Welcome to the 2020 Capital Region Media Arts Festival hosted by Niskayuna High School.
Our original plan was to come together on April 8th to view all of the work in our gallery and view the films, videos and animations together in the auditorium, but a global pandemic demanded some creative problem solving and something new. Niskayuna High School Media Arts teacher Stephanie Palazeke created this website to showcase all of the work submitted by the teachers in our region. This has been a time-consuming endeavor while simultaneously navigating virtual instruction for her classes, and I can’t thank her enough for her commitment to celebrating our media arts students region-wide. There are others to thank, all of whom shared Stephanie’s commitment to our kids. Our jurors were all thrust into virtual art instruction at the college level the week they planned to adjudicate our students’ work. Everyone one of them honored their commitment and found time to thoughtfully review the submissions. Thank you to Adam Frelin (University at Albany – Narrative Film categories), Danny Goodwin (University at Albany – Photography categories), Chris St.Cyr (The College of Saint Rose – Design categories), and Rebekah Tolley (University at Albany – Video and Animation categories). Thank you to Stephen Honicki, New York State Media Arts Teachers Association (NYSMATA) Co-President Elect, for organizing and uploading our film and video submissions into categories on YouTube for our jurors and website. Thank you to the Capital Area Art Supervisors (CAAS) for sponsoring the festival. Thank you to our district administrations and school boards for recognizing the importance of media arts programs. Thank you to our Nisky Media Arts Festival Team (Melissa Leach, Stephanie Palazeke and Morgan Tibbitts) who made this year’s festival possible. Lastly, thank you to all of the media arts teachers, whose creativity and commitment can be seen in the wonderful work of our students.
Director of Art & Design, Niskayuna
Capital Area Art Supervisors
This festival is meaningful for all involved. As a teacher involved with organizing the film category and creating the website, I would like to share my personal experience with this event. I attended a local district (Mohonasen 2006-2010) and loved all things art-related. My mother installed Photoshop 5.0 on my laptop and I could not wait to take our school's Design class. While my class had a "teach yourself" learning style, I learned a lot and loved the process (except for the dreaded "spinning wheel of death!"). One of my digital collages made it into the Media Arts Festival circa 2009. I still have the pamphlet. I won Honorable Mention for it and my father was so proud, he hung the piece in his office for years. My Design class went on a field trip to see the work in the gallery and I was FLOORED. There were so many talented artists in our area who were my age trying out the same tools and creating incredible work! Seeing the work of my "contemporaries," as we call it in the art world, inspired me and drove me to push myself and learn even more so I could make it into the festival again the next year. And I did. I have always appreciated my experiences in this show as a student, and I cannot express how happy I am to help others provide this wonderful event for a new generation of like-minded kids. If there is one thing this festival proves, it's that our region is filled to the brim with thoughtful, creative, and expressive student artists.
Media Arts Teacher, Niskayuna High School
Enjoy the show!