Archive for the "Uncategorized" Category

YAEZ Liaisons’ New Pavement Mural

The Youth Arts Empowerment Zone (YAEZ) liaisons have revitalized the pavement outside the Trolley Barn Gallery with a vibrant mural, revamping the previous artwork. This project is part of their annual community engagement efforts, where local students organize workshops, art activities, and an arts festival. 

The YAEZ liaisons collaborated on a lively, pop-inspired design. Through interactive workshops, they created characters and themes celebrating nature and Poughkeepsie’s landscape. The community embraced the project, with over 50 people participating in the painting process. The mural now serves as a joyful centerpiece, engaging residents and visitors with community spirit!

Teaching Artist: Destiny Arianna  

Assistant: Tamara Gentle  


Keima Worme  

Ashley Lewis  

Tahleeya Raphael  

Shandrela Williams  

Tamara Gentle: ‘Color My Future’ Coloring Book

Meet Tamara Gentle, a dynamic and talented artist who graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2023. A proud alumna of Poughkeepsie High School, Tamara has impacted the art community over the past two years. She has dedicated her time as a teaching artist at The Art Effect, where she has played a role in assisting with residencies and co-teaching the MADLab youth workforce program. Her commitment to fostering creativity and skill development in young artists has made her an important figure among students.

One of Tamara’s standout achievements includes her involvement with the Color My Future Duchess County Career coloring book. Originally, she was part of the team that designed the original illustrations for this innovative project. More recently, she took the lead on updating the content, providing illustration support to ensure the book remains a valuable and engaging resource. 

Earth’s Reflection March Events 

At the Trolley Barn Gallery, the power of art to inspire change, and foster community engagement is important. The international open call for the Earth’s Reflection exhibition invites artists to explore art, environment, and social justice through these various events:

Lauren Hollick – Studio Visit (March 8)

Lauren Hollick is a Hudson Valley artist and educator who works mostly with upcycled materials. Studios toured her studio at the Cunneen-Hackett Art Center and asked her questions about her artistic practice and personal motivation to create climate change sensitive art. Hollick explained her process of making paper and collecting found objects for her artwork.

Elinor Levy – Guest Speaker, Activity (March 15)

Elinor Levy is a Hudson Valley artist and Folk Arts Program Manager at Arts Mid-Hudson. Levy talked the students through concepts of cultural sustainability and local folklore. They discussed how legends and stories about a place can affect a city just as much as the truth and how a culture can be changed when the narrative about a place changes. Levy led a “Jane’s Walk” around Main Street in Poughkeepsie and the students observed their environment and investigated local meeting spots, abandoned locations and statements of local culture articulated through signage and folklore. The students learned how individual identity can be crafted in response to environment and history. 

Serena Domingues – Workshop (March 16)

Serena Domingues is a Founder of Nature’s Impact – a Poughkeepsie based environmental education organization that curates experimental art installations and holds pop up workshops and activities focused on exploring the connection between humans and nature. Serena put together a workshop to teach the students how to create pinch-pots out of clay. While the students manipulated clay into their desired shapes, Serena explained her practice and professional journey – reminding our students that there is no single, right way to become an artist and start your own business. Serena also spoke about clay, it’s originals and asked the students to speak on how clay makes them feel and think – and how it feels to be connected to the Earth and to use earth as a medium for artmaking. 

Harrison Brisbon-McKinnon – Guest Speaker, Activity (March 16)

Harrison Brisbon-McKinnon is a Vassar student and Art Effect alum who volunteered to give a two part presentation on ownership and identity and how it is informed by a person’s environment. Brisbon-McKinnon spent a large portion of last summer studying Earth Science and technology – holding a weekly workshop to help underrepresented communities gain access to advanced scientific technology. In part one of his presentation, Brisbon-McKinnon introduced the students to concepts of body ownership and consumption. He asked students to image that their bodies were not their own – that they are in fact part of the Earth and part of a bigger system of ecology that may be outside the realm of individual identity. In an exercise, he asked students to delete an app from their phone whose sole purpose was consumerism to empower them to contribute more to the culture, not just ingest what has already been created. In part two of his presentation, he employed an activity similar to the Jane’s Walk the students participated in with Elinor Levy. But for this activity the purpose was to dissect who the building truly belonged to – beyond legal ownership – and what was the purpose of these locations for the community members who patronized them. The students were encouraged to discuss the purpose of these locations and how they would change if their ownership of those locations reflected the community more than capitalistic endeavors. 

Sheri Reid – Guest Speaker (March 29)

Sheri Reid is a environmental justice consultant and Poughkeepsie local. Reid gave a presentation to the students that illustrated the institutional policies that built Poughkeepsie and created the racial and economic divides within the city. Reid’s presentation included maps and demographic information of the city of Poughkeepsie which clearly demonstrated the access (or in access) to reliable FEMA resources considering that the majority of Poughkeepsie is in a flood plain. This presentation sparked lively discussion about institutional racism and different environmental factors that contribute to further disparity between marginalized and non-marginalized communities. 

These events have deepened the understanding of art, environment, and social justice, inspiring a commitment to positive change.The Trolley Barn Gallery is excited to showcase diverse perspectives at Earth’s Reflection, with an opening reception on June 14 from 6 PM to 8 PM. The exhibition will be displayed from June 14 to August 9, 2024, highlighting art’s power to engage and inspire.

PKX Festival 2024 Program

PKX Festival 2024 Highlights

The PKX Festival was a great success this year! From music performances to inspiring showcases, the energy was vibrant throughout the event. We are happy to relive these moments of creativity and community with these stunning photos from the event!

Thank you to all who made the PKX Festival unforgettable!

PKX Fashion Show!

Vote for your favorite designs in the audience choice awards!

MADLab Students Unveil Public Art Sculpture at PKX Festival

The upcoming PKX Festival, themed “Droppin’ Jewels,” is deeply rooted in the wisdom and influence of Keli Faircloth’s grandmother, a beloved figure in her life. As an active member of The Art Effect’s programs and a vital part of the PKX Festival Committee and Youth Curatorial Team, Keli embodies the theme through her role as a knowledge keeper, inspired by her grandmother’s wise words: “Child, I just dropped some jewels on you.” This personal connection will fill the festival with a spirit of wisdom, creativity, and community empowerment, celebrating Poughkeepsie’s creative energy across generations.

MADLab students, Mahogany and Kierra Thomas embarked on a visionary project during a May sculpture intensive. Inspired by the theme of “Droppin’ Jewels,” they developed an idea of crystal-like trees to symbolize imparting wisdom. Under the guidance of artist Suprina Kenney-Troche,  the students brought their vision to life. The outcome is an incredible gem tree, ready to captivate visitors at PKX Festival.

The gem tree serves not only as an inspirational piece of art but also as an interactive installation. Festival attendees are invited to participate by hanging pieces of wisdom or advice on the tree, fostering a sense of community and shared experience.

Join us at the PKX Festival, April 20, for the unveiling of this special creation, where art, collaboration, and inspiration converge to create a truly memorable experience.


David Wong

Suprina Kenney-Troche

MADLab Youth:

Aiden Colby 

Ilyssa Waite

Jurenei Favours

Antonio Carrera

Anderson Casco

Skit Lucca

Jaslene Johnson

Salahdeen Hamira

Sanai Leary

Yani Gaskin

Phylea Clarke

Anayi Twyman

Nyhkaii Tissiera

Oneka Hall

Youth Arts Empowerment Zone & Trolley Barn Gallery Community Clean-Ups

The Youth Arts Empowerment Zone (YAEZ) and Trolley Barn Curatorial Team are collaborating to initiate a series of community clean-ups around the Trolley Barn Gallery on Main St., Poughkeepsie. The youth are calling on all community members to join in making a positive impact in the neighborhood. If your interested group has more than five volunteers please email at least 3 days before the cleanup!

This effort is supported by the Environmental Protection Fund through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. These environmental clean-ups are scheduled for March 30, April 13, April 27, June 8, July 19, and August 3, and will provide opportunities for youth to actively engage in improving their local environment.

This last month it’s been an educational experience for me learning about the pollution prevention process. The clean up around the Trolley Barn Gallery along with the presentation/activities has made a sense of community and pride about our Earth. 
-Chanel Reed, member of the Trolley Barn Curatorial Team

In celebration of this community effort The Trolley Barn Gallery is hosting an international open call for artists to submit to be part of their upcoming exhibition, Earth’s Reflection. The gallery is interested in bringing together artists who specialize in work that brings attention to pollution prevention. The deadline to submit is April 22, 2024. This exhibition will be open from June 14 through August 9, 2024. 

2023 Senior Project Exhibition Closing

Last week, the CONVEY/ER/OR Gallery hosted a successful closing of the Senior Project Exhibition. The local gallery provided the space for these emerging artists to showcase their talents and share their perspectives. This event marked the conclusion of a 12-week program completed by local high school seniors and gap year teens, who dedicated their time and creativity to produce high-quality, portfolio-ready art pieces.

We extend our deepest gratitude to the CONVEY/ER/OR Gallery for hosting this exhibition. Their support and commitment to fostering local talent has provided our young artists with a platform to connect with the community, and their support has contributed to the success of the Senior Project Exhibition.

As the exhibition comes to a close, we’ll continue to encourage and celebrate these emerging artists. CONVEY/ER/OR Gallery remains a space for artistic expression, and we’re excited about future collaborations that spotlight the creativity of our youth!


Morgan Suter


Sirena Fitzgerald
Julie Woods
Jessica Byars

Featured Artist: Hezues R.

Last month, youth from The Art Effect’s Spark Studios workforce program collaborated with award-winning filmmaker, Hezues R. on a short film titled, The Last String. The film will debut at this year’s 3rd annual PKX Festival Arts and Film Festival.

Featured artist, Hezues R., from Poughkeepsie, New York, stands out as a prominent figure in the world of media entrepreneurship and creativity. His collaboration with the youth takes on a special significance as their project discusses prevalent issues taking place in Poughkeepsie.  He also showcased his expertise as a panelist last year at the PKX Reel Exposure Film and Photography Festival, further contributing to the discussion on media and creativity. 

 Hezues R. is an award-winning creative, recognized by the White House in 2014 as a Champion of Change for his work. His creative abilities extend to crafting globally acclaimed brands such as Boadicea the Victorious. Additionally, Hezues R. founded S.I.C. Film School, an education platform focused on social impact. Through this initiative, he works directly with youth affected by social issues, empowering them to create content that addresses those concerns. 

The PKX Festival is brought to life by young individuals participating in The Art Effect’s Youth Arts Empowerment Zone (YAEZ) Liaison Program, the Trolley Barn Gallery Curatorial Team, Media, Arts, and Design Lab, and Spark Studios. These programs work to oversee the range of festival elements, ranging from reviewing art submissions and the conceptualization of themes, to the curation of the exhibition, crafting of promotional content, selection of performers, coordination of community activities, and the creation of public artworks. 

In a weeklong winter intensive, eight youth participants address critical social issues affecting them or their community today. The concept of the video revolves around hidden messages designed to bring attention to homelessness and pollution. Together, they worked on a video to shed light on these societal concerns. 

The youth participants’ film, The Last String, will be unveiled at the PKX Festival on Friday, April 19 at 7:00 pm at the Trolley Barn Gallery. Join us to view this compelling film and hear from Hezues R. and selected youth to discuss the project and their work. 

Click here to learn more about the 2024 PKX Festival.

Youth Artists

Rochael Douglas 

Sagiv Baker

Tyrone Swain 

Demitri Volmar

Roderick Porter

Malika Oszip 

Gary Burgess 

Yusef Baker 

Guest Artist

Hezues R.