Festival of Young Artists: Metamorphosis

SPAC Unveils “The 2021 Adirondack Trust Company Festival of Young Artists” Online Gallery, Featuring 80 Inspiring Student Creations that Explore the Exhibit Theme Metamorphosis 

Winners of the 2021 Outstanding Artist Awards announced for visual art, literary art and performing arts; each student to receive a $500 scholarship from SPAC and The Adirondack Trust Company 

On the cover: Students perform on SPAC’s stage at the  Festival of Young Artists. Photo: Dave Clark Imaging 

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Saratoga Performing Arts Center unveils “The 2021 Adirondack Trust Company Festival of Young Artists” Online Gallery, featuring 80 inspiring student creations from the Capital Region’s brightest young dancers, musicians, singers, poets, and visual artists. Following the success of the Festival’s first virtual exhibit, “Self-Portrait,” in 2020, the new gallery is entitled “Metamorphosis” and explores the process of transformation. The 2021 experiential website is now available online at spacfoya.org.

“Last year we completely re-configured our signature education festival into a virtual format as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we look forward to celebrating these incredibly talented artists, poets, dancers, and musicians in person this June, we are delighted that our innovative online gallery will continue as an artistic home all year long,” said Elizabeth Sobol, president & CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center. “Congratulations to the winning visual, literary and performing arts students and a special thanks to The Adirondack Trust Company for its continued support.”

Additionally, for the first time in the Festival’s four-year history, SPAC and The Adirondack Trust Company have awarded three students with the distinction of “FOYA 2021 Outstanding Artist” along with a $500 check to support the further development of their craft. The selected students are: Alyssa Gangram, an eleventh grade student from Schenectady High School, in visual art; Pallavi Datta, a tenth grade student from Niskayuna High School, for her literary art, and Jayda Chance, a ninth grade student at Schenectady High School, for her performance art. The winners were chosen by a diverse panel of arts professionals and were considered and selected based on originality and emergence of a personal vision, demonstrated skill and technique, interpretation and clarity of the festival theme, and overall impact of the piece.

Change: Hope

On her winning artwork Change: Hope, Schenectady High School student Alyssa Gangram says, “My inspiration behind this piece was a culmination of both mine and my loved one’s feelings during the pandemic. The work was created in a great time of chaos, where our future as a community of young people was unclear. After months of being isolated, I had observed that many of my peers, like myself, were feeling ‘trapped’ within our homes, subjected to a monotonous day-by-day routine that had us growing weary of our situation. Change: Hope was an outlet to depict those emotions while also serving as a reminder that although the world’s situation is bleak, there are always good people in the world doing great things. Change: Hope, overall, was an emotionally driven piece that showed that light always exists in darkness, but one must change where they look in order to find it.”

The Online Gallery will feature a curated collection of student creations in visual art, literary art, and the performing arts from middle school and high school students hailing from Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Warren, and Washington Counties. It will continue beyond this spring as an ongoing platform for student artists in the region to share their artistic visions and achievements and to inspire and enrich their peers and the community.

“When we launched the first FOYA online gallery last spring, our intention was to honor and feature the hard work and creative talents of all the artists who were supposed to be involved in the live event at SPAC – which was cancelled due to the pandemic. The online gallery gained so much attention and praise from teachers, parents and students, that we decided to continue offering the opportunity as an extension of the annual festival event,” says Dennis Moench, Senior Director of Education at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. “We are thrilled to unveil “Metamorphosis” – the online gallery that features 80 inspiring student creations. Each year, the students seem to set the bar even higher, and this year – they greatly surpassed all of our expectations.”

“The level of talent and creativity that the students demonstrated in their 300+ festival submissions made the reviewing process incredibly satisfying, and it made the decision-making more difficult than ever. Knowing the many unique challenges that most students continue to face as a result of the pandemic, we were especially inspired this year by the strength and resilience that they showed us in their creative works,” added Moench.

On June 5, SPAC will once again host the live, in-person Festival of Young Artists featuring more than 100 students working in collaboration with the world-renowned modern dance company Pilobolus. More details will be announced at a later date.

In the fall of 2021, SPAC will announce the new theme and will accept new submissions for the 2022 exhibit in the forms of visual art, literary art, and the performing arts. Submissions will be due at the end of January and the online exhibit will launch in early spring of 2022.

The Adirondack Trust Festival of Young Artists Online Gallery is free to experience; visit spacfoya.org or spac.org for details.


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