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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.

2022 Big Read Library Workshops

In partnership with the Poughkeepsie Public Library District’s Big Read, The Art Effect is offering free artmaking workshops at libraries around the county. See all library workshop offerings below with registration information.

Painting Pretty Monsters

In this workshop, participants will learn about illustration and how to translate the written word into visual images, then select passages from Pretty Monsters to create acrylic or watercolor paintings which illustrate the mood and tone of the literary scene. Participants will focus on visual metaphor and abstract representation (using only shapes, symbols and brushstrokes) to learn painting techniques that can even help beginners capture the emotional landscape of the passage.

Friday October 7th, 11am-1pm @ Clinton Community Library

Adults only

Registration Info: free & open to the public, call Clinton Community Library at 845-266-5530 to register

Friday November 4th, 6:30-8:30pm @ Staatsburg Library

Ages 12 – Adult

Registration Info: free & open to the public, call Staatsburg Free Library at 845-889-4683 to register

Animating Monster Metaphors

Wednesday November 9th, 2:30-4:30pm @ Millbrook Library

For Teens

In this workshop, participants read excerpts from Pretty Monsters and discuss how monsters can be metaphors for everyday problems and issues (a schoolyard bully becoming a ghost that haunts you, for example), and then each create art for and animate a short video scene to bring  their monster metaphors coming to life!

Registration Info: free & open to the public, call Millbrook Free Library at 845-677-3611 to register

Fall Art Courses Interest Form

Take a deeper dive into the art you fell in love with this summer in one of our many art classes this fall at The Art Effect. Registration Opens Soon! Sign up here to receive updates!

Explore, experience, and excel in visual arts and media this year. Art classes give students the opportunity to develop real skills in the arts, and guides them towards achieving their academic and career goals. YOU can be the first to sign up for fall courses! Click the interest form link below to sign up for more information about fall classes.

Here’s a sneak peek at what we will be offering beginning this September:

Ages 5 – 11: Explore Classes
Adventures in Wearable Art: Young artists transform into an original character through imagination, mixed media art, and play using their wearable art creations.
Adventures in Shadow Puppets: Design characters and learn how light interacts in a world of shadows made from mixed media.
Art Inspirations – Exploring: Create vibrant works of art in multiple media inspired by the Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz, and beyond!
Exploring Puppetry: Design and create original puppet characters, bringing them to life through mixed media art making and performance.
Exploring Drawing & Painting: Bring imaginary characters and worlds to life while learning to express yourself through beginner drawing and painting techniques. 
Exploring Stop Motion Animation: Learn how to create stop motion animation through with clay figures, set design, and digital software.

Ages 11 – 14: Experience Classes
Art Inspirations – Foundations: Create vibrant works of art in multiple media inspired by the Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz, and beyond.
Foundations in Digital Art & Illustration: Create animated gifs, manipulate digital photos, and unlock the tools you need to make incredible digital artworks.
Foundations in Film & Animation: Level up your love of films by broadening your skills in formal cinematic techniques through filmmaking and animation.
Foundations in Drawing & Painting: Take your drawing and painting skills to the next level while learning various technical art making methods and mediums.
Foundations in Printmaking: TBD

Ages 14 – 19: Excel Classes
Art Inspirations – Portfolio: Create vibrant works of art in multiple media inspired by the Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz, and beyond.
Portfolio Development Foundations: Gain foundational skills in drawing and painting the basics of human proportions, landscapes, still-life, and more!
Portfolio in Human Figure: Render the human figure in a variety of mediums including charcoal, pastels, ink and acrylic while studying from a live model. 
Portfolio in Comics & Character Design: Learn how to design original characters & tell visual stories using various illustrative mediums & comic techniques.
Portfolio in Animation: TBD
Portfolio in Film: TBD
Portfolio in Digital Illustration: Create art for your digital portfolio including illustrations, photo-manipulations, character art, and animation.
Intermediate Portfolio in Drawing & Painting: Refine your observational rendering skills to develop a fine art portfolio through drawing, painting, and mixed media!
Advanced Portfolio in Drawing & Painting: Develop a stunning portfolio that stands out to top art schools through the creation of original conceptual artwork.
Senior Project: Reach your highest level of achievement at The Art Effect through an advanced mentoring and portfolio development course designed to help earn top scholarship awards by developing a strong body of artwork.

Fall Classes Interest Form

High Contrast International Juried Exhibition Artists

Eliot Allen, Portland, OR

Hale Allen, Philadelphia, PA

Destiny Arianna, Wappingers Falls, NY

Greg Bahr, Fort Worth, TX

Angelica Banales, Rowland Heights, CA

Monica Banks, San Francisco, CA 

Desmond Beach, New York, NY

Rebecca Beach, Windsor, CO

Stacy Bogdonoff, New York, NY

Carol Boram-Hays, Columbus, OH 

Harrison Brisbon-Mckinnon, Poughkeepsie, NY

Paula Castillo, Brooklyn, NY

Natalie Christensen, Santa Fe, NM

Kayla Corradi, Califon, NJ

Meghan Crandall, Seattle, WA

Serena Domingues, Lagrangeville, NY 

Ellen Jouret-Epstein, Germantown, NY

Megan Mickael, Palos Verdes Estates, CA

Hilary Nylander, Marshall, NC

Anais Ost, New York, NY

Spencer Owen, Port Wentworth, GA

Canon Parker, Bozeman, MT

Jack Reilly, Lahaina, HI

Edward Shmunes, West Columbia, SC

Jerry Wein, Milton, NY

Yunqui Yang, New York, NY

The Art Effect’s COVID-19 Safety Plan

(last updated 3/1/2022)

To ensure safety for all of our students and their families, The Art Effect has worked hard to create programming environments which are safe, sanitary, and responsive to the shifting needs of these uncertain times. Beginning Wednesday March 2, in accordance with the CDC stating Dutchess/Ulster County as an area of low transmission and the NYS Governor’s office lifting the mask mandate, wearing masks will be optional for all staff, and students will no longer be required to wear masks inside each of our buildings. (except in special cases, please contact us 845.471.7477).

In addition to securing the safety of our employees in accordance with directives issued by the NYS Governor’s Office, The Art Effect is providing the safest in-person programming experiences possible for the students and families we serve with the plan laid out below.

As new requirements and policies are put in place we will update our safety plan accordingly and provide notice to families enrolled in our programming.

For the health and safety of our staff and students, our COVID protocols will continue to include the following:

  • Everyone sanitizes or washes hands before and after each class/activity.
  • If your child feels sick, please keep them home. Students who report feeling sick during the day will be asked to call a caregiver to pick them up. 
  • We will work to maintain a safe social distance when necessary to continue to help stop the spread of germs.
  • Where possible, individually packaged supplies will be used. All tools, supplies, surfaces, and seating gets sanitized at the end of the day.
  • If a student or students’ immediate family member (with whom they have daily contact) tests positive for COVID-19, we ask that the student stay home. Should a teacher (or student) test positive for COVID-19 while in contact with students, we will notify families immediately.

Teen Visions 2021 showcases an incredible summer

Over 90 people joined us at the Trolley Barn Gallery for The Art Effect’s Teen Visions in-person opening last Friday, September 10, 2021, where members of the community, young artists and their families, and The Art Effect staff celebrated an incredible showcase of work from the summer. The show features over 70 pieces of artwork by teen artists from a number of different summer programs at The Art Effect, including Spark Studios, MADLab, the Junior Art Institute, and the Summer Art Institute.

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Remarks from Executive Director Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt and program heads David Wong, Paul Thompson, Rick Price, and Michael Hollick highlighted the creative journeys youth undertake in The Art Effect’s programs each summer. Artists from each program spoke briefly about their personal experiences and takeaways from their summers making art. The Teen Vision Virtual Artist Talk will feature a more in depth Q&A with artists from the showcase on September 29 from 7–8pm. Simultaneously on display at The Trolley Barn Gallery through October 2, Mary Haddad’s Black Lives Matter mural was also highlighted at the Teen Visions opening when Mary Haddad spoke about the genesis of the mural and working with teens at Oakwood Friends School this past year on its creation. Teen Visions will remain up on view through October 2, 2021 with gallery hours during the week and each weekend. The gallery is open Wednesday through Friday from 2–5pm and on Saturdays from 12 to 4pm. If you aren’t able to visit the gallery in person for the show you see all of the amazing work on display by visiting our virtual gallery for the show here. For more information on this and upcoming exhibitions visit:

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National Coloring Book Day

Grab your crayons, markers or colored pencils, it’s National Coloring Book Day and we are sharing these incredible printable coloring pages from one of The Art Effect’s talented alum, Stephanie Weinger today! Stephanie is a Natural Science and Children’s Illustrator, a current member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, and a graduate in Illustration from Moore College of Art and Design. She currently working to buil her brand, Animals Everywhere. Print your pages, use your creative flair and share your creations with us on Facebook or Instagram @thearteffect #thearteffect [pdf-embedder url=”” title=”AAD Coloring Pages”]


The Art Effect is thrilled to announce that its fourth annual Art After Dark Gala will be returning to an in-person celebration of the arts on Friday, October 22, from 7pm-10pm at the Trolley Barn Gallery in Poughkeepsie, NY. The night will feature immersive arts experiences, culinary delights, and signature cocktails with an artistic twist.
Art After Dark
The 2021 Art After Dark honorees are three prominent community and arts leaders: G. Angela HenryCaitlyn Phillips, and the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of CommerceAngela is a community advocate, educator, and actor including former board chair of Arts Mid-Hudson who recently led Barrett Art Center’s last strategic plan that resulted in the affiliation with The Art Effect. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Poughkeepsie Public Schools Foundation and is an amataur watercolorist, silversmith and needleworker. An alumna of The Art Effect, Caitlyn has shown artwork as a teenager at Barrett Art Center, has 20 years of experience spanning advertising, consulting, and innovation, and currently leads customer experience for Wunderman Thompson NY and Atlanta. Finally, The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce is a tireless advocate for its members, a business catalyst for its region, and helped keep our community safe and informed throughout the pandemic.
“We are excited to welcome everyone back to the Trolley Barn, the future home of The Art Effect, for our signature fundraising event in 2021. We have much to celebrate including our recent affiliation with Barrett Art Center, the creation of our new youth curatorial program that launched a series of international juried exhibitions and Forge Media’s incredible work this past year on events for The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and other community organizations.” says Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt, Executive Director. All proceeds from Art After Dark support The Art Effect, which empowers young people and local communities through the arts and media. Tickets are $150 per person. For tickets and more information, visit
Sponsorship opportunities are available for this event. Please contact Cory Spraker at and visit for more details.

FREE Summer Arts Program for PCSD Students

Poughkeepsie City School District Summer Arts Program

Math, ELA & The Arts for PCSD Elementary School Children in grades 4&5 August 2 — 27, 2021 Monday — Friday, 9am-4pm Located at The Art Effect, 45 Pershing Ave. Poughkeepsie In partnership with the Poughkeepsie City School District, The Art Effect is pleased to announce a FREE program for PCSD students to use their imagination, learn new skills and have fun this summer! Led by Donna Mikkelson, and Ms. Cader, a teacher at Warring Elementary School will implement the school curriculum while The Art Effect and many other exciting partners lead art, music, movement, and health activities over the 4-week program. Children will explore their artistic abilities and enhance their ELA (English Language Arts) and Math skills this summer by engaging in various art-making activities including digital media, visual arts, health, and dance while sharpening their literacy and math. REGISTER ONLINE HERE Or Download Registration Forms

Congratulations Graduates!

The Art Effect wishes all of our graduating seniors the very best as they spread their wings and become alumni of The Art Effect.

The Art Effect is proud to celebrate the achievements of graduating seniors from its MADLab, Spark Studios, and Art Institute programs. Students who completed the Art Institute’s rigorous Senior Project last fall received over $835,000 in scholarship offers from colleges across the country. They will be attending such noted institutions as Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD), The Savannah College of Art and Design, Mercy College, and more.

We look forward to seeing all of your future accomplishments!

Some of our 2021 Graduates…

Alyssa Palermo, FDR High School
Amya West, Poughkeepsie High School
Ava Vernor, New Rochelle High School
Benjamin Pahucki, Goshen High School
Eliza Behrke, New Paltz High School
Emma Bakker, New Paltz High School
Maia Rose, The Mount Academy
Mia Cornell, The Harvey School
Devin Jarvis, Millbrook High School
Victoria Fuller, Poughkeepsie High School
Makayla Lanier, Poughkeepsie High School
KyAzia West, Poughkeepsie High School
Cricket Withall, Kingston High School
Gabrielle Levinger-Louie, The Harvey School

Aminah Augustin-Muhammad, Arlington High School
Arden Terapane, Our Lady of Lourdes
Gypsy Brownell-Medina, John Jay High School
Karega Wood, Poughkeepsie High School
Rafael Santana, Faith Christian Academy
Liana Dockery, Poughkeepsie High School
Allison Hoyos, Arlington High School
Julianna Tompkins, John Jay High School
Charlotte Trick, John Jay High School
Isabella Stevens, Arlington High School
Isabella Cristian- Fernandez, Rondout Valley High School
Benjamin Sherry, Red Hook High School

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Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt
Executive Director 

We are so proud of the class of 2021! The resilience and creativity you showed through this past year went far beyond what anyone would have expected in previous years. Congratulations and may the lessons you’ve learned continue to serve you throughout your lives. We are honored to be a part of your journey.

Anna Langdell
Director of Development & Communications 

Way to go, class of 2021! You made it through a difficult year with the best parting gift of all — a high school diploma. We can’t WAIT to see what creative projects you come up with next!

Lauren Hollick
Director of Explore Programming 

Congrats class of 2021! Your hard work, passion, and dedication paid off and you are on your way to exciting new experiences. I and The Art Effect wish you the best of luck. Keep in touch and keep creating. 

Paul Thompson
Media Workforce Manager

Congratulations to the class of 2021! We are so proud of all of your accomplishments.  You’ve made it through such a unique year and now it is time to celebrate!

Rick Price
Art Institute Teacher

To everyone I have taught, and to those who I have not had the honor to meet, Congratulations, you made it! The results of your hard work have already opened doors for you next year, but that is not where the fruits of your labor will end. The understanding that you have nurtured, that only hard work breeds success, will take you to heights beyond your imagination. I look forward with great anticipation to see what wonderful things you will create in your futures. Please stay in touch with me and the Art Effect, and understand that we are always here when you need us.

Sarah Taylor
Media/IT Coordinator & Teaching Artist 

While I want to wish you all the best of luck as you head out to take on what’s next for each of you, more I want to to affirm that I know each of you are already capable of doing great things. If you ever need a reminder of that, call The Art Effect and we can remind you of the hard work, creativity, and dedication to doing something amazing that we saw from all of you in our programs.

Joanna Frang
Trolley Barn Gallery Director

Congratulations! Your dedication and creativity are an inspiration. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!

Pamela Perry
Marketing & Communications Manager

It’s been quite a year! A big congratulations to the class of 2021, you did it! Your talent, perseverance, and passions will drive you to accomplish great things and we cannot wait to see where life takes you. Stay in touch!

About: For decades, The Art Effect’s summer programs, Dutchess Arts Camp, Junior Art Institute (now called Summer Intermediate Arts Program) and Summer Art Institute, have enriched and empowered local youth through art and exploration. The path to achieving scholarship-worthy portfolios starts this summer by honing the skills and interest of students of all ages. It’s never too early to nurture a child’s passion for the arts. Motivated students can learn more about The Art Effect’s video, virtual, and in-person options for youth ages 4-10, 11-13 and 14-19 at