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My name is Niki and I am a senior at Hunter College High School. This is my first year as a Youth Insights Leader and my third semester participating in the Youth Insights program. I have had a wonderful experience thus far. The program has given me the opportunity to see art from a variety of perspectives, to think critically about the different types of art in the world, and to combine my interests in the arts and education in new ways.

I have grown up in New York City and the visual arts have been a huge part of my life. My mother is a curator and a director of a contemporary art gallery in Manhattan and my father represents musicians and visual artists. As a result, I have been constantly exposed to the works of different artists and I've been able to watch their works transform and grow over time. Seeing works develop as time progresses is very important, as it is a reflection of the artists’ thoughts. I believe that art is a conversation between the artist and the audience.The audience often completes the thought process of the artist by bringing their own point of view to the work.

The arts, whether they are visual, musical, or performance-based, have always allowed me to experience new ways of seeing the world, add excitement to day-to-day activities, and spark conversations. I believe art can be seen almost everywhere, and simply requires that one keeps an open mind, has patience, and an ability to discover beauty.