved two sessions: “Abstract Painting” and “Intergenerational Illustration”. In the first session, residents experimented with abstract painting techniques; in the second, The Art Effect’s Media, Art, Design Lab (MADLab) students listened to stories of residents’ favorite holiday memories, then went on to illustrates these memories into a picture book holiday gift for each resident to keep (check out the book below)!

Expressing themselves through the soothing power of painting, the residents translated powerful emotions into a visual medium. Unexpected choices were an integral parts of this process; mistakes were transformed into poignant works of art.

When the workshop finished, 100% of participants reported a “strengthened sense of self” and 75% of participants said their stress level decreased and sense of optimism increased.

MADLab students spoke one on one with residents during the “Intergenerational Illustration” workshop. Each resident shared a favorite holiday memory and the students used the skills they’d cultivated in the MADLab program to bring this memory to life with unique illustrations.

Classic winter experiences like building snowmen or gathereing with family for a special meal were included, as well as distinctive memories like the first snowfall on a farm or a special holiday trip on a train. Each story was rendered in a student’s unique style, then compiled in a book which was gifted to residents. The book can be viewed online.

Whether the Vassar-Warner Home residents created their own paintings or shared their stories with MADLab students to generate collaborative works of art, The Art Effect’s Art for Healing workshop is now yet another holiday memory to be cherished! Learn more about The Art Effect’s Arts for Healing program here.

Big Read Workshops with The Art Effect

The Art Effect and Poughkeepsie Public Library collaborated in this year’s 2022 Big Read workshops at Poughkeepsie High School and local libraries. 97 participants read the book selected for 2022: Little Monsters by Kelly Link. Painting, animation, and stop motion workshops inspired by the book took place at Poughkeepsie High School, as well as the Straatsburg and Millbrook libraries. Synthesizing literary analysis, media arts, and social-emotional learning, residency participants explored the book’s themes, as well as their own thoughts and responses, through visual mediums. Learn more about residencies with The Art Effect here.

Students at Poughkeepsie High School completed a project called “Animating Monster Metaphors.” They read the short story The Cinderella Game and discussed the use of monsters as a metaphor for emotions that can be difficult to talk about. Over the course of the eight-day residency, students designed “monster” characters based on their own fears, anxieties, and emotions, then scripted, animated, and edited narrative shorts on the subject. Some shorts featured completely digital imagery, while others utilized collage or drawing techniques. But in each finished product, students confronted and ultimately overcame their emotional “monsters”.

Patrons practice abstract painting techniques at Straatsburg Library.

At the Big Read workshop at Straatsburg Library patrons of all ages selected passages from the short stories “The Wrong Grace”, “The Faery Handbag”, and “The Specialist’s Hat”. They then depicted the moods and tones of these stories on paper with acrylic paint. Participants learned mark-making, color-mixing, and the use of abstract techniques to capture deep emotions. One participant commented, “{This workshop} encouraged creativity and stimulated imagination by giving tools to create without overwhelming people, and created a comfortable environment.”

Another workshop took place on November 9th at Millbrook Library, where Pretty Monsters stimulated conversation among patrons about how monsters can be metaphors for everyday problems and issues. Workshop participants collaborated on a stop-motion animated short about a problem everyone faces– fear of judgment. In a single session, they visually represented this fear and imagined a narrative about it– going through all steps of the stop-motion filmmaking process, from concept to execution to post-production. Teen Program Coordinator Risa Pomersiig said, “Thank you so much for running the Big Read program… It was informative and fun… a really wonderful experience.”

View the finished animation Eyes of Judgment here!