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CHS students unveil Teen Room designs; “Altered Books” at art opening

Call it Extreme Makeover: Library Edition. Like the designers from the popular ABC television show, sculpture students from CHS tapped their imaginations and with instruction from teachers Joann Johnson and Megan Stasi, designed detailed architectural scale models that featured designs for the new Teen Room at the Cohoes Public Library. CHS Art Opening

The designs were unveiled at an Art Opening and Reception at the library on March 20. Students from the school's Drawing and Painting class also presented their "Altered Books" project in which students artfully repurpose books that are no longer being used by the library.

The students, CHS juniors and seniors, were joined by parents and friends, administrators, teachers and community members at the reception. Also attending was Matthew Graff, director of the Cohoes Public library who collaborated with teachers on the school-community project. As part of the event, attendees were encouraged to vote for their favorite room makeover designs and the winners were announced on Friday, March 23.

  • First Place: Jessica Doggett

  • Second Place: Abby Kortz

  • Third Place: Rachael Mossey

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“We are thrilled to have these students contributing their ideas for our new Teen Room and displaying their works at the library,” said Matthew Graff, director of the Cohoes Public Library, at the reception. “The space offers a safe place for teens to socialize, study or just read. It’s a light-filled, flexible space that lends itself to creativity. We hope we can incorporate a few of the creative designs shared by these teens.”

Graff said he was approached by Cohoes High School art teachers Joann Johnson and Megan Stasi, who suggested the architectural models and art show. The library, set in a former church, features extraordinary architecture that prompted unique design ideas from the students.

“It was their idea and it was a great one,” Graff said. “What a public library offers today has evolved so much from the library many of us grew up with. We are trying to engage our patrons in new ways and it is crucial that we understand the needs of the community we serve. And who knows better what teens will respond to than teens themselves.”

According to Mrs. Stasi, a student teacher working with Mrs. Johnson, the students spent several weeks constructing the models, and detailing their designs. They maintained the architecture of the library, and its scale and designed furnishings to scale as well. The class learned how to construct a scale model, including ground plans, elevation, scale furnishings and scale figures. The class also used online resources to find printable scale models, such as computers, monitors, and more.

“You will see a lot of color,” said Mrs. Stasi said of the designs. “They decorated the ornate windows of the library and designed walls and flooring with inspiration ranging from Major League sports, to Alice in Wonderland, to Scooby Doo. I am very proud of the works they’ve created.”

Students displaying works included, from the Sculpture class: Sculpture Class: Jeri Beeler, Adrianna Clark, Jessica Doggett, Amber Douglas, Jordan Edwards, Connor Franzese, Abby Kortz, Kristyn McGoff, Dominique Moore, Rachael Mossey, Vanessa Reamer, Kylie Simpson, Johnny Soto Moya, Tatiana Stephens, and Kyle Walsh.

From the Drawing and Painting class: Keyonndra Bailey, Jesika Becker, Jacqueline Cameron, Billy Campbell, Jason Charette, Rob Darmetko, Tyree Dawkins, Amber Douglas, Ashley Fletcher, Ryan Grant, Nicole Halloran, Joe King, Shelby Maloney, Rachael Mossey, Lindsey Randall, Kelsey Sickles, Glenn Skaarup, Bennie Stephens, and Rich Williams.