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Youth Insights

Spring 2014
With Angie Keefer

Angie Keefer is a writer and founder of the online and printed publication, The Serving Library. Her work explores the phenomena of lived life through questions that don’t need solid answers. Keefer’s work in the 2014 Whitney Biennial included a video installation, Fountain, an animation of a waterfall controlled by a computer program gathering data from the Dow Industrial of commodities futures indexes. When the markets were up, the water flowed down, and when the markets were down, the water flowed up. In spring 2014, Keefer and the YI Writers spent weeks asking thoughtful questions about the art on view and life in general. The group completed writing prompts and art projects that included a second person writing about an artwork in the Biennial exhibition, a piece written by a fictional character, and a redesign of the question mark, culminating in a collaborative ‘zine.


Anderson is an African-Caribbean who was born and raised in New York City for most of his life. Currently he’s a sophomore at the School of the Future. He isn’t just business, he’s a cool guy with a great personality. Along with being a great person he loves all types of art and music, except for country music. He believes that art can either tell us a story or convey a message. Along with his love of uniqueness, his favorite color is blue and if he ever had to be a teacher he would be humble and grade everyone fairly.



Ashley is a sixteen year old who attends Hunter College High School and lives on the Upper East Side with her parents and many goldfish. She enjoys writing, going for walks around the city, and listening to music. She has just started to play guitar. She looks forward to graduating high school so she can explore life outside of school and adopt a dog.


Auréole is fifteen years old and from Manhattan. She goes to Bard High School in Queens. She is Israeli and French. To her, art is a great form of expression. She says that art is like crying: by creating art, you can get all of your feelings out and feel better afterwards. Art is a very important aspect of life for her.



Frances is fourteen years old and was born in Palo Alto, California. She is an only child and attends the Brearley School. Frances’s hobbies include reading, dancing, and playing the piano, and she is interested in politics. Frances likes the Pre-Raphaelites and more contemporary artists. Frances is very liberal—she considers herself a committed Democratic Socialist and feminist. Her grandmother grew up in China and survived the Nanjing Massacre. She has become an inspiration for Frances. Some of her other role models are Bob Dylan, Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Margaret Atwood, and her parents.


Idalis is a junior at the High School of Art and Design. She is sixteen years old and lives in Briarwood, Queens. She enjoys making films and watching movies on Netflix, especially independent films and romances. After high school, Idalis plans to attend college, preferably away from the city since she wants to experience something new. She loves art for its ideas and forms of expression. Idalis believes the purpose of art is to inspire, create controversy, and provoke discussion. She loves spending time at home, and likes to drink tea in her pink, black, and white bedroom. She looks up to her parents because they are hard workers. Besides English, Idalis can speak Spanish, knows Latin, and is teaching herself French.


Krystal is an aspiring journalist. She is a tenth grader at the School of the Future and lives on the Lower East Side. Art is a very powerful part of her life, though she also has many other hobbies. She loves to swim, speak Spanish, write, and practice karate as much as possible. Krystal is interested in politics and would like to be identified as a democrat. She would love to attend Columbia University and pursue her dream of becoming a journalist.



Michael was born in the Bronx and now lives in Canarsie, Brooklyn. He is currently a student at Gotham Professional Art Academy. He is of Guyanese and Southern descent. His interests are mainly art related—he enjoys drawing, painting, and creative writing. Michael also loves anime, fashion, music, and any great form of self-expression. His favorite types of music are emocore, dubstep, pop music, techno, and anything else as long as it sounds good. Michael is often called a scholar by his friends and fellow classmates. In the future he would like to go to college and become a Manga writer.


Odalis is an energetic teen from the Bronx who currently attends the High School of Art and Design. She enjoys all types of art, especially painting, music, film, and graphic design. Odalis believes art can be anything that is a form of expression, and she thinks art helps people open up to each other. She aspires to live in a more colorful world where love has no definition, and compassion—unlike poverty—is rampant. She plans to attend a film college after high school and wants to live a life in which she accomplishes all of her goals.


Robert was brought into the world on a sunny Wednesday in 1996. He is a proud American, born and bred in New York City where he currently resides with his family and "heaven sent angel" (9-pound doggy) named Charlotte. He is currently a junior at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School and after high school he wants to study abroad—hopefully in Japan—because he already knows the language. In his spare time, Robert enjoys playing tennis and “kickin' up in front of the ol' picture box.” He loves art, especially the works of the Renaissance and Baroque era as well as contemporary artists.


Sammie is sixteen and the youngest in her family of five. She resides in Brooklyn, in a messy bedroom with newsprint walls, books, and a winning laundry invasion on her bed. She doesn't have any requirements for her friends, just that they're on the quiet side (shhh....). Sammie spends her spare time snapping photos, gardening, walking around the city, and watching movies. She's a big fan of participatory art and Fluxus. For her, art is a method of channeling and organizing her thoughts. She believes art can be anything that provokes a reaction. According to Sammie, the best indication that you are living a full life is fatigue at the end of the day.


My name is Temitope. I am sixteen and I attend Humanities Preparatory Academy High School. My background is Nigerian and American. My hobbies are sketching fashion designs, watching television, and swimming. I like fashion art which is also in painting. Fashion designer Angela Simmons inspires me because she has her own fashion line and she is a philanthropist. Art is an expression of creativity in a visual form. I know I am happy when I have a creative idea and I start sketching it out. In the future I hope to become a fashion entrepreneur and a philanthropist. I like helping kids in need. 


Tiffany was born in Taiwan. She is the youngest of two children in her family and she is a student at Stuyvesant High School, on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. For the past seven years, she has been living in Flushing, Queens with her father. She loves the color red, especially dark red. She enjoys drinking milk, and she used to like watching Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, and Pokemon. Some of Tiffany's hobbies are writing, painting, eating, and sleeping. Tiffany wants to finish college and to become a successful lawyer. One of Tiffany's role models is her father. He inspires her because he is the greatest artist she knows—she says that although he does not really make art, he does everything beautifully. Tiffany believes that a fully lived life is one in which the person pursues their dreams and tries their hardest to be happy. 


Venitia, sixteen and an only child, was born in Guyana on April Fool’s Day. She spends her free time playing the guitar, listening to music, and watching films. Her role model is Oscar Wilde. She believes that art is a way to fill a gap between people, such as through poetry and music which are her favorite art forms. Venitia believes that art should be useful and act as a humanizing force.



A 30-second online art project:
Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Sky/World Death/World

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