Started As a Sophomore, Now We’re Here: Celebrating the Class of 2019

On Saturday, May 1st the senior class of 2019 were joined by families, friends, and allies to celebrate the completion of their 2.5-year journey in the Parsons Scholars program. Each scholar presented their learning portfolios, the college they’ll be attending in the fall, and the fields they’re interested in studying. The presentations highlighted their values, their skill sets, and how they plan on using their learnings to achieve their future goals. Presentations were followed by collective Q&A sessions with the audience where scholars shared their personal experiences navigating higher education and gave advice on how they stayed true to themselves. Amongst the shared tears of joy and laughter, we were all grateful to once again be part of a shared […]

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Estelle Maisonett’s Assumed Identity Exhibition

During the morning meeting, Mixed Media Artist and Parsons Scholars Program Administrator, Estelle Maisonett, shared a presentation about her practice with the Junior scholars. The presentation included images of her large-scale assemblages, video clips of her process, and discussion around the themes within her work. Estelle uses clothing and large-scale photographs to create figures posed in different urban landscapes she photographs throughout her neighborhood. Intentionally, avoiding the addition of skin or faces to the figures, Estelle’s work explores how viewers perceive identity through space, clothing, and consumer goods she collects such as crushed soda cans. She explores physical and visual texture of materials such as wood or brick through painted faux finishes, photographs, and found objects to investigate what defines […]

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Exploring a Future in Brand Design & Strategy with COLLINS

Senior scholars visited the Collins design studio in New York to learn more about the design company and what an internship or future career at Collins would look like. Yocasta Lachapelle, the Director of Talent at Collins, began the visit by sharing some of the design campaigns and strategies they have worked on for big brands such as Mailchimp, Spotify, Aldo, and Bose. The visit also included a studio tour where scholars got to see how the brand develops their projects, explore a fully equipped library, and view the layout of workspaces. Scholars shared their interests with Yocosta and asked insightful questions such as how they select interns and designers that add value to the company and what kind of […]

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Arte Escondido: Hidden Art Exhibition!

This year’s Capstone Exhibition was titled Arte Escondido: Hidden Art and was displayed at The New School’s, Social Justice Hub! The exhibition featured independent and collaborative projects by senior scholars that concentrated on deeply personal themes of identity. The exhibition included a range of mediums such as photography, film, garments, mixed-media, sculpture, printmaking, and painting. Some of the projects on view included a collaborative film titled Nuestro Viewpoint: Our Viewpoint that follows five scholars through their experience living in NYC, a shirt embroidered with the word confidence, showcased alongside two casted hands holding a clay pot sculpture; inspired by nature and family. In the center of the mixed media works a giant cushioned mouse trap with a photo I.D. Green […]

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Curating 101: Installing the 2019 Capstone Exhibition

Today the seniors continued to put finishing touches on their work; stitching loose ends, sewing voodoo dolls, and combining video footage till their hard work finally paid off! Their capstone projects were complete, and it was finally time to hang the exhibition in the Social Justice Hub at The New School.  But how do you hang an exhibition?! The seniors worked together with Nadia Williams and Anthony Bryant to curate a space that was unified by the identity and diversity of everyone in their exhibition. They made collaborative decisions on how to mount photos, considered how an audience should experience the audio in their films, and decided how they would arrange mixed media projects. They selected the proper tools to […]

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Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Scholars took a trip to the Brooklyn Museum to see the Frida Kahlo exhibition Appearances Can Be Deceiving. The exhibition highlights Kahlo’s clothing, jewelry, and objects that held value to the artist and became an iconic staple of her identity. Scholars reflected on the relationship between identity and art, expanding on how artists who choose to work within these themes create work that celebrates their lived experiences. The Brooklyn Museum identifies the exhibition as: “Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s unique and immediately recognizable style was an integral part of her identity. Kahlo came to define herself through her ethnicity, disability, and politics, all of which were at the heart of her work. Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving is the largest […]

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BUFU (BY US FOR US) Joins PSP For Capstone Reviews

This Saturday the senior cohort has a special visit by three of BUFU’s co-founders: Tsige Tafesse, Katherine Tom, and Jazmin Jones. Comprised of creative curators and artists, BUFU, is self-described as a project-based collective interested in solidarity amongst us, co-creating with you experimental models of organizing and making, and generating prestige and mining time as a resource. The collective graciously visited our program to share how they developed their own work collectively and to listen to what the seniors created for their capstone projects. Each senior group presented their values to the BUFU co-founders and described how they integrated these shared values into combined projects. The film group shared how their project introduced viewers to their own unique lived experiences […]

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Come One, Come All: Open Studios + Parent Presentations

Today was Open Studios, which marked the end of the Juniors and Sophomores Pre-College Academy classes for the spring semester. Alongside all of the students enrolled in pre-college courses at Parsons, Scholars showcased the artwork they produced as part of their classes. The artwork often ranges in mediums such as design, photography, fashion, painting, illustration, and architecture. The junior scholars roamed freely from class to class, locating the artwork of their peers and taking it in. After open studios and pizza, the junior scholars received their second diagnostic test scores and were able to review areas for improvement. They were proud to announce how much their scores improved from the first diagnostic test and shared how important it is to […]

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Design & Human Experience with Ari Melenciano

In foundation drawing and design classes sophomore scholars began putting the finishing touches on their artwork in preparation for Open Studios next week. In the afternoon, Brooklyn based interdisciplinary artist, Ari Melenciano, whose work centers the relationship between design and human experience visited the sophomores and presented her work. Scholars prepared questions for the artist in response to their work and took notes on how the presentation was structured as they prepared to give their own artist talk at the Parent Presentation after Open Studios. The scholars were really engaged in the many projects and passions Ari developed within the world of art and design. After hearing that she was a Graduate from NYU, they had many questions about how […]

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Practice Makes Perfect: The End of SAT Prep

Acing the SAT starts with practicing test taking skills, and so the juniors have been diligently preparing. Juniors took their second SAT Diagnostic test this week, to determine what content areas they need to improve on. After a long and intensive semester indoors, the juniors rewarded themselves for completing their SAT prep program with a trip to Washington Square Park. Using their own materials, scholars were asked to create work inspired by their experience or interaction at the park that could fulfill a portfolio requirement as a prospective college applicant. Portfolio requirements and criteria can be very specific for each college application and vary between type of artwork or medium. Examples of requirements can include things such as a landscape, […]

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Building A Resume

This morning, sophomore scholars began collecting information on their work or volunteer experience, skills, and extracurricular activities to develop resumes. During the afternoon they visited the computer lab to reviewed different resume formats and get familiar with tools they could use on Adobe Photoshop to stylize there resume format. The workshop began with scholars defining the purpose of a resume and ways it can be used. They also reviewing the kind of information a resume should include and how to create a resume that highlights your capabilities even if you haven’t previously had a job. Youth Advocate Darielle, reminded scholars, ”just because you haven’t had a job yet doesn’t mean you have nothing to put on a resume or that […]

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I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for… Learning Portfolios and Ice Cream

As the senior cohorts Capstone exhibition date approaches, Nadia Williams and Anthony Bryant used the first hour of class to visit the Social Justice Hub on the 5th floor of The New School’s UC building, to discuss how they could transform the area into an exhibition space. As a group they discussed ways to utilize space, placement of group artwork, and the equipment they’ll need to complete the installation. The film group suggested using classroom 513, located within the Social Justice Hub, as a walk-in theater for their project. The mixed-media group selected a corner space where their work could be protected, and the photo group chose to exhibit on the longest wall available. Afterward, seniors used the time to […]

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Bartering: A Communal Exchange of Advice & Skills

After another Saturday of SAT prep, the juniors participated in a portfolio review workshop. The reviewers consisted of artist and designers on different career paths such as multimedia designer, researcher and curator Kelly Walters; architect and rapper Nicolas Savvides; artist Dianne Hebbert; and designer Michael Donovan. Groups of three scholars rotated to each artist and took turns having their portfolio reviewed. Eager to meet artist from respective industries, scholars took notes on valuable advice that could strengthen their portfolio. Sophomore scholars started the morning by reflecting on the Art Future event as a cohort. They began by sharing their thoughts on the exhibition created by the Junior Scholars (see previous Art Future post for images),  in response to recent findings […]

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Team Work Makes the Dream Work: Collaborative Art, Sweatshirt Design, and Planning Ahead

A regular day for the senior scholars means multi-tasking and planning ahead for success. This Saturday they reviewed their calendars and deadlines for their upcoming senior exhibition. Breaking up into their collaborative groups, they reviewed each others project proposals and strategized on how they could best exe cute their ideas together while capstone co-facilitators Nadia Williams and Anthony Bryant listened in. Mentors supported groups as they thought through material options, problem solved, and clarifying their vision. As the day progressed, Youth Advocates gathered the seniors to review the final top three sweatshirt designs chosen by the class. Students discussed the pros and cons of each design and their reasoning behind their selection. Using this feedback, they improved the design, finalized […]

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Alumni Artist Project Award!

The Parsons Scholars Program is proud to launch the first yearly Alumni Artist Project Award! APPLY HERE! DESCRIPTION: The Alumni Artist Project Award is an opportunity for Parsons Scholars Alumni to receive funding of up to $1500 to support new or ongoing projects that expand their practices as artists and designers in ways they wouldn’t otherwise be able to due to lack of access and/or inconsistent resources. This can include, but is not limited to, funding for supplies, space rental, transportation costs, artist fee/personal compensation, printing and distribution costs, personnel costs, equipment, travel, and technology. Building on the legacy of artists and designers of color, the Alumni Artist Project Award seeks to expand access to funding to artists and designers […]

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Art Future Youth Alliance 2019

Scholars attended the first Art Future NYC Youth Alliance summit on March 9th, organized by The Joan Mitchell Foundation Alumni Council, No Longer Empty Youth Action Council, and Brooklyn Museum Teens. The day consisted of artist panels, workshops, activities, and discussions that allowed youth to reflect on a variety of art college and career paths. The program’s intended goal was to provide a space where students of color from low income backgrounds could explore art and design career options within a social justice framework. At the event Junior Scholars exhibited a group show titled “The Whitney Project.” The project highlighted the discovery that Vice Chairmen Warren B. Kanders of the Whitney Board of Directors owns a manufacturer titled “Safariland”  that is supplying tear gas to I.C.E […]

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College & SAT Challenge Accepted: Juniors Prepare for Senior Year

Junior’s received their SAT diagnostic test results, reviewed sections that were challenging, and began studying for improvement. They took their first rounds of SAT’s this month and have continued to attend SAT Prep.  Preparing for the SAT’s is the first step as they begin preparing for college applications next year. This month they focused on portfolio development and researching college portfolio requirements. In planning ahead, they began portfolio reviews with various successful artists that have taken different career paths. Reviewers consisted of designer Kelly Walters, creative Nicolas Savvides, fine artist Dianne Hebbert, and creative entrepreneur Michael Donovan. The scholars divided themselves up with the reviewers, three per table, and each discussed their work for 15 minutes. Remaining scholars took notes on the review for their […]

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Capstone & Life After High School: Senior Exhibitions in Progress

The senior cohort is preparing for their Capstone Exhibition happening May 4, 2019 at the Parsons School of Design, Social Justice Hub. They will be showcasing their own individual projects as well as group projects they have developed collaboratively using art & design to address topics that are important to them. As a group they are setting deadlines, creating proposals, looking into production costs and working together to execute projects that showcase their collective values. This month they met Ari Melenciano, a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist, designer, creative technologist, researcher, educator and activist. Ari’s work explores the relationships between various forms of design and human experience. After Ari presented her work to the scholars, they shared their senior Capstone projects. Scholars shared […]

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Senior Capstone Our Voices, Our Story, Our Brand

Senior Capstone is underway and Scholars are creating individual projects and collective brands under the leadership of Nadia Williams and Anthony Bryant. Brand collectives consists of 2-3 Scholars with interests ranging from community, identity as artists of color, and individuality. They were interested in mediums such as marketing, game designs, and advocacy to create spaces for underrepresented artists to showcase work while engaging in dialogue. During capstone, each collective met to discuss highlights and challenges they face as a group. Together they created team roles, project timelines, set goals for the collective, and decided on next steps. Amongst their peers they presented mission statements and mood boards composed of art forms such as video, mixed media, and photography. Seniors also […]

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Juniors Research Higher Education & Explore Game Design

The Juniors started their first session of SAT Prep with an all afternoon diagnostic test. While tests can be nerve wrecking, Scholars were reassured that practice exams are a good way to understand their own strengths and weaknesses so they can better prepare for the SAT exam this summer. Alongside Youth Advocates Havanna Fisher and Kevin Cadena, Scholars continued to develop their college research by forming a collaborative document that included a variety of colleges and information such as statistics, majors, demographic sand size. Next year, Juniors will reference this document to decide which colleges fit their career goals best and which ones they should apply to. Game Designer and Artist Prashast Thapan returned to lead a more in-depth game design workshop with the Juniors. […]

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Sophomores Explore Art & Design

Youth Advocates Darielle Harris and Nelson De Jesus Ubri, have welcomed sophomore Scholars into the program by introducing them to exhibits around NYC that highlight the voices of people of color. Their first trip was to the Soul of A Nation exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. Scholars discussed the role of art within social or political movements and its impact on the black power movement of 1960-1970. Scholars were blown away by the exhibit and taken back by the events that inspired works such as Dana C. Chandler’s piece “Fred Hampton’s Door 2.” The door is punctured with bullet holes, as a reference to the Chicago police raid on the 21-year-old Black Panther leader’s home, where he was murdered. Scholars also took […]

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Spring into Action: The Start of The New Semester!

This Spring semester we welcomed the 2021 Sophomore scholar cohort. New scholars participated in orientation and settled into their Foundation Drawing class with Yashua Klos and Foundation Design class with Jessica Cannon. They received new art supply starter kits and were introduced to the seniors, juniors, and PSP staff through various ice breakers. The Junior cohorts welcomed two new Scholars to the group and began preparing for the rigorous semester ahead that will include SAT prep classes, portfolio development, and college application readiness workshops. The Junior cohort also took a trip the Whitney museum to re-visit and discuss the social responsibility and role of museums within communities. Specifically, they examined the current political and social turmoil surrounding the Whitney museum for keeping vice […]

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Reunion: December 15, 2018

This Saturday scholars, mentors, advocates, and alumni gathered to reconnect and celebrate at reunion 2018! They commemorated the end of the semester with laughter, food, and the release of the trailer Parsons Scholars Program video directed by Youth Advocate alumni Shola Ajayi. The trailer highlighted the Parsons Scholars community and featured scholars sharing how the program has impacted them. The festive gathering also included prizes and group games. Mentors and advocates alike brought their skills together to make reunion 2018 a celebration to remember.  Entrepreneur and current mentor Allison Esannason of Smiley’s Cheesecakes brought delicious cake for everyone to share. Alumni advocate, architect and rapper Nicolas Savvides, hosted the event alongside mentor and DJ Tiama Wilson. Current mentor Dirm Luawo, used his design skills to support […]

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Open Studios: December 8, 2018

Today was Open Studios for all Scholars! Scholars ended the semester celebrating and showcasing all of the artwork they created. During the afternoon, junior scholars met with visiting artist Akeema Zane to finish their artist bios. Afterward they reflected on their fall semester and expressed ways they could have improved, how they felt in their classes, and activities they would like to participate in next year. With the support of Youth Advocates, Mentors, and staff, the senior Scholars continued to submit college applications and edit their college essays. We are so proud of all the scholars accomplished this week!

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Prashast Thapan & The Museum of Moving Image Trip: December 1, 2018

This Saturday, Scholars met with Prashast Thapan an independent Game Developer, Artist, and Graphic Designer that has worked for MTV, Viceland, Chillin Island and more. Thapan grew up in New Delhi, India and attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where he majored in Graphic Design and experimented with gaming. He shared his journey as an artist, his experience at fellowships and moving between jobs before sustaining himself as a freelance artist. Scholars were fascinated by his work and his perseverance in creating a career path that suited his interests. Afterward, the Scholars visited the Jim Henson Exhibition at the Museum of Moving Image to explore the intersection of art and digital media for themselves. Fascinated by Jim Henson’s […]

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PLAYTECH + Pratt Admissions Representative: December 1, 2018

This week Seniors continued finishing their college applications and took a break to attend the PLAYTECH event hosted by The School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT) at Parsons in partnership with Open Campus. Scholars joined the New School community to listen to presentations, test games, and interact with multimedia projects developed by students, faculty, and professionals in the field. Scholars engaged with game designs and digital projects as they networked over pizza. The day concluded with a visit from a Pratt admissions representative to discuss internships and various opportunities at the school. Scholars were happy to ask in depth questions about the admissions process and ways to make their applications stand out.

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Seniors Take Over: Fall 2018

After completing their Summer Intensive Studies, Senior Scholars have embarked on their final year in the program, guided by Youth Advocates Sophia Mak and Deja Holden, and Mentors Jeannette Torres Molina, Tatiana Glover, and Allison Esannason.     Here is a short summary of all the amazing things they’ve been up to so far! Senior Scholars began the semester with community building activities and shared their feelings about senior year. They set personal and group-oriented goals and expectations to help prepare them for the semester. Workshops began by introducing students to a useful and necessary organizational tool, Google Sheets! Students used google sheets to organize and track their personal college deadlines and requirements. Scholars learned that the first step to accomplishing a goal […]

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We Out Here! Junior Scholars: Fall Semester 2018

Following their first summer Academy experience, the Junior scholars got off to a great start this fall! Led by Youth Advocates Havanna Fisher and Kevin Cadena, and Mentors Dirm Luawo and Kadeem Lamorell, the scholars dove right into Academy classes ranging from Fashion Design to Architecture. They participated in afternoon workshops on college research and social justice movements in art, and attended various events, like the Cooper Hewitt Teen Design Fair , National Portfolio Day!   Here is a snapshot of everything they’ve been up to!   The semester kicked off with Scholars meeting an admissions representative from Colombia University to discuss educational opportunities in the arts. Scholars completed a research assignment weighing the pros and cons of their school choices. Led by […]

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Black Panther & Black, Brown and Asian Solidarity: April 21, 2018

The Senior Scholars spent the first part of their day working on their banners, preparing for their Capstone demonstration. Now that they’ve printed their unique patterns on the fabrics designed after their research in Chinatown, they’re applying text based on their interviews, to create banners that speak to anti-gentrification in Chinatown and Black, Brown and Asian solidarity. The Seniors wrapped up Capstone this week with a visit to Roosevelt Park to scope out exact locations for their Capstone demonstration and art installation. The Junior Scholars took a trip to the movie theater to watch Black Panther. This was the first time viewing the film for the majority of the scholars, and it was an experience best shared with trusted friends […]

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Open Studios, Beat Making & Activist NY: April 14, 2018

Open Studios offers the greater Parsons community the opportunity to see the work created by the pre-college students, including our Scholars’ work. It’s a great way to celebrate and experience their hard work as they grow from semester to semester. Spring Open Studios is especially significant for the Sophomore Scholars since it’s their first semester in the program. “The Sophomore Scholars successfully completed their first semester at Parsons today, and completed gorgeous work from both their Foundation Drawing and Painting class, as well as their Foundation Design class”, states Mentor, Dirm. The afternoon led the Sophomore Scholars on a trip to the Museum of the City of New York. The specific exhibit they visited was Activist New York, which explores […]

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