On a sunny campus day, positioned on the front steps of an academic building are several students dressed in 1970s style apparel, given a vintage filter. In other photos, they are seen blowing bubbles and cheerfully running in the grass, posed in front of brick walls and looking away from the camera. In a couple of them, they are seen laying on blankets in the grass and staring above. This is called, “That 70’s Shoot.”
The Chromatic at New Paltz is a self described new visual arts organization on our campus. They have roots in Suny Geneseo, which documents photoshoots taken by the group on Instagram. As a new club, the New Paltz page already has over 150 followers.
“If you’re looking for a new creative outlet, Chromatic is the place for you! Following the footsteps of @geneseo.chromatic we hope to foster a supportive environment where New Paltz students can explore art, photography, makeup and fashion together. Some of the themes we’ve had on set at Geneseo include “Dante’s Inferno,” “Euphoria,” ‘Twisted Childhood,’ ‘Broken Valentine’s Day’ and more! Whether you prefer working behind the camera or in front of it, we would love to welcome all models, makeup artists, photographers, digital editors and Insta baddies to Chromatic at New Paltz!”
The founder cites Natalia Seth of the Instagram page @escapingyouth, a photographer who does imaginative self portraits, as inspiration for her own work.
Each meeting, which are open to all students who wish to attend, revolve around a specific theme for the art. In April, the organization opened up with the theme of ‘Cherry Blossom.’ Images of women dressed in pink clothes and with brightly colored makeup pose around cherry blossom trees while staring at the camera.
These photos were taken at the Hasbrouck Park. Additionally, the club has conducted a tarot card theme, where students were dressed and photographed in order to appear as cards on a tarot deck. These photos were all taken by students, some of them using professional cameras, and others using their iPhones. Some of them were taken by experienced photographers, and others were taken by beginners. The models are all students of SUNY New Paltz.
According to an Instagram post, the founder is a transfer student. She says, “I am a transfer from SUNY Geneseo, which is where I was introduced to Chromatic and I immediately fell in love. I love doing editorial makeup looks and taking creative pictures, so a visual arts club that combined those was the perfect place for me! One of my favorite shoots was the 80s thriller theme we did for Friday the 13th, it was so fun to mess around with props and costumes. I also loved the “Euphoria” shoot, because I got to experiment with some creative makeup looks! I am so excited to foster a similar environment here at New Paltz and I can’t wait to meet everyone!”
An Instagram page with almost 600 followers called @geneseo.chromatic displays grunge style photography and a link to where you can buy tickets for events. Examples of photoshoots include a ghost theme, where students are wearing white sheets, sunglasses, and surgical masks over their heads and can be seen posing in seemingly normal activities around their campus. Another example includes a photoshoot recreating childhood, but with a dark twist as one model holds a lighter to a stuffed toy.
This student’s work from Geneseo can also be seen on her New Paltz Instagram page. A TikTok video posted on the Instagram account includes the theme ‘color’ and takes several students down a dark hallway where they are surrounded by lights, smoke and glitter as colors illuminate around them. They can also be seen doing their makeup, watching TV and preparing for the photoshoot.
From SUNY Geneseo, we can see what might be coming to New Paltz. In addition to photography shoots centered around students, fashion, makeup and natural scenery, the organization also held photoshop workshops, film festivals and challenges. At Geneseo, the organization also had a 1970s theme.
Students who want to get involved can do so by attending weekly meetings as well as joining the GroupMe in the link of the organization’s Instagram bio.