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My name is Arletny and I am sixteen years old. I’m a junior attending the High School for Law and Public Service. I was born, raised, and still live in Washington Heights, located in uptown Manhattan. My family came from the Dominican Republic, a small island in the Caribbean. Since I was born, I’ve been brought up with a lot of my culture. My culture deals with a lot of art, music, and overall expression, and has become a great influence in my life. My aunt is a well-known painter in my community. When I was really young, my aunt got me interested in art and I’ve been doing it ever since. I’ve been involved with different kinds of things having to do with the arts, such as poetry, painting, designing, and dancing.

For my junior year, I was really interested in doing something besides my usual dance projects, and so I did a little researching and landed this internship at the Whitney. 

Art to me is everything. Art isn’t just a form of expression on a canvas or something molded or built. Art can be expressed through movement or through deep feelings expressed through words. One of my favorite artists is Keith Haring. I love his style because it is modern in a weird way. It says so much to me. I love how he incorporates so much color and movement into a still picture. I also love how all of his pieces have a clear message that comes across immediately.

The world is an inspiration itself; everything around me is so full of life. I guess it is because I live in the city; there is just so much detail in the dullest of things. The simplest drawing can have you completely enthralled, causing you to stare for hours, just trying to figure it out. That is the beauty of art. 

My community inspires me. My future inspires me with thoughts of what I can become. To me life is like a blank canvas. I have the power to paint it however I would like. I don’t know yet what I want to be in life. I’m only sixteen. I may go to New York University for four years and become a journalist, maybe a lawyer, a physiologist, or even a publicist. Or how about my going to Fashion Institute of Technology and becoming a famous fashion designer? Hey, you never know. Maybe I could do it all, but then again, what do I know?

Arletny’s Artwork