Special printmaking workshop for kids

A group of students at The Lowell School in Flushing were able to learn about printmaking as part of a special workshop conducted by professional artist Jami Taback.

Taback is the founder and director of Kids at Risk: Adventures in Printmaking, which focuses on assisting students who have social or behavioral challenges.

Lowell School Principal Susan Klein said that the Flushing location has 132 high school students. There is also an elementary/middle school in Bayside that has 110 students.

“Our students have learning differences, they have some special needs, which is why they are here,” Klein said. “They flourish here. They get a lot more support then they would if they were in a large community high school.”

Klein had received a letter from a principal at another school telling her about Taback’s program. Around that same time, she had seen an article about Taback in Newsday and thought it was an “omen” that it was meant to be.

Taback, a resident of Kew Gardens Hills, was at the school four days doing the workshop, with about 10 students participating.

“Many of these students are the students who have expressed a desire to pursue art careers and excel in art,” Klein said. “We wanted to bring in an additional experience for them that we ordinarily could not do because of not having our own equipment.”

The students learned the printmaking process and created pieces that they can include in a portfolio for college review

“They’re very talented, and they grasped the process right away,” Taback said, adding that she forms a mentoring relationship with the students. “I had a very good time with them. They’re good kids.”

Junior Hannah Klitsberg, who wants to be an animator for a company like Pixar or DreamWorks, was one of the students who participated in the workshop. She said that learning printmaking gives her another skill that colleges will see when she applies.

“You get to create things,” she said of the class. “You’re surrounded by people who have the same interests.”

Although many of the students will keep their pieces for their portfolios, they will be displayed in the school’s hallways. Klein said that the students have been saying ‘thank you’ for having the workshop.

“They’re very happy to have this opportunity,” she said.

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