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Youth Insights

Fall 2010
With Sara VanDerBeek

Sara VanDerBeek is an interdisciplinary artist best known for her semi-abstract photographs which are based primarily on sculptural forms made by the artist herself. From memory-inspired assemblages to an experiment in casting, VanDerBeek led YI artists through an exploration of material and memory and the ways in which the past can inform the present.


My name is Amanda. Some people call me Bubbles (I love bubble gum—I’m kind of an addict). I’m Puerto Rican and Dominican. I currently live in Washington Heights, but I’ve lived in Harlem, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and New Jersey.

My number one interest is art. Besides that, I occasionally write, listen to music, and also laugh and chill with my friends. I get speechless when I try to describe art. Art is also what you make it! It’s my passion and love, and it makes me very happy. My inspiration is everything that I see when I draw.

There are two people in my life whom I adore for their sense of creativity. One is my grandma. Her creative mind is amazing! The other is my uncle Freddy who is a graffiti artist. The way he blends his colors makes my eyes pop. In the future I hope to become a better artist and make art a part of my future because it’s such an important part of my life.


What’s up? My name is Barry and I’m a sixteen-year-old who has a passion for art. I am originally from West Africa but moved to Brooklyn when I was five. I was born into a group of people called the Fulani tribe, a tribe very common all over Africa. I am interested in different forms of art and how they reflect life. Art to me is a form of language that has its own unique and different way of sending you a message. Art also makes you question your judgment.

I am inspired by the problems we face in everyday life and how we can try to make the best of what we have. I figure we have one life to live and we shouldn’t waste it. I hope to achieve great success and to be able to set an example for others. I hope to change people’s views on the world and life. It’s not about the negative things we are exposed to, but the positive things we can make out of it.


I am Eloise and I attend the School of the Future, where I am a junior. I am French-American and live in Harlem. I was born in France and have lived in New York City since I was three. I am trilingual: hablo Español, Français, and English.

I love art because it is a language understood by all in different ways. Things that need to change in our world inspire me to spread the word and make the change, one nerve impulse at a time. I hope to continue my education after high school and make a change in our society. I want to ignite a passion in our fellow citizens to get up and make the changes they desire! I believe in karma and the equality for all thoughts and beings.

Fang Fang

My name is Fang Fang. I come from a Chinese-American family. I currently go to NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies. I love going to my school because it is much more diverse than where I live in Chinatown; people do not speak English though they live in the United States. This is why my family only speaks Chinese, a language that I am not very good at. Sometimes it is hard for me to express myself because I cannot find the right words to use.

Through art, I can express myself more than in words. Art to me means putting a lot of effort into something creative. There is no limitation in art, which is what I love. It is free from anything that can limit you. I hope to gain a lot of experience creating different kinds of art. The only time I really have the chance to make art is during art class, but I want to do more things like painting, sculpture, and photography.


I am Isaiah: the apple that fell far from the tree. Apple enthusiast. Socially awkward. Questioner of gender convention. Fighter against dated stereotypes. Owner of fleeting memories. Liberal. Athlete. Ridiculously sarcastic. Stuck in niche limbo. Believer of high school anarchy. Amateur philosopher. Highly conflicted. Love Ringo Starr because you don’t. Passionately curious. Nerd.

I was born and raised in Canarsie, Brooklyn by an incredible mother/father duo. Besides trips to Europe to visit family, I’ve never left Canarsie, so that is where I was initially forced to draw my inspiration from. I was transfixed by the architecture, the lights, the people, and of course, the food. I revere New York for the energy that pulsed through it and its uncured insomnia. Every day I learn something new about this city. And as I grow artistically, I’ve learned to appreciate this city more and more with each visit.

I came to realize that even in times of overwhelming sadness, happiness, or discomfort, I’ll hold art above all else. I don’t know how my relationship with art got to this point or how it will evolve in the future, but I do know it will remain one of my most cherished passions.


I'm Kristina, and my life can be described mostly with colors—bright ones to be exact. I love photography. and being able to show the world something it hasn't thought of before, to make people do a double take. I love to show people that beauty is everywhere we look. I'm usually called outgoing or full of life because I like taking things lightly and having a good time. I like to think I'm funny, but then again, half of my friends might hate my jokes and just laugh out of pity. I mean, I laugh at my own jokes—that's what counts, right?

I love reading! It’s like jumping into a different world just by reading words—it gets me excited just thinking about it. I also like meeting new people. I myself am Serbian and Romanian, and I get so excited when I find someone who is either of these nationalities. I would love to learn more about art and everyone's ideas about it. Maybe I'll be able to look at everything differently through this experience.


Hello, my name is Madison. I was born in New York City and go to school on the Upper East Side. From a young age I found myself fascinated by art. I’ve learned to discover that our culture, our being, and our connection to the world we live in is deeply woven into art. Whether it is as ordinary as a stop light, or a building on the corner of 75th, art lies within everything around us.

Over the years I’ve spent in art class and visited museums, I’ve learned about the way art works, but most importantly the way I find myself in art. I am inspired by others, and being able to be part of the Whitney Youth Insights program is such an honor to me. It is not only a learning experience, but also a chance for me to learn from others and hear their definitions of art.


My name is Marlyn and I was born in the Sunshine State (Florida), and raised in Colombia (South America). I am a seventeen-year-old girl who envisions a better future for the world and fights hard for justice. Ever since I was little, I was taught values and morals to be a better person. Respect and communication are my two biggest base values. My goal has always been to help the world in many different ways. This is why I think in the future I will travel around documenting people’s lives by learning their languages and cultures, while also helping them to progress.

I love expressing myself through art and writing. Inspiration is natural for me. I can be inspired by a dream, a song, a movie, a memory, something I saw, or really anything that has special meaning behind it. I love photography because I think it is the only way we can capture a single moment that can never be repeated.


Art has always played an important role in my life. My father is an artist and his work and creative process were always visible around my house. Even though I never considered myself an artist in any way, I grew up with a deep appreciation for art and for those with the ability to create.

In high school I've been able to explore more artistic options. I realized I did not have to draw or paint a certain way to be considered “good.” Throughout my high school career I have been able to take several darkroom photography classes, a painting class, and a jewelry-making class. I live in Brooklyn, I think that writing is one of the best forms of self-expression, and I love every opportunity to learn something new. I’m just Meredith. I’m still figuring out exactly what that means, but I know that as I do, I will have art by my side.


My name is Natalie. I am currently a junior attending Bard High School Early College Queens. I live in Bayside. I enjoy going to its empty parks. What first drew me to the arts is acting. Theater is something that is really important to me. Theater is very different from other art forms because there is no way to preserve it. It is recreated every time it is performed, and there is something really beautiful and inspiring about that. I also enjoy reading. I am really interested in being exposed to different forms of art.


My name is Phiomedia but I’m commonly known as Phio. I love to sing and draw. My favorite hobby is watching Japanese animation (“anime”), and reading Japanese manga. I also draw Japanese manga, which makes me a Mangaka. I play the piano and am interested in the bass guitar.

I’m a Libra and love astrology. I love reading vampire novels. I also write poetry, short stories, and fables. I’m interested in rock music, mainly alternative and hard core metal. This includes: Linkin Park, Chevelle, 30 Seconds to Mars, and 3 Days Grace. I listen to these while making crazy guitar motions and banging my head to the beat.


My name is Priscilla. I was born and raised in the Bronx. My brother inspired me to start making art. I practiced drawing with my brother. From there, I slowly fell in love with art. I became a bit of a cartoonist and strived to make my work better and better as I got older. When I started high school I became involved in teen art programs at the Cooper Union, The Bronx Museum, the Bronx River Art Center, and here at the Whitney. These programs taught me to experiment with a wide range of media, including different paints, markers, sculpting materials, and more. Hopefully these programs won’t be the end of my experience and I can take this art a lot further in my life.


I am Sequoyahs. I’m a very outgoing human being, outspoken about my experiences. I’m from the Bronx, born and raised, and still live there. I am West Indian and African American. My interest is learning more about art. To me, art means the different ways of expressing your emotions when you pick up a pencil or paintbrush and start to draw and create.


My name is Tasnim and I am a junior at Stuyvesant High School. For me, art is the thing I keep coming back to unintentionally. Naively, I thought I could just leave that part of myself behind and pursue parent-approved interests like biology. When I see that future, I see myself hunched over textbooks for the next decade of my life absolutely miserable. Art is my soul, my catharsis, my love, and the only thing I am sure of at an age when I’m not sure of anything. My time in this program has cemented my desire to really chase a dream I’m sure I want—with courage.



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

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