About the admission button for First Night Saranac Lake 2018
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by Jessica Schmidtka, Sydney Schmidt, Erika Wolf, Ashtin Doner and Jordan Whitman while in Carol Vossler’s 2D Design at NCCC

The admission button for events at this year’s First Night Saranac Lake is based on the banner, "JAZZ IT UP". The banner was created for First Night Saranac Lake 2016 by students in Carol Vossler’s 2D Design class at North Country Community College.

The 5-person team of Schmidtka, Schmidt, Wolf, Doner and Whitman each brought their ideas and sketches to the table. Ultimately they decided to go with Schmidtka’s concept and design with the exception that stars rather than music notes, reached from the sax to the moon. Having attended the local First Night, Jessica was inspired by the “street party” feel of Saranac Lake. She imagined a jazz band playing and thought it would be cool to show a saxophonist playing in the night. She felt it captured the spirit of music and dancing that First Night Saranac Lake inspires.

All five have since finished their courses of study at NCCC. Here’s what they’re up to now:

Since receiving her AS in Fine Art, Jessica Schmidtka has started her own business, Transitions, where she creates fine art and essential oil beauty products from her home at 49 Prospect in Tupper Lake. She has been in conversation with Saranac Lake ArtWorks about increasing Tupper Lake’s image as an arts community. She’s also a 4-H Leader, a substitute teacher at LP Quinn Elementary School, and a mom to 5. And, she has designs on pursuing a teaching certification in Art Education. You can find her on Facebook at “Transitions.Schmidtka” or email her at

Native Saranac Laker, Sydney Schmidt, is working toward a BA in Graphics Design & New Media at SUNY Potsdam, where she’s also in the Art Club. She sees herself working in magazine layout or advertising where she might also incorporate the interest in photography she developed at SLHS with instructor Jenn Moore. Meanwhile, on breaks from school, she works at Casa del Sol.

Erika Wolf found herself being drawn to art therapy while pursuing her BS in psychology at Castleton University in Vermont. Originally from Crown Point, after Castleton she relocated to Saranac Lake to obtain an AS in Studio Art from NCCC which would provide the undergraduate coursework she needed to gain entry into the Art Therapy graduate degree program at Nazareth College in Rochester. This term she is interning at the Hochstein School of Music & Dance, working within its Art Therapy & Art for Wellness department.

Originally from Tupper Lake, Jordan Whitman now lives in Plattsburgh where he works in the security industry. An avid gamer, he uses the artistic talents he honed at NCCC to design anime characters.

Ashtin Doner received her AS in Computer Graphics & Design. She works as a Direct Support Professional at Citizen Advocates of North Star Industries working with adults who have developmental disabilities.

First Night Festive Banners

FUNDING FIRST NIGHT: Admission button sales provide about half the funds needed to produce First Night. Support from sponsors, individuals, local businesses, and grants make up the rest. Your support makes it happen!

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© First Night Saranac Lake  ·  Designed by Rainbow Graphics

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