Writers

Spring 2013

Kira Lynn Harris talks to students around a table.

Kira Lynn Harris with YI Writers, 2013. Photograph by Jason Mandella


With Kira Lynn Harris

Kira Lynn Harris focuses on the formal concerns of space, light, and the phenomenological and issues of individual subjectivity. Her participation as an artist-in-residence with Youth Insights continued a long relationship with the Museum, as an educator and consultant with the Education Department from 1999-2001 and as a 1999 graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program. After visiting the exhibitions Blues for Smoke, Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective, and American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe , and Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Youth Insights Writers worked with Harris to create large-scale drawings and short-fiction pieces examining the roles of fashion and stereotypes in their lives.


Alesa

My name is Alesanicole, but everyone calls me Alesa for short. I’m currently a sophomore at Arts and Media Preparatory Academy. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, but both of my parents are Haitian. Art, to me, is a way for people to express themselves creatively. I was first introduced to visual art exhibitions last fall. Writing is another interest of mine. Hope inspires me. In the future, I want to graduate from high school. Then I want to go to college and medical school. Eventually I want to become a psychiatrist.


Arif

My name is Arid. I was born in New York but I’m from Thailand. Art means a lot to me. It inspires different feelings in different people. To me, art can mean inspiration, mistakes, failure, achievement, and fun. I hope to achieve success in the future.


Femilyn

Hello! My name is Femilyn but I prefer to be called Femii. I recently moved to the Bronx from Manhattan, where I lived until age sixteen. To me, art is a way to express my emotions. I love drawing and re-drawing pictures of Marilyn Monroe. I am interested in the self-portraits and journal writing of famous figures in American history. In the future, I hope to have my name and artwork known worldwide, so that I can inspire others in the same way I have been inspired.


Ina

My name is Ina. I was born in Greece and have lived in Connecticut, but I consider New York my real home. Generally speaking, people who love things inspire me. I've found that when I hang out with people who are passionate about stuff, I tend to invest some love in that same stuff. It’s as though their nerdy-ness, for lack of a better word, rubs off on me. I’ve found that kids are the best at being inspirational and I love working with them. As for my future, I think I’ll continue my overachieving streak by double majoring in biology and English.


Isabel

As the child of a dancer and a writer, art has been an omnipresent force in my life. But I have only recently come to really appreciate the exposure to art I have received from my parents. Before I understood that influence, I saw art first and foremost as a means of introspection and investigation, and as a way of communicating what I thought was important, confusing, or beautiful. For most of my life, my medium of choice has been writing, but I am beginning to uncover an interest in visual art; photography in particular has come to play a significant role in my life as an artist and a student. I hope that I can continue to expand my understanding and appreciation of other people’s art, and also generate some of my own.


Jia

I am a New Yorker, originally from China. I came to America at the age of three and have been living in Brooklyn ever since. To me, art is creation. It is not an escape, but it is a completely different world, as contradictory as that may sound. I enjoy music, fashion, writing, drawing, and reading. In a sense, everything inspires me. It is difficult to pinpoint what exactly is inspiring. As long as I deem something interesting, it will most likely be inspiring to me. I would like to develop my writing and drawing skills. I would also like to go to an art school and eventually start my own fashion line.


Jitan

Hi! I’m Jitan. I am currently a sophomore at New York City Lab School. I live in downtown Manhattan and in Brooklyn. Art is commonly thought of as a form of expression, and I think this is true. I like that can art mean something personal and something different to the creator and the viewer. It interests me when artists choose to show a different side of human nature in their work. I love photography and cinematography. Many different films inspire and motivate me to create my own work. In the future, I hope to study art or design. I want to eventually be creating more art and literature than I do now.


Julio

I am a Spanish-Mexican student. I was born in the United States, but I grew up in Mexico. I came to Youth Insights in order to understand more about art and artists. The meaning of art for me is the expression of meaning using materials, such as paint or stone. I’m interested in Japanese culture. Right now, it is my biggest inspiration, and I want to understand everything I can about it. In the future, I hope to get a master’s degree, to be able to speak at least three languages, and last but not least, I hope to be happy.


Luis

I’m Luis. I reside in Washington Heights and my background is Colombian. I enjoy reading, but I love writing. To me, art is anything that conveys an idea or a concept. Art could also be something that emulates a feeling so well that the viewer feels that emotion when they look at the artwork. Art is a mirror of expression. Art is the medium through which emotions become real. I’m interested in change and in awareness of the universe. I would like to become a wise man, full of knowledge, so that I can be unstoppable. I hope that people hundreds of years from today will remember my name and acknowledge my existence and ideas.


Melissa

I was born and raised in the Bronx. Both of my parents are originally from the Dominican Republic. Art has always influenced life. It’s one of the best ways to express yourself and who you are. I don’t have any favorite artists in particular. Going to an art school, I learn how to appreciate every artist’s point of view. I love reading and writing. Many of the things I read inspire what I write. Some of my biggest inspirations are the Bible, mystery novels, and romance novels. I also love drawing. My favorite thing to do is make personalized cards for my friends and family. In the future, I hope to become a successful writer, be a role model to others, and make a difference in people's lives.


Olivia

Hi, I'm Olivia. I'm from Manhattan and I'm Dutch. Art means a great deal to me. I see it as an imitation of life, and vice-versa. I'm interested in writing, specifically screenwriting and playwriting. I also love film, journalism, and many other mediums of art. In the future, I hope to achieve success.


Rebecca

Hi, I’m Rebecca, a sixteen year old from the Upper West Side in Manhattan. My parents are both from Brooklyn, New York, but my grandparents were from Italy on my mother’s side and from England on my father’s. I’m an Italian Jew, which isn’t something you come across every day. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always been interested in the arts. No matter where I am, I find art material. Art allows me to express myself without being judged. There are no boundaries so I can really release myself. I can find inspiration in anything. Living in the hustle and bustle of New York City allows me to see so many different people and how they live their lives. I have a passion for photography, but no matter what my medium is, I manage to let my feelings out—no holding back.


Sarah

I am a creative young lady born in wonderful New York City. Art means the world to me. It has made me open-minded and bright.


Savannah

Artwork captures my sight
I like when the colors of the canvas
Paint my mind
Or the materials
Mold something into my soul.
To write about the experience
Is scintillating for me
For it is like reliving the feeling I felt when I first saw it.
I like doing both
Art and writing
Although sometimes it’s tricky.
But I like the Whitney
For writing about art
Or doing art
Sparks a greater creativity.


Shane

My name is Shane and I am currently a sophomore at Stuyvesant High School. I was born in Brooklyn and have lived there my whole life. My family is of Irish-German descent, but both of my parents were born in the United States. Art is important to me as a way of expressing myself, and I also really enjoy seeing art exhibitions. I have always tried to take art classes either in school or after school, so art has taken up a significant chunk of my time in the past. I enjoy going for runs in the park near my house, and I participate in school theater productions whenever I can. I also enjoy watching movies and listening to music at home. I am not sure exactly what I want to do for a living, but I think I want to do something with writing later in my life. 


Simona

Hi, my name is Simona and I currently live in Brooklyn. I am originally from the Bronx. I am Japanese, Colombian, and Dutch. I feel that there is art in everything. Art is the beauty of something that is made out of passion. I’m interested in helping other people, new eccentric art, new ways of writing, and reading unusual stories with rich meanings. I’m inspired by pastel colors, fashion and art from Japan as well as the 1940s, and the 1990s, body parts, and human acts of kindness. Bad or screwed up things never surprise me. In the future, I hope to be a successful, well-off artist. I hope to change something in society to restore peace. I also want to make people more aware of the pollution we cause so that we can change that too.


Stephanie

I am from Brooklyn, New York. I am Chinese-American, and I’m a junior at Brooklyn Tech High School. I always try to make art a very important part of my life. I like reading, ice skating, gymnastics, listening to music, rock climbing, hanging out with my friends, and finding new adventures. A lot inspires me, including other people who do cool and interesting things. I hope to be a good person who has a successful life, and I want to major in something related to art or design.


Yarenis

My name is Yarenis and I am creative and passionate when it comes to art. I was born in New York City, I am Dominican, and I have five sisters. To me, art is everything. When I’m happy, bored, sad, or angry, I just pick up a pencil and draw my emotions away. My style is anime-like and I can go on for hours nonstop. I write stories all the time and I read all types of novels to become better at writing. Art is my escape from the world that I live in. I create my own realm and walk right into it, and sometimes I wish I didn’t have to come back. My interests are illustration and writing. I enjoy reading too. I want to stand out as a real artist and be acknowledged for that. In the future, I hope to be what I’m dreaming to be―a recognized animator or a well-known writer.