Archive for the "Youth Curatorial Team" Category

2024 Youth Workforce Programs

Spark Studios: Photography in Action
April 9 – April 20, 2024
WEEK 1: Tuesday – Thurday | 3:00 – 5:30 PM
WEEK 2: Tuesday – Saturday | 3:00 – 5:30 PM

PUF Studios: 8 N. Cherry St, Poughkeepsie 
This round of Spark Studios will focus on the art of photography, highlighting the techniques of capturing movements of live models in action. Spark Studio Students will gain hands on experience, learning camera settings and angles to achieve high quality images and the opportunity to be a paid photographer during the PKX festival, documenting the fashion show and activities.

Media, Art, & Design Lab: Sculpture Mania Intensive
April 9 – April 19, 2024
Tuesday – Friday | 3:00 – 5:30 PM

Pershing Studios: 45 Pershing Ave, Poughkeepsie 
Students can unleash creativity in our April intensive workshop!
Participants will engage in hands-on exploration with fabric, clay, sewing kits, and sculpture tools to craft awe-inspiring 3D artworks. The creations will be showcased for all to admire at the upcoming PKX festival.

Trolley Barn Youth Curatorial Team 
February 7 – June 15
Trolley Barn Gallery: 489 Main St, Poughkeepsie
The Art Effect’s curatorial training program is composed of youth taking part in the Trolley Barn Gallery Curatorial Team who make high level exhibition curation decisions and are mentored by experts in the field. Teens ages 16-19 earn a stipend for working on two exhibitions, The Exhibition Where a Gallery Exhibits Anime Art, a pollution prevention exhibition (title TBD), cleanups in and around the Trolley Barn Gallery and the 2024 PKX Festival, Droppin’ Jewels.

Youth Arts Empowerment Zone (YAEZ)/ PKX Festival
February 5 – May 8
Trolley Barn Gallery: 489 Main St, Poughkeepsie
YAEZ Liaisons are part of The Art Effect’s curatorial training programs at the Trolley Barn Gallery. YAEZ Liaisons focus on the impact of the community in and around the Trolley Barn Gallery. Youth employees earn a stipend as they learn the tactics of creative placemaking, marketing, outreach, event planning, and more while planning and running the 2024 PKX Festival, Droppin’ Jewels on April 18-20, 2024!

Please reach out to or 845.471.7477 with any questions.

Curator’s Corner: Mary Elizabeth Boatey on “And the Moon Be Still as Bright” at Harper’s Gallery

As part of The Art Effect’s curatorial workforce development program, youth curators attend gallery shows in the Hudson Valley and New York City and write reviews of what they’ve seen.

Member of the Trolley Barn Curatorial Team, Mary Elizabeth Boatey shares her thoughts on a recent show at Harper’s Gallery in Chelsea.

Located on West 22nd St, Chelsea 512 currently houses the “And the Moon Be Still as Bright” group exhibition, displayed among several other historical and influential art galleries. Founded in 1997, the Harpers Gallery embedded themselves within the heart of  New York City’s art district, flourishing within the complex minds of the world’s creatives. 

“And the Moon Be Still Bright,” an initially niche but progressively enticing phrase, originates from American writer, Ray Bradbury, author of science fiction novel the Martian Chronicles. The story highlights the preservation of land, describing a familiar tale involving exploration and settlement on newly colonized regions in Mars. The specific title “And the Moon Be Still Bright” references a chapter within the novel describing desperate attempts to save and prevent the internal pollution of Mars at the hands of the new inhabitants from earth. The pieces within this exhibition mimic that sort of natural space both graciously untouched and riddled with destruction. Each artist takes on this theme in a unique way exploring the different “found” mediums equally mimicking the exploration of new areas in the Martian Chronicles.

What initially drew me to this exhibition was my natural love for maximalism and the implication of organized clutter in a lot of art. In regards to the appreciation of nature, the art ranges thematically from the beauty of the past, to the uncertainty of the future. All the while it maintains love for natural imperfection contrasted for man-made “perfect” beauty. 

A specific arrangement of pieces that spoke to me was a bright colored orange flowing tapestry by Mimi Jung, titled “Our Inclinations” and an equally sized seemingly overgrown tapestry laced with jewels and valuables in gold titled “Rags to Riches” by Suchitra Mattai. The fabrics of “Rags to Riches” in particular blend with all of the other external elements elevating the entire piece, while also coming across a bit abrasive and harder to look at. The beautiful color contrasts with the rough texture.

Within all the art is a common approach regarding the perspective of immigration and settlement; whether or not human presence in natural spaces results in good or bad, and the internal conflict of that guilt as human civilization is the reason for the pain of others.

Curator’s Corner: Crystal Serino on “EVERYTHINGINBETEWEENTHESUNANDTHEDIRT” at Miles McCentry Gallery

As part of The Art Effect’s curatorial workforce development program, youth curators attend gallery shows in the Hudson Valley and New York City and write reviews of what they’ve seen. One of the newest members of the Trolley Barn Curatorial Team, Crystal Serino, shares her thoughts on a recent show at Miles McCentry Gallery.

The Miles McEnery Gallery in Chelsea (511 W 22nd St) exhibited Markus Linnenbrink in the “EVERYTHINGINBETEWEENTHESUNANDTHEDIRT” exhibition. 

Linnenbrink’s gleeful use of unexpected colors and vibrance embraces a childlike joy in art. He developed unique processes he refers to as “Cut”,”Drill”,”Drip”, and “Reverse” painting. Linnenbrink stated: “All interaction with color happens in and through the eye of the viewer. The same visual information then lands in receptors that are all molded by the whole life story of the individual that receives what is to be seen.” His other works in the space include spheres, chairs, and linear sculptures. 

My favorite piece in the gallery was the resin sphere “COLDWORLDGOODMANBITEBACK”. This work has objects infused inside such as a Roblox character, a medical ID, a Seinfeld photo, and even a tooth. Mixed in with the vibrant colors are small skulls in the layers. 

Of all the galleries we toured in Chelsea, this one was my favorite exhibition. You can play around with a childhood wonder. In my artistic journey, resin art has always fascinated me. Seeing it represented in this light brings my soul joy.

Curator’s Corner: Chanel Reed on “Night Tripper” at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

As part of The Art Effect’s curatorial workforce development program, youth curators attend gallery shows in the Hudson Valley and New York City and write reviews of what they’ve seen. Senior member of the Trolley Barn Curatorial Team, Chanel Reed, shares her thoughts on a recent show at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.

The Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is at 521 West 21st Street, New York, NY. This gallery developed a contemporary program that includes painting, drawing, installation, sculpture, video, and photography, representing thirty unique artists worldwide. The gallery continues to support the works and careers of artists internationally. The Tanya Bonakdar Gallery featured a past exhibition, “Night Tripper” (June 22 – July 28, 2023), exhibiting Dana Powell’s newest pieces that have an ominous and unsettling effect. She composed small-scale oil paintings that depicted moments like the moonlit sky and dark backroads.

Powell’s small-scale pieces aren’t as provocative as others but burden the viewer with many questions. Dana Powell’s “Closed Road” is a 12 x 14-inch piece that drew my attention. It produces an unnerving atmosphere with bright orange cones and green leaves scattered along a dark road. The piece is painted with fine details that layer paint with textured strokes but also renders form with smooth discipline – similar to impressionism, but with more detail. Powell lets light and color prevail in her work, letting the mood settle into the audience. 

This hyperrealism series presents a pleasingly cinematic story full of crime and sinister acts. Within the gallery, the images are spacious along its large white walls. The viewer closes in toward one painting and takes a few steps to another with a whole new scenario. It has the same effect as the pacing of an indie movie. They are capturing the rare moments people miss. This exhibition was purely interesting. It inspired me to continue a path in my illustrative career, creating work that minds the little things in life people look twice at and letting the brain flow.

Apply to Spring Youth Curatorial Team

The Trolley Barn Gallery is seeking new members for the Youth Curatorial Team – who make exhibition curation decisions and are mentored by expert curators and artists in the field of art and museums! The Youth Curatorial Team will be generating the theme and putting out the spring call for entry, as well as installing upcoming exhibitions. Please click here to apply.

Spring 2023 Session: February 8th – June 9th
Wednesday – Friday, 3-5:30pm

Trolley Barn Curatorial Team is responsible for:

  • Theme generation
  • Art handling
  • Exhibition installation
  • Project management
  • And more!

Applicants will earn a $500 stipend upon completion of the program

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

Join The Trolley Barn Gallery Youth Curatorial Team

Want to call the shots on the next big arts exhibition in Poughkeepsie? Ever wonder how galleries or museums choose what’s on the walls? What even IS a curator? Learn to generate a theme, jury a national call for entries, and hang the work as a part of the Trolley Barn Gallery youth curatorial team!

The Trolley Barn Gallery youth curatorial team is the team of youth who will be leading the decision-making around Trolley Barn Gallery exhibitions for Winter/Spring 2022. Successful applicants will be able to commit to attending all sessions (which adds up to about 3 days per month) and will receive a $500 stipend in bi-weekly installments, as well as recognition for their leadership.

Tuesday – Thursday, 3-5:30pm | Fall 2022 Session: October 4th – December 14th | Spring 2023 Session: February 6th – June 6th

The Trolley Barn Gallery is seeking new members for the Youth Curatorial Team – who make exhibition curation decisions and are mentored by expert curators and artists in the field of art and museums!

Trolley Barn Curatorial Team is responsible for:

  • Theme generation
  • Artwork selection
  • Art handling
  • Exhibition installation
  • Public speaking
  • Project management

Register for fall art classes

fall art classes

Dynamic programming at The Art Effect combines both visual art and media art in immersive, experiential courses that allow children to experience, explore and excel in the arts. Fall 2022 art classes begin September 18 with the exception of Senior Project beginning on September 8.

Click on any of the classes listed below for more information or to register online:

Adventures in Shadow Puppets, ages 5-8
Adventures in the Arts, ages 4-7
Exploring Drawing & Painting, ages 8-11
Exploring Puppetry, ages 8-11
Foundations in Digital Art & Illustration, ages 11-14
Foundations in Drawing & Painting, ages 11-14
Foundations in Printmaking, ages 11-14
Portfolio Development Foundations, ages 14-19
Portfolio in Character Design & Comics, ages 14-19
Portfolio in Digital Illustration, ages 14-19
Portfolio in Drawing & Painting, ages 14-19
Portfolio in the Human Figure, ages 14-adult
Senior Project *Must be a high school junior, senior or gap year student

Partial scholarships are available to those in economic need. To apply for a scholarship, please complete a Scholarship Application Form and send it to

The Art Effect Merges with Barrett Art Center, Expanding Youth Opportunities in Poughkeepsie

The Art Effect is excited to announce its affiliation with Barrett Art Center, bringing together the largest arts organization with the oldest arts organization in Dutchess County. The affiliation will open doors of new opportunities for The Art Effect and Barrett Art Center, creating spaces that match the breadth of the combined mission and merged identity—a true manifestation of their shared vision where youth and community come together to create and experience art in all of its forms.

On March 10, with a staggeringly high measure of participation, the voting members of the Barrett Art Center unanimously approved an affiliation with The Art Effect. The final vote was 52 in favor and 0 opposed. “As part of The Art Effect’s mission to organize youth-led nationally-recognized art exhibitions and educational programming at the Trolley Barn Galley, I am thrilled to be partnering with Joanna Frang and the team at Barrett Art Center to bring a new level of expertise to The Art Effect. This exciting affiliation will not only maintain the knowledge, direction, and engagement that Barrett brings to the community, but also to our new curatorial initiative.” says Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt , Executive Director of The Art Effect.

Together, The Art Effect and Barrett Art Center will grow and deepen their impact in the community in exciting new ways. The current collaboration will expand to establish a teen curatorial program at the Trolley Barn Gallery, expanding opportunities for gathering, showing, and experiencing art in the community. Additionally, Barrett’s two art studios at 55 Noxon Street will continue to be actively used by working artists, the Barrett Kids after school programming, as well as The Art Effect’s Junior Art Institute this Summer.

Comments on the news: “It was refreshing to see the measure of participation and support from colleagues whom we’ve trusted and worked with for, literally, decades. Their unanimous endorsement confirms that The Art Effect/Barrett task force did its homework and came to the appropriate conclusions. Barrett, the region’s most established arts organization, will be integral to the efforts of The Art Effect in further transforming and reinvigorating the arts community in Dutchess County and beyond.” Michael West, Esq., Senior Attorney New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.

“The staff and board at Barrett Art Center is excited to combine our experience and skill in presenting cutting-edge exhibitions and arts education programming with their commitment to, and proven success in, empowering young people to develop their creative voices and artistic skill to shape a more vibrant, caring, inclusive and sustainable world. Together, we will not only preserve the history of the arts in Dutchess County, carrying our Founder, Tom Barrett’s, legacy and his vision of a permanent center for the arts in the City of Poughkeepsie, but also drive their future.” Loretta Spence, President of the Board of Directors, Barrett Art Center “We are very excited to bring a profound new level of programming to The Art Effect and the Trolley Barn Gallery space. The combination of these two phenomenal arts organizations offers an exciting opportunity to strengthen and expand exhibitions, programming, and Poughkeepsie’s vibrant arts scene. I am honored to be a part of this great team and excited that together we will create an even more sustainable impact in the community.” – Gaye Mallet, Chair of the Board of Directors, The Art Effect

City’s Trolley Barn to Get New Life as Art Center

Anthony P. Musso for the Poughkeepsie Journal Located on the north side of Main Street, a half-block east of Clinton Square in the City of Poughkeepsie, is a building that once served as a horse, and later, electric trolley barn during the 19th and early 20th century. Established in June 1870, the original small four-wheeled horse-powered trolley cars could accommodate 20 passengers, who each paid 10 cents to ride it.

Originally using stables near the P&E Railroad Depot to house its cars and 42 horses overnight, the company erected its own stable on Main Street in 1874, which became the terminus of the system. During the blizzard of 1888 the snow and considerable drifts were so high that the company dug out tunnels for the horse trollies to pass through; the Garden Street sector resembled a temporary subway.

In 1894, the transformation from horse power to electricity saw the 63-foot square, 25-foot high Main Street building’s interior experience a major remodeling. Interior studding and beams were removed and a 12-inch partition was erected, which enabled the trolley company to utilize boilers on one side of the building and engines on the other.

The roof was raised 4 feet, an extension spanning 30-feet by 90-feet was added to accommodate the large fleet of electric trolleys and a power plant and the front of the building was reconfigured to include a superintendent’s office and waiting room. Office space was utilized on the second level while a repair shop was established in the basement.

Six trolley tracks, each fitted with car pits underneath, provided access for general maintenance and repairs. Of the six tracks installed in the building, four accessed the street.

“The building experienced a fire in 1906 and they rebuilt it,” said Roy Budnik, director of the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center farther west on Main Street, who recently purchased the old trolley barn. “The trolley ran from the Hudson River to Vassar College and the same company ran an urban line down to the Village of Wappingers Falls.”

The latter line had a regular stop at the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery, where a trolley waiting shelter still stands just inside and north of the property’s front gate. From that point, the trolley accessed South and Market streets, and made its way back to the barn.

“The trolley replaced stage coaches that used to transport people from Wappingers Falls to Poughkeepsie,” Budnik added.

The trolley operation shut down in 1935 and the city housed its buses in the building through 1954. Afterward, Diesing Supply Company set up shop there, offering auto supplies. That company’s name still exists on the side of the building.

In 1994, the building was sold to the Alamo Ambulance Company, which resold it in 2004 to a group of businessmen from New York City, but it remained empty. In September 2015, Budnik purchased it to relocate and expand the Heritage Center.

“We’re working with a number of different not-for-profit groups to create a multi-organization, multi-cultural center there,” Budnik said. “This space is much bigger than our current location and we’ll be able to stage many different kinds of events there.”

With Art Centro, an expansion of the Heritage Center that was established next to the trolley barn in 2013, Budnik said the goal is to make the location a cultural campus. Off-street parking, located in a lot between Art Centro and the former trolley barn that was once occupied by a hotel, will also benefit visitors.

Opened in 2010, the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center promotes appreciation of the

Hudson Valley’s cultural diversity through arts events, film screenings, lectures and workshops open to the community.

“Many people think of us as two separate organizations,” said Art Centro Director Alexis Feldheim. “Once we are on one campus people who know about Art Centro will become more aware of what’s happening at the Heritage Center, and vice versa.”

The historic former trolley barn is at 489 Main St., Poughkeepsie.

City’s trolley barn to get new life as art center (
Poughkeepsie Journal
Originally published: November 10, 2015