Creativity, ingenuity at Mini Maker Faire

May 2018     No Comments

Maxine Leu helps teammates make a sculpture during “Sculpture JAM” at the Mohawk Valley Mini Maker Faire at SUNY Poly in Utica. (Alex Cooper / Observer-Dispatch)

Creativity, invention, and resourcefulness came together as SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Sculpture Space, and other local organizations teamed up to host the Mohawk Valley Mini Maker Faire at the SUNY Poly Student Center Saturday, April 21.

“Whether an engineer, scientist, craft maker, or artist, we all have a desire and curiosity to create, no matter the final product, and SUNY Poly is proud to partner with Sculpture Space and a number of local organizations to host this important event on our Utica campus,” said SUNY Poly Interim President Dr. Bahgat Sammakia. “An event like the Mohawk Valley Mini Maker Faire provides an incredible venue for all these makers to not only show off their skillset and passion, but also to engage others to do the same.”

The Mohawk Valley Mini Maker Faire is a celebration of the creativity, ingenuity, and diversity of makers throughout the Mohawk Valley region. The 2018 event is a community-based collaboration between SUNY Poly and a growing range of individual makers and participating institutions that includes Sculpture Space, thINCubator, Munson Williams Proctor Arts institute, The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, and the Utica Children’s Museum.

“The Mohawk Valley Maker Faire is a really unique opportunity for the ‘makers’ of our community to come together and showcase their projects and passions,” said thINCubator Director Ryan Miller. “From Robotics to art to 3D printing to dance, it’s a chance to celebrate creativity, meet creatives from across our region and learn something new. I was stunned at the diversity and complexity of the creations on display at the last Faire and am looking forward to all that this year’s event holds.”

Activities included “The JAM,” a real-time sculpture event sponsored by Sculpture Space during the Faire where four teams comprised of students and professional artists from across the state competed in a friendly six-hour design and build challenge, resulting in four unique pieces of art. The public watched and interacted with the artists throughout the day, as well as cast their vote for “People’s Choice” among the created works.

Guests make origami birds during “Sculpture JAM” at the Mohawk Valley Mini Maker Faire at SUNY Poly. (Alex Cooper / Observer-Dispatch)

“This year’s Maker Faire is even more exciting than before given the addition of Sculpture Space’s Sculpture Jam!” said Dr. Robert Edgell, Associate Professor of Technology Management at SUNY Poly and co-organizer of the Mohawk Valley Mini Maker Faire.

The shared goal of the Mini Maker Faire is to spread the maker ethos and help to cultivate a sustainable maker culture that can contribute to the continuing revitalization of the community.

“The Mohawk Valley is home to so many resourceful and inventive people. Whether they are artists, engineers, entrepreneurs, or hobbyists — they are all what we call makers, people who make things,” said Dr. Daryl Lee, Associate Professor of Humanities at SUNY Poly and co-organizer of the Mohawk Valley Mini Maker Faire. “The goal of the Mohawk Valley Mini Maker Faire is to highlight the creative diversity of our region, help connect makers to each other, and most importantly to show visitors that we all have the ability to make and create. Helping to cultivate this culture of creativity is why we think it is so important for SUNY Poly to help bring the Mini Maker Faire to our area.”

The roughly two dozen exhibits included, but certainly were not limited to 3D Printing and Technology, Cupcake Decorating, Creativity and Culture, Social Dancing, Puppetry, Sculpture creation, Woodcarving, Photography, and more. Maker Faire originated in 2006 in the San Francisco Bay Area as a project of the editors of Make: magazine and has since grown into a significant worldwide network of both flagship and independently produced events.