Leaders

2013–2014

A group of students standing in the gallery.

YI Leaders workshop with My Barbarian, 2014. Photograph by Filip Wolak


YI Leaders organized events throughout the year, including Clash of the Legends, and workshops with 2014 Biennial artists Kevin Beasley, Joshua Mosely, and artist collective My Barbarian.


Alesanicole

Alesanicole is sixteen years old and attends Arts and Media Prep in Brooklyn, New York. One of her funny quirks is that she does not enjoy the arts or media all that much, at least compared to her fondness for math and English. Alesanicole loves to read and write and she can do so for hours on end. She is also very skilled at math, and her skills in both math and English have contributed to her aspiration to become a psychiatrist. Alesanicole is deeply inspired by the books she reads and by the hope she sees in the world. She looks forward, with open eyes and a warm embrace, to whatever the future may hold for her.

—Saul


Allandra

Allandra lives in Manhattan and her family is from Trinidad. She is a senior at the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics. Her sister is her favorite artist, and Allandra learned to draw from careful observation of her sibling’s work. She believes that art has a healing power and is most inspired by herself, although she realizes that that might sound narcissistic. It’s just that she feels that the more she learns about herself, the more fascinated she is by her own complex psychology. Allandra is deeply interested in film and hopes to study it as her major in college. Right now she is filming a documentary.

—Teddy


Anna

Anna aspires to be an art conservator. As a young girl, Anna developed interest in oil and acrylic painting. Art fascinates her because she is able to “bend” art—she likes that it is not a standard, unchangeable concept. Anna enjoys taking biology, chemistry, psychology, and neurology at Stuyvesant High School, where she is a junior. She hopes to go to Columbia University and pursue her passions for art and science. In the future, Anna wants to travel the world in order to be exposed to the rich diversity of cultures, reflecting her mixed background and giving her the opportunity to learn more about the world and herself.

—Shirley


Annie

Annie is a senior at Bard High School. She is from Brooklyn. She enjoys art because she likes the personal connection it gives her with the artist’s subconscious. Outside of the Whitney, Annie likes to knit and do darkroom photography. She already has two college credits, and hopes to graduate college in three years.

—Jitan


Jitan

Jitan is a Lab High School junior who lives in Brooklyn. She favors English over math and science. In addition to being a fan of the number five and the color blue, Jitan likes to draw, and hopes eventually to get into photography.

—Annie


Luis

Luis comes from Bogota, Colombia and lives in Washington Heights in Manhattan. He.moved to the United States in 2003. He goes to Bard High School Early College and will be graduating in the spring of 2014. Luis feels that art is the "manifestation of expression." His interests include writing, philosophy, and learning about other cultures and cultural perspectives. He hopes to study law and politics in order to become a political activist. Luis says he hopes his contributions as a political activist lead to lasting changes, and that those changes are what will allow him to be remembered even 150 years from now.

—Shane


Rebecca

Rebecca is a British and Italian resident of the Upper West Side. Rebecca is not sure yet what career she would like to have, but she has decided to pursue a career path that makes her happy. When asked to define art, she concluded that art is a form of communication that unites people, and that says things in ways that words can’t. Although I only got to spend a brief time with Rebecca, I can already tell that she has a strong interest in the arts, and that she has the potential to contribute greatly to the Whitney.

—Zeus


Saul

Saul is a senior at Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics. Born in the Bronx, Saul lived in Mexico City for a year before moving back to New York. Saul enjoys drawing. In fact, he can be found daydreaming in class while sketching away in his notebook. “Art doesn’t really have a definition, but I guess anything beautiful that causes emotion is art,” says Saul. The Whitney is the only art museum that Saul has ever been to. He hopes to work in the medical field or to be an inventor. “People’s experiences inspire me,” says Saul. “I want to love my job, and hope to never worry about money in the future.”

—Alesanicole


Savannah

Savannah is of Filipino and African American descent. She is a senior at the Academy of Mount Saint Ursula in the Bronx, She says that art is always changing and that her views about art will change as well. Her interests are photography, writing, scrapbooking, and painting. Things that inspire Savannah include people and investigating human nature. She likes to people-watch and to learn about people in a personal way. In the future she plans to study art history and become a college professor. She would love to visit dangerous places in the world and photograph them. Savannah likes to take photographs to remember the little things, because she thinks those are what will be really important later in life.

—Rebecca


Shane

Shane is of Irish-German descent and lives in Brooklyn. His definition for art: “Art is making tangible what is intangible.” He is interested in women, stand-up comedy, theater, cinema, literature, art, and the animal kingdom. In the future, Shane hopes to stack footwear to higher altitudes than anyone has ever achieved. He also hopes to make that into a successful career.

—Luis


Shirley

Shirley is a senior at Hunter College High School. Her background is Chinese-American and she lives in Brooklyn. She is a very energetic and optimistic person, and knows that the way to happiness in life is to think of the world in a positive way. Shirley believes art is limitless and very malleable, unlike science, even though her passion is science. She is going to be a pre-med major in college next year, and hopes to become a doctor in the future. Shirley is into camping and canoeing, and is already planning her next trip. She is on her school’s badminton team as well. She also wants to travel the world, because she believes it is important to be exposed to other cultures.

—Anna


Teddy

Teddy is a Bard High School student from Brooklyn, New York. He comes from a family of optometrists, dentists, and artists. Teddy has an “image-based mind” and he is interested in music, film, photography, as well as art that is new and original. He has the tendency to dismiss art that has been canonized. In Teddy's opinion, art is the idea of taking something tangible and making it intangible on a more emotional level. His artistic inspiration stems mostly from mass culture, “trash TV,” and art that isn't pristine or conservative. He is also inspired by the creative artistry he finds on platforms like Tumblr. In the future, Teddy plans to be a well-respected artist. He also plans to start an organization that will influence children to experience different forms of art in new ways.

—Allandra


Zeus

Born in New Jersey, Zeus moved to Washington Heights in 2010. He is a junior at the Urban Assembly of Media Arts in Manhattan. He is half Haitian, part Caucasian, and part African American. To Zeus, art is the physical manifestation of creativity. It is anything that is made creatively and that other people can see, hear, or experience. Zeus likes photography because he believes that even the most mundane and small things in life are beautiful. To Zeus, photography is the only medium that allows him to express that belief “without bashing my own philosophical views over someone’s head.” He is also interested in political science.

—Savannah