Getting teens through the doors of the Gardiner Library is challenging; today’s teens are busy people. Consequently, our youth programming has focused on younger children, with an occasional attempt at creating a program attractive to teens.
A few years ago, while admiring the work of New Paltz High School Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art students, I realized that the Gardiner Library could be a venue to display their work. I got in touch with an art studio teacher at the high school and a partnership was born.
Laurene Pountain, in her 16th year of teaching art at the high school and her fourth year of teaching the AP class, says “the AP class is rigorous.” The portfolio the students are required to send to the College Board consists of 24 finished works: twelve demonstrating their understanding of a wide range of approaches and twelve that are a related body of work demonstrating a thoughtful investigation of a specific visual idea. Students are also required to send five physical pieces representing the best of their work. The 19 other pieces are sent digitally.
Since a public exhibit is a requirement for the final exam, Ms. Pountain suggested a show at the end of the school year. The students are responsible for all organizational aspects of the show and I was thrilled to work with such talented and motivated young adults. Of the twelve AP Studio Art students it was difficult to single out a few, but this years’ students include Maya del Rosario, a drawing and painting student who is exploring color schemes and their inverted counterparts using the “invert colors” option on her cell phone; Thomas O’Connor, a graphic artist who translates digital phenomena, such as computer code and brain scans, into original works of art; Victoria Siple, a photographer who transforms everyday kitchen items into abstract compositions of light and shadow; and Jamie Hulsey, a design student who combines text and the human form in an attempt to unify them into one complete image.
Ms. Pountain is obviously very proud of her students and what they have accomplished. The AP Studio Art class will be displaying their artwork at the library for the month of June. Once the reception is scheduled, it will be widely advertised. Don’t miss this opportunity to see some terrific art. You will not be disappointed.