This spring, twenty-nine seniors are graduating across The Art Effect’s programs and continuing their artistic journeys in college or career. Their achievements in the studio, the gallery, the classroom, and beyond are worth celebrating. We can’t wait to see what they accomplish next.
Not pictured: Nastajia Epps (MVP After School Program), Myelle-Sanai Johnson (MVP After School Program), Jose Marrero (MVP After School Program), Deavin Moore (MVP After School Program), Dayiana Moore (MVP After School Program), Nicholas Regini (Art Institute), Melanie Rodriguez-Velasco (MADLab), Janelle Smith (MADLab)
ArtsBridge, National Art Honor Society
Art Institute, Senior Project
ArtsBridge, Senior Project, National Art Honor Society
Dalya Hanel Sheshany
Art Institute, National Art Honor Society
Self Portrait, 2020
ArtsBridge, National Art Honor Society, Trolley Barn Curatorial Team
A mural painted by The Art Effect’s Media/Art/Design Lab (MADLab) workforce youth has been installed in the Malcolm X Park on Mansion Street in Poughkeepsie. After being neglected for many years, the park has been revitalized with new playground equipment, benches, tables, native trees and shrubs, a refurbished basketball court and bleachers– and now, public art created by local youth. The park both celebrates an icon of American history and provides a beautiful green space for community members to gather; the mural advances both of these goals, and also provides creativity and a visual symbol of Black empowerment.
In 2019, the idea for the mural was initially conceived by Scenic Hudson, MASS Design Group, The Art Effect, and project lead Ernest Henry from the Hudson Valley Re-Entry Network. This team consulted with local residents of all ages who frequent the park, and decided that the mural would become a collaborative project; community members would paint a Kente stripe design (inspired by the traditional Ghanaian cloth that has become a symbol of African and African-American identity). However, this plan was interrupted by the pandemic.
Fortunately, MADLAb youth were able to complete the mural using the art and design skills they had learned in the classroom. Their hard work ensured that the project remained a collaborative endeavor, and added youth voices to the design of an important community resource. The finished mural includes a portrait of Malcolm X and an inspiring quote from the human rights leader: “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
The Malcolm X Park is now more welcoming than ever. This mural is yet another example of MADLab’s commitment to creative placemaking– the practice of shaping a neighborhood, both physically and socially, by local residents. With projects like Scenic Hudson mural, We Are Poughkeepsie mural, community clean-up days along the Fall Kill Creek, and now the mural at Malcolm X Park, MADLab youth are connecting with more community partners and deepening their positive impact on the places where they live and work.
Click here to learn more about MADLab and apply for the summer session beginning on July 5.
The Art Effect is now accepting applications for the 2023 Spring Break Intensive sessions of its workforce development programs, Spark Studios and MADLab. Students ages 14-19 who live in Dutchess County are welcome to apply. These sessions will address important themes that are relevant to young people’s lives and teach valuable transferrable skills. Students who successfully complete all 25 hours of a workforce intensive will earn a $100 stipend.
MADLab Intensive: Becoming a Professional Artist April 3rd- 7th, 12pm-5pm each day 45 Pershing Avenue, Poughkeepsie Learn how to become a working, exhibiting artist! You will learn how to write an artist statement, prepare your work for sale, navigate making websites and social media brands for your art, and how to starting making money as an artist.
Spark Studios Intensive: Public Art Projection April 3rd-7th, 12pm-5pm each day 489 Main Street, Poughkeepsie (Trolley Barn Gallery) Talk back to media messages! In this intensive, you will work alongside Reel Exposure featured artist William Koenig-Vinicombe to understand media literacy and representation. Decode the ways films have shaped you, then learn to remix and re-edit video and media pieces! Finished videos will be featured in a public projection at Reel Exposure this May!
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.