Skip to main content

Youth Insights

Fall 2012
With Cameron Crawford

Cameron Crawford’s studio practice encompasses sculpture, installation, writing, and artist books. His works often explore situations he determines to be philosophical paradoxes and the tenuous relationship between language and visual art. Working with Youth Insights Writers, Crawford created a series of prompts that asked them to look at and respond to works on view in the exhibitions As Apple Pie, Signs and Symbols, and Wade Guyton: OS. For their final project, YI Writers created short scripts and videos that used works of art as characters conversing in a film or that outlined what their ideal museum would be. The only parameter they were given was that no live actors could be seen onscreen.


Hi! My name is Ayanna. I attend Hunter College High School. My family is from the Dominican Republic and Antigua as well as of Native American, African American, and Caucasian descent. We live in Spanish Harlem. I have always been interested in art. Since I was young, I’ve defined art simply as a person’s expression of how their environment has affected them. I currently enjoy overworking myself with extracurricular activities such as art programs at the Y/Met, community service, dance, lacrosse, weekend classes at New York University, and participating in advocating cultural ties (ACT) in Hunter and Hunter's Action against Hunger (two clubs created in Hunter College High School). I intend to study cultural anthropology and paleoanthropology.


Hi, my name is Christian. I am Dominican, and I was born and raised in Washington Heights. I would describe my neighborhood as a clash between “the hood” and cultural pride. A few of my interests are photography, playing the piano, and skateboarding. The idea that learning is a form of freedom greatly influences me because I can agree with it one hundred percent. I don’t have specific goals in life, but I know I would love to continue learning.


Hi, I’m Cliff and I’m a sophomore at the Collegiate School. I love art and everything related to art in general. I began my life surrounded by works of art. When I was young my parents would often force my sister and I to go to museums with them. What I had seen as a burden back then would eventually turn out to be a blessing, and eventually my love for art would blossom. Barely a week goes by when I’m not exposed to artwork, be it in the museums or on the streets.


I am Daisy. I was born in Texas but have been raised in New York City all my life. I am from Brooklyn and I have a Mexican background. Growing up I moved a lot, all over the city, so I focused on writing and looking at art. I used to just write whatever came to mind, whether it was fictional or just my thoughts. To me art means having the ability to express oneself, and whenever I look at artwork I always try to uncover what the artist was thinking.


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 art can mean something personal to the creator and something different to the viewer. It interests me when artists choose to show a different side of human nature in their work. Many different films inspire and motivate me to create my own work.

In the future, I hope to study art or design. Eventually I want to be creating more art and literature than I do now.


I like realistic paintings. Velázquez 's paintings look so real that they force me to wonder if they are really paintings or if they are photographs. Another thing that I like about Velázquez is how he uses light, painting it so that he illuminates certain parts of the work to show that they are more important. In Las Meninas (1656) for example, Velázquez makes the Infanta Margarita look so special, and the viewer knows that she is the key figure in the painting.




Artwork captures my sight

I like when the colors of the canvas

Paint my mind

Or the materials

Mold something into my soul

Writing has always possessed my hand

Ever since I was small

To capture moments through words

To send my thoughts to the surface


I am from Park Slope, Brooklyn. All the artists I most enjoy seem to have a tendency toward the theatrical. I am inspired by an idea or a work's ability to explain itself through leaving itself unexplained, or whose point is not to unravel itself in front of you but for you to do the mental work. This is the only way for me to really have a conversation with the piece, to allow it to make me uncomfortable in its ambiguity. To me, art is a game of cat and mouse where I happily volunteer to be the mouse each time. I find this effect not only in art but in such diverse areas as children's cartoons and conceptual physics.



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

Learn more

Learn more at