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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.

We Are Poughkeepsie Mural Celebrates Local Heroes

Students working on We Are Poughkeepsie Mural at The Art Effect

Poughkeepsie Middle School is the new home of a collaborative mural designed by Hudson Valley artist Mary Haddad and fifteen Poughkeepsie City School District elementary students. Created during an arts and academics-themed camp at The Art Effect, the We Are Poughkeepsie mural celebrates many of Poughkeepsie’s luminaries who revolutionized medicine, fought discrimination, served in the military, broke barriers, and literally reached for the stars. The students who contributed to this mural hope that all who view it at its new home in the middle school will be inspired, just as they were by the historical heroes depicted. Learn more about The Art Effect’s summer camps.

The young artists that worked on the painting include: Rafael Andujar-McNeil, A’Nyah McNeil, NaLay Jennings, Malana Myers, Jaivon Williams, Emerson Birrittella, Vencott Smith Jr., Is’Real Whitted, Gabriella Flanagan, Cameron Smith, Prince Brown, Dasim Washington, Samaad Paulin, Siraj Paulin, and Sharif Paulin. The camp instructors were The Art Effect instructor Donna Mikkelson, with the academic portion taught by Poughkeepsie City School District educator Shireen Cader.

The program was made possible by the collaborative efforts of the Poughkeepsie City School District, The Art Effect, the Poughkeepsie Farm Project, the Poughkeepsie Public Library, and Hudson Valley’s artists and art educators. 

Finished We Are Poughkeepsie mural celebrates local heroes

Significant figures featured include (from left to right):

  • Sadie Peterson Delaney (1889-1958): A poet and internationally recognized librarian, Sadie attended Poughkeepsie High School and was a member of the Zion Church of Poughkeepsie. Sadie’s activism began at age 15, when she read an original poem advocating for equal voting rights in front of Poughkeepsie’s Equal Suffrage League. She studied to be a librarian in Harlem at the height of the Harlem Renaissance. She later pursued her career at Tuskegee Veterans Adminsitration Hospital, where she revolutionized the use of books as therapy in the treatment of mental and physical disorders.
  • Gaius Bolin (1965-1946): The first Black student to attend and graduate from Williams College, Gaius began his life and education in Poughkeepsie. In 1892, he passed the bar exam and became the only Black lawyer in the city. He was a founding member of the Dutchess County NAACP, was named the first Black president of the Dutchess County Bar Association, and in 1901, he was appointed by then-New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt to the NY State Board of Managers. Throughout his life, Gaius fought against racism: challenging discrimination by the president of Vassar College, protesting the discriminator practices of the local YMCA, and pursuing his profession unafraid of the then-active KKK.
  • Jane Bolin (1908-2007): Daughter of Gaius Bolin, Jane attended Poughkeepsie public schools and graduated from Wellesley College. She was the first Black woman to accomplish many things in the legal profession, including to graduate from Yale Law School, to pass the NY State bar exam, to hold the position of assistant corporate counsel, and to serve as a judge in the United State. Throughout her career, she challenged segregationist policies, and she served on the board of the NAACP and the NY Urban League.
  • Annie Marie Lawrence Bolin (1836-1910): Mother of Gaius Bolin and grandmother of Jane Bolin, Annie Marie lived her whole life in Poughkeepsie. She and her husband Abram raised their family at 35 North Clinton Street. Annie Mraie was a prominent member of the local community. Throughout her lifetime, she witnessed monumental changes in American society, and she inspired future generations of her family to break barriers.
  • Walter Patrice (1919-2018): A lifelong resident of Poughkeepsie, Walter served in World War II as First Lieutenant 389th in the Engineer General Service Regiment in Europe. He returned home to have an enormous impact on his local community; he served on the City of Poughkeepsie Recreation Commission, the Poughkeepsie Planning Board, the Executive Men’s Club of Poughkeepsie, The Colored Troops Museum of Hartwick College, and the American Society of Manufacturing Engeineers. He had a keen interest in history and founded the Black History Project Committee in the Dutchess County Historical Society. For his accomplishments, he was honored by the Catharine Street Community Center, the Sports Hall of Fame for Johnson C. Smith College, the Dutchess County Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Dutchess County Sports Museum Hall of Fame.
  • Maria Mitchell (1818-1889): Maria was a librarian, educator, and the first-recognzied female astronomer in the United States; though she reached astronomical heights, she always called Poughkeepsie her home. Maria attended and taught at Vassar College. Her best-known accomplishment took place here in Poughkeepsie when she discovered a telescopic comet using a two-inch telescope. This comet was later named after her, and earned Maria a gold medal from King Frederic VI of Denmark. She founded the Association for the Advancement of Woman, and was the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1905, she was one of three women elected to the Hall of Fame of Great Americans and was an inductee into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. A lunar crater on the moon is also named in her honor.

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!

Paid Artist Opportunity

 Reel Exposure International Teen Film & Photography: A PKX Festival 
Submission Deadline: December 30, 2022
Email destiny@thearteffect.org for submission and/or questions 

The Art Effect is looking for an artist to create a projection-based work of art that allows for youth participation in the process of its creation. The artist would create the media work prior to the Reel Exposure Film & Photo Festival in collaboration with students of The Art Effect. The selected artist would be required to be in attendance on Saturday, May 6th to unveil and speak about the project, and Sunday, May 7th to speak on a panel alongside other film, photo, and media related professionals. Click HERE for more information.

Please submit the items listed below to be considered to Destiny@thearteffect.org:

  • Artist Bio
  • Resume and/or CV 
  • Sample of Work Portfolio (Website or google drive links welcome) 
  • Project Description (1 page)
  • Description of your projection concept 
  • What role do the youth play in the creation and execution of the proposal?
  • How do you imagine your work of art activating the public?
  • Proposed project budget ( See #6 for Budget details)

MADLab Students Create Mural for Scenic Hudson

The Art Effect’s Media/Arts/Design Lab program youth were commissioned by Scenic Hudson to paint a stunning mural at the old Harmon & Castella building at 164 Garden Street. In a fun collaboration project to involve the neighborhood in Scenic Hudson’s renovation and revitalization efforts, the mural represents the kind of place local residents believe Garden Street should become. 

painting mural project

MADLab participants Latiana, Lamont, Jason, and Sirena with assistance from their teacher, Morgan Suter were inspired by the idea of “community” to create the imagery for the project. They then used their unique talent and vision to illustrate what community means to them. They generated individual drawings and character sketches– drawing inspiration from familiar sights in their daily lives and imbuing these images with imagination and vitality. The four youth artists then combined their styles in an original painting of impressive scale.

“I am relieved, excited, and happy that a small drawing is now a huge piece of art,” Lamont said.

mural painting

The most important aspect of the mural is its expansive blackboard section, which invites passers-by to write and draw with chalk, continuing the act of artistic collaboration and further reinforcing the theme of community. The color scheme uses both cool and warm hues for a fun and vibrant effect that is welcoming in tone, yet retains the vivacious energy of their original sketches.

On Saturday, November 12th, Scenic Hudson held a block party where attendees collaborated on the blackboard section of the mural their own ideas for what the Harmon & Castella building could become with its upcoming renovations!

finished mural
finished mural

Engaging youth in the arts promotes powerful community change. From youth-designed public art and gallery curation to arts education, The Art Effect connects young people with opportunities to develop new skills and engage in civic life all year long. A special thank you to Scenic Hudson for their collaboration on this project and mission to environmental preservation. Our city streets are an important aspect of the environment, and the art which decorates Poughkeepsie is an integral part of the Hudson Valley’s famed beauty. Latiana, Lamont, Jason, and Sirena’s work celebrates both the human and the artistic aspects of our environment.  The finished mural now welcomes, inspires, and excites all who come to Garden Street.

Empower Young Artists to Lead Community Transformation

“Being a part of The Art Effect has made me a more dynamic thinker. I feel so much more confident in my idea processing. Also, seeing the [Wonderland] exhibition come together makes me proud because we put so much effort and heart into this festival. I’m excited for the community to experience it.”

— Jadeen Sampson, Student at The Art Effect

This #GivingTuesday, The Art Effect is launching an annual campaign. Help us reach our goal of $30,000! We need your support to continue to empower young artists like Jadeen to find their voices and lead community transformation! Text ARTEFFECT to 44-321 or donate online right now!

Jadeen began his artistic journey with The Art Effect in 2016. At first, he was a shy high school student, quietly drawing in the corner of our Pershing St. studio. When we first met him he was anxious at the thought of showing anyone his art or speaking in front of his class. At The Art Effect, Jadeen found his voice.

It was during his Media, Art, Design Lab (MADLab) program, when Jadeen was just 17 years old, that his voice began to grow. Working with educators at The Art Effect, he showed not only talent but also leadership skills completing public art installations, business logos, and refining his drawing skills. The following year, shortly after Jadeen’s senior year in high school, he worked as a youth employee of The Art Effect to film and interview the 2019 candidates running for Poughkeepsie Mayor with hopes of encouraging more votes. Through hosting these interviews, he showed his growing self-confidence as he asked both candidates tough questions on police relations in Poughkeepsie and the revitalization of Poughkeepsie’s Main Street.

In 2020, Jadeen worked on The TAG At Dutchess, a county-funded website that allowed him to create content and graphics to connect youth with resources and remote job opportunities during the pandemic. He then worked with Forge Media as a youth filmmaker apprentice, and finally as a key member of the Youth Curatorial Team at Trolley Barn Gallery.

He has participated in almost every program The Art Effect has to offer and was given an Outstanding Youth Employee Award by the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board for his passion and dedication to his work. Over the past year, Jadeen has planned, curated, and even painted the pavement for our first annual PKX Arts Festival. Jadeen is an instrumental youth employee in our youth workforce training programs including MADLab, the Youth Curatorial Team, and the PKX Festival Committee! Jadeen, like so many others at The Art Effect, has big dreams of changing the world through his many artistic endeavors — from drawing to music to public speaking. Jadeen has developed the skills that now match his drive and confidence and he continues to support the mission of The Art Effect as a key advocate and leader in community transformation.

“I feel like art is really important, especially in this community. When we get to make art here like we did this summer it reminds us that this is home. It’s our home, Poughkeepsie, New York. Art helps us realize that.”

— Jadeen Sampson, Student at The Art Effect

The PKX Festival is the cornerstone of the Youth Arts Empowerment Zone where youth like Jadeen engage the community in high quality visual and performing arts experiences that they curate. Within the Youth Arts Empowerment Zone youth are the leaders that showcase the impact that arts and arts education can have on both an individual and on our community.

From youth-designed public art and gallery curation to arts education, The Art Effect connects young people like Jadeen with opportunities to develop new skills and engage in civic life. Through the emerging Youth Arts Empowerment Zone — including the annual PKX festival and public art installations, young people are transforming the visual landscape of Poughkeepsie and beyond. Help spark a youth-led renaissance throughout the Hudson Valley. Support the creative voices of youth in our community by donating today. To make a donation or learn more about the Youth Arts Empowerment Zone, donate today!

“Jadeen is living proof that the arts empower! He first joined our programs unsure of what he wanted out of life, and over the years has developed into a successful freelance artist and designer who is constantly giving back to the community. I was always impressed with him as a student, now I’m beyond proud to work with him as a young adult at the start of his arts career, and I’m so excited to see what the next generation of youth like Jadeen are capable of!”

— Mary Ellen Iatropoulos, Director of Programs

2022 Reel Exposure International Teen Film and Photography Festival

Reel Exposure 2022
Wednesday – Friday, May 4, 5 & 6
Re-watch this year’s festival below!

Snag a digital program to learn more about all the amazing work in the festival!

Photography Exhibition
Trolley Barn Gallery, 489 Main St. Poughkeepsie
View the virtual gallery.


Reel Exposure Winners

Photography:
First Place: “Audiophile” Risa Darlington-Horta
Second Place: “Frozen Over” Aaliyah Loverso
Third Place: “684” Andres Perez
Audience Choice Award: “Frozen Over” Aaliyah Loverso

Film:
First Place: Think Like A Filmmaker — by Eli Berliner
Second Place: Beth — by Ava Bounds
Third Place: Take heart! — by Lillith Jörg
Audience Choice Award: Cry About It – by Amani Jamal

Reel Exposure International Film and Photo Festival 2022

Virtual Short Film Screenings Part II with Awards, and Artist Q&A

Currently viewable on Facebook & YouTube

Don’t miss the the final night of the Reel Exposure International Teen Film and Photo Festival featuring a final screening, an awards ceremony, and a Q&A with some of the filmmakers and photographers whose work was featured in Reel Exposure.
Featuring:
Think Like A Filmmaker — by Eli Berliner *First Place Winner*
Cry About It — by Amani Jamal
Hook, Line, and Sinker — by Hudson Price
She— by Eva Li
Take heart! — by Lillith Jörg *Third Place Winner*

Virtual Short Film Screenings Part I

Currently viewable on Facebook & YouTube

Watch the first half of the Reel Exposure Festival’s Short Film Showcase with us tonight, as we all get together virtually for some exciting films from all over the world.
Featuring:
Beth — by Ava Bounds *Second Place Winner*
Eidolon — by Zev Marinoff
It’s Getting Bad Again — by Sarah Reyes
DON’T OPEN THAT BOX! — by Mason Jones
The Girl Who Cried Sick — by Ruby Taylor
She Can’t Control Herself — by WVN Productions

reel exposure

About Reel Exposure

Reel Exposure Film & Photo Festival features photography and youth-produced short films – animations, documentaries, dramas, horror, and comedies – created by talented young artists from across the world.

Reel Exposure encompasses all of The Art Effect’s goals: to encourage youth creativity, to invigorate our local community through the arts, and to showcase the incredible work done by this next generation of media-makers.

The Art Effect’s annual event encourages youth creativity, invigorates the local community
through the arts, and showcases the incredible work done by the next generation of artists from around the globe and right here in Poughkeepsie!

“Seeing a film you put all of this work into actually get attention, to have people genuinely enjoy something you made at Reel Exposure, it’s really special, especially when you’re just starting out. It was a call to action for me, like, ‘This is something you’re supposed to do, keep at it!” – Matthew Hamilton, 2020 Reel Exposure Participant

About the Photography Exhibition

reel exposure awards

Professional and youth jurors selected photographs from submissions from teens ages 13-19 across the world. In the past, submissions have come from Singapore, Italy, Islamic Republic of Iran, and the United States. Opening with a public reception, this exciting youth exhibition remains on display at the Trolley Barn Gallery and is accompanied by a virtual gallery tour for those unable to attend. Photography Exhibition opening will be on May 4, 2022.

About the Film Festival

Viewers can expect to see a mix of film genres in film festival lineup, including animations, documentaries, dramas, horror, and comedies from teen filmmakers. 12 short films will be screened virtually on May 5-6, 2022. In the past, submissions have come from The United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Poland, Mexico, China, and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Inspired by the amazing photographs and films young artists around the world are creating? Please consider donating to The Art Effect to help support the youth arts programming taking place in the Hudson Valley right now!

Reel Exposure is supported in part by monies received from the New York State Council On The Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Vassar Brothers Institute Donor Advisor Fund of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley.

2022 Teen Visions

Teen Visions - Tabitha Koren
Artwork by Tabitha Koren

Experience art through the eyes of talented teens who created an impressive collection of artworks, including drawing, painting, photography, digital animation, film, mixed media, and more!

Teen Visions is a culmination of hard work and dedication the work of selected young artists from The Art Effect’s 2022 summer programs including Summer Art Institute, Junior Art Institute, MADLab, Spark Studios, and D-LIT. It is an incredible accomplishment to be chosen for the Teen Visions Exhibition. As part of The Art Effect’s growing mission to empower youth as leaders who catalyze and engage the community through the arts and re-energize downtown Poughkeepsie, Teen Visions is exhibited alongside professional artists from The Art Effect’s annual membership community November 18 – December 9, 2022.

Join us for an opening reception on Friday, November 18 from 5-7pm

Gallery Hours
Wednesday – Friday, 2-5pm
Saturday, 12-4pm

Welcome New Members of The National Art Honor Society Chapter #2242

The Art Effect’s National Art Honor Society Chapter #2242 Welcomes 18 New Members! 🎉🎨

Membership into the NAHS gives excel level students participating in the Art Institute, MADLab, the Youth Curatorial Team, or Spark Studios at The Art Effect access to college scholarships from the NAEA (National Art Education Association). Furthermore, NAHS members are seen as leaders in their field and often receive priority treatment when applying to college. The average member in good standing, upon graduation has received $6,000 in scholarship dollars to attend college. Six of our graduates have even received the $60,000 NAEA scholarship to attend Pratt Institute’s Art Education program!

NAHS students will organize, plan, and host various art activities and projects to benefit the surrounding communities, such as our annual video & photography competition, Reel Exposure, gallery exhibits at the Trolley Barn Gallery, fun excursions to other galleries and museums, and Hudson Valley Regional Portfolio Week.

2022 – 2023 National Art Honor Society Members:

Myelle-Sanai J.

Israel R.

Malika O.

Tracy O.

Adel R., Poughkeepsie High School

Juliana S., Roy C Ketcham High School

Saoirse W.

Vanessa M., Beacon High School

Serafin G., Corwall Central Highschool

Jahnvi M.

Catarina G., Arlington High School

Leroy M., Boces Beta

Juliana W., Warwick Valley High School

Fiona S.

Celia D., Haldane High School

Kaley S., Wallkill Senior High School

Jessica B.

Gabriel K.

Spark Studios Fall Program Has Begun for New Students

Spark Studios students are learning the basic fundamentals of photography this fall with a new group of teens ages 14-19. This semester, students learn filmmaking and videography in order to develop their film production and professional skills including:

  • Working with clients on commercial videos
  •  Bringing a creative vision to life across stages of production

Youth who complete Spark Studios can earn a $100 stipend. The Art Effect’s Youth Workforce Training Programs empowers youth to develop their artistic voice to shape their futures by giving them the opportunity to develop real skills, and guiding them towards achieving their academic and career goals.

Check out this behind the scenes video create by Spark Studios intern Leo. Over the past week, students have learned the concept photography and are working together to create artistic photos to submit to Reel Exposure International Film and Photography Festival and the Scholastic Arts & Writing competition!

Fall semester of Spark Studios runs September 27 – November 17, 2022, 3:00-5:30pm at the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory, 8 North Cherry Street, Third Floor, Poughkeepsie, NY 12508

Spark Studios teaches film and media arts to empower youth’s voices, build workforce development skills, provide paid work experience, and help students get on a path to college and career success. Youth in Spark Studios learn filmmaking, photography, digital media production, and create media projects in teams and for community clients.

Learn more about Spark Studios: https://thearteffect.org/programs/spark-studios