News Pulse - State University of New York at New Paltz

Spooky art on moving display

In the Art Department’s Foundation Year program, students are not only encouraged to dress up for Halloween, they are required to.

More than 100 first-year art students are designing threedimensional disguises that use what they have learned in their introductory classes that they will unveil at the New Paltz Halloween Parade on Oct. 31.

“Previously, I don’t think enough people got to see the hard work of these students,” said align="center"Suzanne Stokes (Art).

Student working on Halloween Hat
Xueyi He ’09 (Art), left, uses papier-mache to create a hat for her disguise while Lisa Perrin ’10 (Art) constructs her “Squid Hat” in Suzanne Stokes’ Integrated Design 2 class.

Foundation Year faculty members Stokes, Rena Leinberger and Itty Neuhaus designed the project when they arrived on campus in 2000.

The new faculty members were looking for a way to work together and provide their students with the opportunity to get to know one another while creating art. In 2001, the project was introduced and culminated in a show in the Fine Arts Building, where students descended the main staircase in disguise.

For now, students are hard at work in the Smiley Art Building sketching and building disguises which, according to the assignment, must be attached to the body and cover at least the head and shoulders. The disguises should also completely transform an existing piece of clothing and be activated by the movement of the person wearing it.

“It’s exciting to see all of my brainstorming come into reality,” said Chris Trude ’08 (Art) of his robot disguise.

The project will continue well after the parade has ended. In mid-November, Stokes’ students will put on a shadow puppet show in McKenna Theatre using their disguises. Other classes will videotape the entire process and create a documentarystyle video piece and a book detailing the project.

October 23, 2006
Volume 4, Issue 20

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