Reel Exposure International Teen Film and Photography Festival

Reel Exposure filmstrip

May 5-7, 2023

reel exposure

The Art Effect’s annual Reel Exposure International Teen Film and Photography Festival in Poughkeepsie, NY is open for submissions and celebrating its 10th year! This year’s festival will be even bigger and better than before as we return to an in-person festival featuring innovative photography and short films – narrative, animation, experimental, and documentary – created by talented young artists, ages 13-19 from across the world, plus family-friendly festival activities, panel discussion, and MUCH MORE!

New for 2023, Reel Exposure will be brought to you by The Art Effect’s PKX Festival, an exciting building block to the development of the Youth Arts Empowerment Zone, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant, establishing a youth-led arts district in and around the Gallery. In addition to youth-produced short films, and a photography exhibition, Reel Exposure: A PKX Festival will also feature youth-led public art installations and more TBD.

Reel Exposure: A PKX Festival brings together a diverse representation of youth-produced films and photography, from both newcomers to the craft, as well as established young artists. The selected films are screened in a showcase and the selected photography is hung as an exhibition at the Trolley Barn Gallery in Poughkeepsie, NY — The ONLY youth-led gallery in the nation!

Reel Exposure: A PKX Festival encompasses all of The Art Effect’s goals: to encourage youth creativity, to invigorate our local community through the arts, and to showcase the incredible work done by this next generation of media-makers.

The past two years of the festival went virtual and were a smashing success with more than 2,200 viewers from across the globe tuning in, along with a live Q&A panel with festival finalists. This year’s festival will take place in person on May 5-7, 2023, but will still allow international attendees to join us for the festival online with a virtual gallery and an online screening of the film showcase.

“Seeing a film you put all of this work into actually get attention, to have people genuinely enjoy something you made at Reel Exposure, it’s really special, especially when you’re just starting out. It was a call to action for me, like, ‘This is something you’re supposed to do, keep at it!” – Matthew Hamilton, 2020 Reel Exposure Participant

About the Photography Exhibition

reel exposure awards

Professional and youth jurors selected photographs from submissions from teens ages 13-19 across the world. In the past, submissions have come from Singapore, Italy, Islamic Republic of Iran, and the United States. Opening with a public reception, this exciting youth exhibition remains on display at the Trolley Barn Gallery and is accompanied by a virtual gallery tour for those unable to attend. Photography Exhibition opening will be on May 5, 2023.

About the Film Festival

Viewers can expect to see a mix of film genres in film festival lineup, including animations, documentaries, dramas, horror, and comedies from teen filmmakers on Saturday, May 6, 2023. In the past, submissions have come from The United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Poland, Mexico, China, and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Please consider becoming a sponsor to help support the youth arts programming taking place in the Hudson Valley right now!

This program is partially funded by monies received from the New York State Council on the Arts and is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Art Effect empowers youth to develop their artistic voice to shape their futures and bring about positive social change.


Is It Me? International Juried Exhibition

As we age we change both externally and internally; we transform and metamorphosis. We inevitably ask ourselves: “Is this who I am now? Who was I before? Is this me?” We find beauty in the confusions and the transformations. We are inviting artists that meditate on the disturbing reality of their own potential. Is It Me? invites art that unveils the roadblocks that impede self-actualization. We question whether the oasis of maturity is actually a mirage – a hazily reconfigured reality, distorted by the sweltering heat of generational expectations. This exhibition is about self and health, wellness and worry — as we examine our skin, our fears, and our personal growth.

Is It Me? challenges artists to submit art in an array of media, including digital, film, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, video, and installation art. For our juried exhibitions, the Trolley Barn Gallery brings together an international roster of vital voices in art and culture, presenting thought-provoking artwork and ideas in a renovated industrial space that is the hub for the area’s thriving arts scene.
Is It Me? is the most recent exhibition from the Trolley Barn Curatorial Team.

This international juried exhibition will be held March 10 through April 14, 2023 at The Art Effect’s Trolley Barn Gallery, 489 Main St., Poughkeepsie, New York, with an Opening Reception Friday, March 10, 6-8pm. 

Opening Reception Events
6:00: Opening Reception with light refreshments
7:00: Welcome and Awards
7:30: Open Mic

Open Mic Details
In order to allow the community of Poughkeepsie to fully engage with the difficult themes presented, the opening reception will also include a half hour Open Mic session. Gallery visitors will be encouraged to sign up for a short slot where they are free to read poetry, speak honestly, perform music or dance and continue the conversation about wellness and aging in real time. The opening reception is 6 -8pm. At 7pm Trolley Barn Awards will be presented to the winners of the “Guest Juror’s Prize”, the “Youth Juror’s Prize” and the “Honorable Mention Prize”. After the awards the open mic session will start at 7:30pm. This opening reception is free and open to the public, like all Trolley Barn Gallery openings.

About the Curator
Emilie Houssart is a Dutch American artist and curator based in Poughkeepsie, New York. Her performance and installation works explore ideologies and ecologies of landscape, rupturing toxic norms in public spaces, and generating dialogue about alternative ways of being. As The DIRT Project, she leads experiential, collaborative workshops for all ages that nurture our relationships with invisible life forms inside the body and underfoot.

Houssart’s work recently featured in Metabolism of Cities for the Urban Soils Institute, curated by Margaret Boozer, LMCC Arts Center, NYC. Her 15-month evolving installation Co-co-codac! was part of Owning Earth at Unison Arts Center, NY, an outdoor exhibit curated by Tal Beery. As 2021 Artist in Residence at the Samuel Dorsky Museum, NY, she curated the exhibition DIRT: Inside Landscapes and led a series of interactive public projects, including DIRTdoors at Nyquist-Harcourt Wildlife Sanctuary for Rooted: Art + Land with the Dorsky Museum and Walkill Valley Land Trust. Previous residencies include Women’s Studio Workshop, NY, Frans Masereel Centrum, Belgium, and Print to the People, UK. She co-curated an/aesthetics: Rosekill, Rosekill Art Farm, NY; pop-up show EARTHBOUND, NYC; and international exchange show EXPORT 19 at Poughkeepsie Trolley Barn, NY.

Originally from Norwich, UK, Houssart gained a BA Hons. in Modern Languages from the University of Durham, UK, and studied drawing, painting and sculpture at the Charles H. Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy. She is Adjunct Professor of Art, Sustainability Faculty Fellow and member of experimental collective Eddy at SUNY New Paltz, where she completed an MFA in Sculpture with Printmaking in 2022. Houssart has taught at Vassar College, Women’s Studio Workshop, West Point Military Academy, the Woodstock School of Art, Fall Kill Print Works, the Charles H. Cecil Studios and the British Institute of Florence.

Gallery Hours
Exhibition: March 10 – April 14
Wednesday-Friday: 2-5PM • Saturday: 12-4 PM
(during exhibitions only)

Senior Project Exhibition 2023

Senior Project is the capstone of The Art Effect’s portfolio development programming and is the most rigorous course currently offered at the Art Institute. Modeled after a senior thesis college course, students work on a personal theme for 12 weeks with an artist/mentor in their chosen art medium. Focusing on developing a cohesive body of work, how to prepare for an exhibition, and how the gallery viewer will interact with the work, students complete the program with a strong portfolio of work around their chosen theme. The Senior Project exhibition is a celebration of the accomplishments of these young artists.

Exhibition Dates: December 16, 2022 – January 13, 2022
Opening reception: December 16, 2022 5-7pm
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Friday 2-5pm, Saturday 12-4pm (during exhibition only – the gallery will be closed 12/23- 1/2)

Featured artists:

Juliana Woods
Fiona Shanahan
Celia Drury

About the Instructor: Rick Price is the chair of the fine art department at the Harvey School. He has extensive teaching experience at Buck’s Rock in CT, mural painting in San Francisco and Beacon, illustration commissions, and has exhibited his fine art work nationwide. He holds an MFA from Savannah College of Art & Design.

Senior Project Virtual Gallery

Join the Trolley Barn Gallery Youth Curatorial Team: Spring 2023

Apply today! Applications close January 27.

Want to call the shots on the next big arts exhibition in Poughkeepsie? Ever wonder how galleries or museums choose what’s on the walls? What even IS a curator? Learn to generate a theme, jury a national call for entries, and hang the work as a part of the Trolley Barn Gallery youth curatorial team!

The Trolley Barn Gallery youth curatorial team is the team of youth who will be leading the decision-making around Trolley Barn Gallery exhibitions for Winter/Spring 2023. Successful applicants will be able to commit to attending all sessions (which adds up to about 3 days per month) and will receive a $500 stipend in bi-weekly installments, as well as recognition for their leadership.

Trolley Barn Curatorial Team is responsible for:

  • Theme generation
  • Artwork selection
  • Art handling
  • Exhibition installation
  • Public speaking
  • Project management

Spring 2023 Session: February 6th – June 6th

Applications close January 27 and invitations for accepted students will be sent out Feb 3. The application process will be more competitive than ever before and there are only 5 slots left.

Senior Project Student Feature: Fiona Shanahan

Featuring Fiona Shanahan, a Senior Project Student.


“These past few years I’ve been diving deep into concepts that scare me and emotions that I find difficult to describe. Examples of such things would include my fear of death, judgment, and constant distraction to name a few. I felt it would be right for me to document these experiences through art, as I cannot properly describe them on paper.” – Fiona Shanahan, Senior Project Student

The Senior Project Exhibition is on view until Friday, January 13. To view the rest of Fiona’s statement and works, stop by the Trolley Barn Gallery during gallery hours!

Senior Project Student Feature: Celia Drury

Featuring Celia Drury, a Senior Project Student.


“My theme is memories. In my pieces, these memories range from literal to abstract, from youth to my present state. When I’m able to put my memories down as art, they are untouchable. No spoken words or seeds of doubt can shift my composition or erode my colors.” – Celia Drury, Senior Project Student

The Senior Project Exhibition is on view until Friday, January 13. To view the rest of Celia’s statement and works, stop by the Trolley Barn Gallery during gallery hours!

Senior Project Student Feature: Julie Woods

Featuring Julie Woods, a Senior Project Student.


“In this body of work I explore the unspoken yet deeply connected relationships between the lives of strangers, along with the unique experiences which unite us as a people who believe we are divided. My first pieces are my most literal; the awkwardness of an elevator and mundanity in the supermarket. These began my journey into the human experience and acted as a necessary foundation for how I would later develop as both an artist and creative thinker.” – Julie Woods, Senior Project Student

The Senior Project Exhibition is on view until Friday, January 13. To view the rest of Julie’s statement and works, stop by the Trolley Barn Gallery during gallery hours!

Meet the Fall 2022 Youth Curatorial Team

Together, the Fall 2022 team developed the theme of the “Is It Me?” International Exhibition and were a pivotal part in the jurying process.

The Youth Curatorial Team takes place over two semester-long sessions in the Fall and the Spring. Youth earn a stipend as the leaders of international juried exhibitions at the Trolley Barn Gallery, and are responsible for every aspect of exhibition curation, including theme generation, artwork selection, art handling, exhibition installation, and interpretation. The Youth Curatorial Team works closely with curators from across the country in a series of after school sessions, weekend workshops, and a variety of gallery and community events. Youth learn about project management, develop public speaking skills through gallery presentations and artist talks, and establish professional connections with international artists, curators, and arts professionals to bring impressive exhibitions of high-caliber artwork to Poughkeepsie.

“Is It Me?” will be opening Friday, March 10 with an Opening Reception from 6-8PM. Mark your calendars and get ready for an exhibition you won’t forget🎉🎉🎉

And if you’re interested in joining the Spring 2023 Youth Curatorial Team, click here to learn more and apply!

Join The Trolley Barn Gallery Youth Curatorial Team

Apply to join our Youth Curatorial Team!

Want to call the shots on the next big arts exhibition in Poughkeepsie? Ever wonder how galleries or museums choose what’s on the walls? What even IS a curator? Learn to generate a theme, jury a national call for entries, and hang the work as a part of the Trolley Barn Gallery youth curatorial team!

This unique opportunity allows advanced students in the arts to learn and be mentored by curators, artists, and experts in the field. Youth earn a stipend as the leaders of international juried exhibitions at the Trolley Barn Gallery, and are responsible for every aspect of exhibition curation, including theme generation, artwork selection, art handling, exhibition installation, and interpretation.  

Fall 2022 Session: October 4th – December 14th 

Spring 2023 Session: February 6th – June 6th

Tuesdays – Thursdays, 3-5:30pm

First In-Person Artist Talk at the Trolley Barn Gallery!

Join us for our first in-person Artist Talk!

We invite the art lovers of Poughkeepsie to join us for the Trolley Barn’s very first in-person Artist Talk on Saturday, Oct. 1st, from 6 – 8pm. The talk will feature a panel of three artists who have been selected by our student curators to speak on the topic of bringing WONDER to the community and POWER to our personage. Though it will not be live-streamed, you’ll be able to watch the recording on the website afterwards. We hope to see you there!

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