Artmaking activities in store for the Schenectady Greenmarket

Girl at craft table

Emma Teodosievski, 3, working on an art project at a previous Schenectady Kids Arts Festival. 

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SCHENECTADY – Starting next Sunday, visitors to the Schenectady Greenmarket will be able to add another tent stop to their typical market stroll: Art in Bloom.

Art in Bloom will bring a free artmaking activity — such as poetry, weaving and zentangles — to the market nearly every week this summer. The series, which operates under a $5,000 Regrowth and Capacity Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, is organized by the ElectriCity Arts and Entertainment District. The group also plans the annual Kids Arts Festival in Schenectady.

“With the Kids Arts Festival the big question is always, ‘Why can’t this happen more often?’ ” said Betsy Sandberg, who chairs the festival. “Then, when the Arts Council announced these grants, all of a sudden it hit me — I was like, ‘Jeepers, yeah, why don’t we just go try and recreate the entire festival?’ ”

Art in Bloom will join the more than 80 local vendors and community organizations that currently participate at the Schenectady Greenmarket.

“Sundays in downtown Schenectady will be a festival every week,” Mary Jane Shave, a chairperson for the Schenectady Greenmarket team, stated in a press release.

For the first Art in Bloom activity, which will take place May 21, participants can help paint a photo station that will be used in this year’s Kids Arts Festival, slated for June 3. The station, designed by local artist Ubu and created by Electric City Barn in Schenectady, will feature a colorful and splashy background of abstract flowers, bees and sunshine.

“I just had the urge to do splat paint,” said Ubu, a Queens native who now lives in Schenectady. “So I decided to do that and just paint nice, fun flowers — you know, not your ordinary flowers, because I like abstract painting — so I thought I could use words for the stems, I could make the bees a different shape, I could make the flower petals a different shape. Something fun. Something colorful and creative.”

This activity as well as the rest of the program aims to foster collaboration between participants and add to the sense of community that, according to Sandberg, is already so prevalent at the Schenectady Greenmarket.

“People will be creating together,” Sandberg said. “Art doesn’t have a language. Art doesn’t care about how old you are, what your background is. . . . There is so much more that unites us than divides us, and art unites us.”

As Art in Bloom continues through the summer with events by saxophonist Joshua Nelson, textile artist Sarah Boink and CREATE Community Studios, participants will be able to take home their own artistic works, materials — and inspiration.

“Some weeks they might actually be able to go home with a recorder if they want to keep it up,” Sandberg said. “But in general, [I hope] that they walk away with an increased appreciation for the fact that much more unites us than divides us and that, together, wonderful things can happen.”

Art in Bloom will run from May 21 through Oct. 8 at the Schenectady Greenmarket, which takes place every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside City Hall. There will not be an Art in Bloom program on July 2 or on any Sunday that has an extreme heat advisory in effect.

Categories: Art, Life and Arts, Life and Arts, Schenectady

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