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My name is Kiran and I'm a seventeen-year-old senior at Susan Wagner High School in Staten Island. I've spent most of my life in Staten Island, but I was born in Queens and come from a Pakistani and Indian background. I enjoy handball, going to the park, hanging out with friends, going to museums, reading, and writing poetry; however, art is my main passion. I enjoy working with photography and mixed media, but fashion is my main interest. Fashion gives people opportunities to express themselves and make a statement.

All forms of art are the same in that they tell a story and evoke emotions. I like art because no two people interpret it in the same way. Because of various experiences, art strikes different nerves with different people. It's a beautiful form of self-expression and no matter how many layers you shed, there's still always more depth to it.

I became interested in Youth Insights because it gave me an opportunity to work with people who also have a passion for art. Living in Staten Island, where the artistic community is fairly stale, I wanted a chance to broaden my artistic horizons. Youth Insights has not only introduced me to other children, teens, and adults who love art as much as I do, but also helped me see things from their perspectives.

I've enjoyed all the experience I've had working with older people. They can provide historical references that give new insight to art periods that they lived through. Children also are great to work with because they look at everything with a very fresh perspective. They also seem to pick up on things that I might never have even thought of.

My favorite American artist is Jacob Lawrence because of the way he depicted his theme of struggle within the African American community so universally. He may be speaking about one specific group or event, but it can be related to anyone. His compositions draw the viewer in and keep the viewer engaged. I also love the way he chose to remain unbiased with the situations he presented. He showed everyday activities and chose not to comment on whether they were negative or positive.

I would have to say my favorite painting at the Whitney is the Brooklyn Bridge by Joseph Stella. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in New York City and also a major part of my everyday life. Seeing it portrayed so intensely reminds me of summer days when I've walked across the bridge and brings a smile to my face.

In three years I hope to be in the process of pursuing my goal of becoming a fashion designer. One day I want to be recognized in the fashion industry and own a label.