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Peekskill Students Display Artwork At HVCCA

Peekskill students are creating artwork for an exhibit at the Hudson Valley Center For Contemporary Art.
Peekskill students are creating artwork for an exhibit at the Hudson Valley Center For Contemporary Art. Photo Credit: Contributed

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- The Hudson Valley Center For Contemporary Art is displaying artwork from students right up the road.

Peekskill High School art students have been working with HVCCA Artist-in-Residence Kristianne Molina to create their own pieces for the center's new art installation "Between I and Thou." The exhibit opens on Feb. 4.

Under the guidance of Peekskill art teachers, Molina has spent the past several weeks working alongside approximately 100 students in grades 9-12 as the classes create a visual story through the art of fabric painting and collaging, à la the style of renowned African American artist Faith Ringgold, who will have her work on display at the  show.

“Between I & Thou” is a celebration of diversity which includes artists from many different areas of the globe as they explore interconnections between personal, cultural, religious and national themes. The show reflects the “human need to tell the story of self and society,” while “offering a rich conversation about the sameness and differentness among us," according to HVCCA.

Peekskill Art Department Leader Elizabeth Tabone said her students’ work will fit well into the theme of the show.

“Our kids are creating a visual story about themselves- who they are, where they come from, their family’s heritage and the things that are important to them,” said Tabone. “The individual pieces are all going to come together to show how we are all in this world together- how we are all united and interconnected.”

During class time, Molina, who is a Filipino-American artist, has been sharing her own stories of her family’s history and culture, while encouraging students to channel their personal heritage into their pieces. Molina then teaches the students how to use dyeing techniques as a form of painting to aid in the storytelling process.

Molina has also used her teaching opportunity at Peekskill to encourage the students to think about the project’s real-time relevance as it focuses on cultural diversity in the wake of recent political events around the world.

“Peekskill itself has such a rich history and the kids are seeing how history is all interconnected,” Molina said. “I think it’s empowering for them to be a part of this and experience their town and their own stories in this way. Especially at this time, politically and culturally, to be creating work that’s celebrating diversity - it’s just very powerful.”

The work created by Peekskill students will be on display at the opening reception for, “Between I & Thou” on February 4 from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, at 1701 Main St, Peekskill, NY 10566.

Following a three-month showing, the students’ piece will be brought back to Peekskill High School for permanent installation.

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