Group looks to CREATE opportunities in the arts

Offers wide range of workshops, including watercolor painting, animation
Children work on projects at CREATE Community Studios in Schenectady.
Children work on projects at CREATE Community Studios in Schenectady.

SCHENECTADY — Prepare to see more visual art across downtown Schenectady. 

CREATE Community Studios, a local nonprofit, is working to build a community around and with art. 

The State Street studio will be hosting a grand opening on Friday, which will feature several free art activities and an exhibit. 

“We hope to see CREATE grow to be able to provide free programming to low-income families, and continue to network with area agencies and community members to provide public art projects designed to bring communities together,” said Heather Hutchison, an art therapist and co-founder of CREATE.

Hutchison, Camille Grec, Aili Lopez (who are also art therapists) and educator Julianne Lewis founded CREA.TE (or Capital Region Expressive Arts, Therapy and Empowerment) as a way to make the benefits of art therapy accessible to everyone and to build a community hub around the visual arts. CREATE has a previous location in Saratoga Springs.

At their studio on State Street, Hutchison said that community members have been dropping in since the first day the studio was open to ask about workshops, especially summer programming for children. 

“[We’ve] also had individuals and groups from area agencies (from ARC, Working Group on Girls, SCCC and more) come to participate in expressive arts groups,” Hutchison said. 

CREATE offers a wide range of workshops, including watercolor painting, animation, storytelling and others. There’s also open studio sessions for the community to drop by and work on any sort of project they’d like whether it be painting, sculpting, drawing, collaging, etc.

During the grand opening on Friday, community members will have a chance to see “Pictures of Health Art Therapy,” an exhibit created by local artists to raise awareness about various mental health issues. There will also be henna tattoos, mini-canvases to add to the display walls and other community-related art projects. 

CREATE Community Studios

WHAT: Studio grand opening
WHEN: 4 to 8 p.m., Friday
WHERE: 137 State St., Schenectady

Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts

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