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Youth Insights

Spring 2014
With Darren Bader and Diego Leclery

Darren Bader’s work ranges from surreal sculptures to durational performances to tongue-in-cheek short films, all tackling questions of philosophical nature, art, and contemporary life. For the 2014 Whitney Biennial, he installed two large, clear donation boxes in the Museum’s Lower Gallery. One read “all donations will go to something” while the other was labeled “all donations will go to nothing.” In spring 2014, Bader gave a brief talk on his ideas about art and asked YI Artists to use everyday objects to create installations in the Whitney Studio.

Diego Leclery’s work often blurs the lines between everyday activities and performance art. His site-specific performance, Me Playing Civilization for the 2014 Whitney Biennial involved playing the video game Civilization in the Museum’s Sculpture Court every day for the run of the exhibition. He is also known for an annual one-day performance in December at an artist-run project space in which he dons a polar bear suit and invites visitors to sit on him, much like one would sit on Santa Claus’s lap. During spring 2014, Leclery challenged YI Artists to think outside the box and to look at artworks in the 2014 Biennial with a critical eye. He also challenged their approach to their own art-making by asking the group to create over 200 individual drawings in just one hour.


Alena is a fifteen-year-old from Brooklyn. Her heritage is Dominican and Puerto Rican and she is the youngest in her family. She attends the School of the Future and her hobbies include drawing, reading, and writing. She likes "street" style and she hopes to attend an art school after high school.


Andrea is a lovely and open sophomore ready to embark on an adventure at the Whitney Museum. To her, art is life, an escape as well as a means to express herself. As the youngest daughter in her family, she looks up to her brother as a role model. She dreams of a day when the world stops discriminating against people on the basis of their sexual orientation. She loves all types of music, and all types of art. In the long run, she plans to go to college, get married, and have children.

Objects Out of Place: Chaud

This piece captures Andrea’s adventurous and witty attitude. The simple act of eating chips and salsa is transformed into an act of rebellion when it takes place in the context of her Catholic school French class. Her blatant disregard for her school’s norms shows how far she will go for her art. This display of indifference evoked an array of reactions among her peers including shock, laughter, and confusion. She is willing to bend rules and push the limits of what is socially acceptable for the benefit of her art.


Cayarah is fifteen and interested in art. She likes to dance, read, and draw. The most exciting thing she has ever done was rock climbing. She gets along with other people and she's friendly. Her style is colorful, and she likes to mix and match clothes and patterns. She is American and she speaks Spanish. The reason she's here is because she loves art so much and wants to continue making it.


Objects Out of Place: Destruction

Near Columbus Circle in Central park, artist Daillyn makes her debut “real life in life” installation piece. Using a bright magenta colored yarn, she wraps it around a tree. She extends the yarn, wraps it around a lamp post once, and then brings it back towards the tree and ties it. Then, she places herself in the middle of the installation holding the string to show the connection between manmade objects and nature.


Holly is an artistically enthusiastic sixteen-year-old who lives on the Upper East Side and attends Beekman High School. She loves to draw and read in her spare time and she plans to attend college after graduating from high school. Holly is interested in art that has meaning and substance to it; she believes that the purpose of art is to express an emotion or a message to the viewer. Holly first became interested in art a few years ago when she realized she needed to find a hobby to entertain herself at school.


Janice is a sixteen-year-old student at the High School for Health Professions and Human Services, and she considers herself a visual learner. She lives in Brooklyn and her family is from Puerto Rico, so she speaks both English and Spanish. She is the youngest in her family and looks up to her sister. Janice aspires to go to college and become a plastic surgeon, because it combines her passions for art and everything gruesome. Janice believes that art is expression without limits, and she specifically enjoys drawing, knitting, painting, photography, and sculpture. Janice loves doing anything adventurous, and one of her favorite experiences is sky gliding. She is always happy and this is reflected in her beliefs that the country should lighten up and that a fully lived life is one spent living in the moment. 

Objects Out of Place: Equality 

To explore society's opinion on teenage pregnancy, artist Janice Del Valle asked a friend to pretend to be pregnant and resume her daily life. The feedback her friend got was mostly negative with very few positive comments. During a particular incident, a lady walked up to her and asked how old she was and followed her around for a short period of time without saying anything. The experiment lasted for 2 consecutive days.


Jejomar is a bold, spontaneous teenager who attends Dewitt Clinton High School. He is the youngest in his family and has lived in the Bronx for several years. Jejormar is an aspiring actor and proud to admit that he has ridden one of the fastest rollercoasters in the world, Kingda Ka at Six Flags.


Jemielee is a native New Yorker attending Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School. She is a middle child whose family is from the Dominican Republic, but now resides in Washington Heights. Her art teacher is one of her role models and she believes the purpose of art is to express emotions. To her, art is special and helps her deal with difficulties.  She is inspired by her future, which is why she hopes to attend art school after high school.


Mieyoshi is honest and loves food. She is a seventeen year old from New York who is home schooled. One of her hobbies is painting and she plans on sticking with that after high school. She likes music and rappers inspire her a lot. For this reason, rappers are her role models. To her, art’s purpose is to express as well as to entertain. Happiness along with stability are the main qualities of a fully lived life.


Nicholas is a seventeen-year-old who enjoys gaming and math. He lives in Astoria, Queens and attends Urban Academy in Manhattan. He has a Chinese background and is the only child in his family. Nicholas believes that art is a way to connect with people, which is why he joined Youth Insights. After high school, he hopes to attend college and just simply live his life. Nicholas speaks English, a bit of Chinese, and Burmese. He's a perfectionist and believes that once given a project it is best to take a lot of time to plan. He enjoys 3D animation and hopes to watch Frozen soon!


Nicole has possessed a fierce passion for art since she was young. The art that interests her most is fashion, which she clearly has a strong grasp of, judging by her fabulous wardrobe choices. Nicole is well traveled, having lived in San Francisco and Washington D.C., but New York City is where she can fully experience her passion. For Nicole, Youth Insights is a great safe environment for her to hone her skills and prepare to take New York City by storm! Nicole’s abundance of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent is a force to be reckoned with that should take her far in life.


Sally is a fashion student at the High School of Art and Design. She believes that a friend is someone who is supportive, interesting, and understanding. She lives in Brooklyn and she is the youngest of two sisters. In her free time she likes to draw, sing, and design clothes. Sally aspires to be a fashion designer.

Objects Out of Place: Water a Line

Sally wanted to use everyday objects (water bottles and yarn) to represent a spider web and how it shows growing life. She chose the playground as the setting for her piece because she wanted to see how children would react with it, as well as how parents would react to their children interacting with the art. The children at the playground also symbolize the beginnings of the spider web while the adults represent the web as a finished product.


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.


Sussan, who is sixteen, was born in Queens and currently attends The Dalton School. To Sussan, art is any form of self-expression. The purpose of art is to make an idea, emotion, or opinion known and to provoke thoughts within those observing the work of art. She began focusing more on her art last year when she was going through a tough time. She typically makes paintings. Her mom and best friend are the people who inspire her the most. Some of Sussan’s hobbies include running, music, and of course creating art. She knows Latin and speaks Spanish and French.


Temi is sixteen and attends Humanities Preparatory Academy High School. Her background is Nigerian and American. Temi’s hobbies include sketching fashion designs, watching television, and swimming. Art is an expression of creativity in a visual form.  Temi knows she is happy when she has a creative idea and she starts sketching it out. In the future, Temi hopes to become a fashion entrepreneur and a philanthropist.


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. She believes that art should be useful and act as a humanizing force.


Yueer is a passionate and vibrant fifteen-year-old girl who was born in China. At age seven, she moved from China to the United States and has been a resident of Queens, New York ever since. A sophomore at Stuyvesant High School, Yueer also makes time for her passions: volleyball, swimming, and playing instruments including the piano and guitar. Yueer's role models are feminists and her aunt, whom she feels is extremely patient and supportive. She gets along with interesting weird people. Yueer's future plans are to attend Cooper Union’s Institute for Sustainable Design. She loves all types of art especially abstraction, and feels art is a form of expression that does not use words.



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

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