Hands-On Art: Young Artists Take Over Crown Street

April 18, 2014 by

This is the third post in a series of three posts about our Spring 2014 “Hands-On Art” program. Check out the previous posts here and here.

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Don’t be fooled – amidst of the laughter and fun that fills the WSW studios during our Art-in-Education program “Hands-On Art”, there’s a whole lot of learning going on. In our studios, you’ll find a group of young artists engrossed in the creative process, learning a broad range of new techniques and letting their imaginations run wild.

From January to March, almost 100 students from Crosby Elementary and Bailey Middle School spent several weeks working in our papermaking, silkscreen, and etching studios. Our young artists are thrilled to be showing off their diverse, imaginative works of art in a month-long exhibition on Crown Street in Kingston, on view April 30 to May 20.

“The kids are really excited about it,” says Art-in-Education Coordinator Tara Hagen. “It’s a really good opportunity for them to experience what it’s like to be artists and to be proud of having their work up.”


During this spring session of Hands-On Art, eight graders explored themes of transformation.

Transformation of materials played an important part in the etching and papermaking studios, where students worked alongside teaching artists Cheyenne Mallo and Tara, respectively. Down in etching, students etched several different layers onto polystyrene plates, which they then cut up and printed from. Each student pieced their prints together to form a book displaying the process the plate took from start to finish. In papermaking, outdoor materials, including rye from WSW’s ArtFarm, were used to process sheets which were then turned into pieces of art.

Transformation of imagery was the main focus in silkscreen, where students turned abstract forms into identifiable objects through the creation of a two layer prints with teaching artists Paige Simpson and Tona Wilson.

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Meanwhile, fourth graders from Crosby took a journey back in time to experience the local Native American and colonial history of the Hudson Valley.

In papermaking, the students explored cartography with Tara: they thought about how individuals from the past may have created maps, before making their own from sheets of handmade paper that the students processed and pulled on their own. Others explored their identities in relation to local history and myths: images of spirit animals were layered on top of self-portraits in etching with artist-in-residence Lisa Franko, while students depicted themselves as mythical beings in silkscreen alongside artist-in-residence Sarah McDermott.


After weeks of exploration and creation in the WSW studios, Hands-On Art came to an end in March. Now, our young artists are gearing up for their big exhibition in the Cioni Building in Kingston, which opens in just two weeks. This year, for the very first time, our fourth graders and eighth graders will show their work in one big, exciting show! Please join us to celebrate the next generation of Hudson Valley artists at our opening reception Wednesday, April 30, 5-630 pm!

For more details see our press release and our Facebook event page. Huge thanks to WSW’s studio interns Liz Cunningham and Emily Ritter for their superb assistance in this season’s program!