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Youth Insights

Fall 2013
With Julia Heyward

YI Artists worked with artist Julia Heyward to explore self-portraiture through in-depth discussions about current exhibitions, artists’ videos, and her own practice. The teens learned basic film and video editing techniques and created their own video diaries. Heyward’s work takes a close look at the complexity of the self through performance, video, and new media. Her work was on view in Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970-1980.


Amanda is an artist who lives on the Upper East Side. She is from an African American and Asian background. To Amanda, art is her life. It is her way of expressing her ideas and feelings. Without it she would be unable to show herself fully or be as creative as she is. Her favorite artists are Caravaggio, Henri Matisse, and Frida Kahlo. She also enjoys playing soccer and volleyball, running, video games, and traveling. She has visited the UK, France, Germany, Iceland, Hong Kong, and Mexico, and hopes to travel more in the future. She is inspired by philosophy and specifically by the books of Ayn Rand. She hopes to establish a good life for herself that allows her to be able to paint and continue to travel.


"Poignant Joy"

I captured footage of myself walking in two different areas of the city. There are moments that are very urban and congested versus moments in areas that presented more of a nature-like setting with trees and grass to contrasts images of cars, buildings and people.



I captured footage of myself walking in two different areas of the city. There are moments that are very urban and congested versus moments in areas that presented more of a nature-like setting with trees and grass to contrasts images of cars, buildings and people.


Ava was born in San Francisco, and has moved around the country a lot—from California to Ohio and finally to Brooklyn, where she has lived for the past seven years. She is currently a senior at the Institute for Collaborative Studies in Manhattan. Though Ava was the first in her family to be born in the United States, she still identifies with her Scottish and Catalan roots, and she is also a traveler. Art is a major part of Ava’s life, as she comes from a family of artists and practices art herself. She is interested in painting, drawing, and film. She sees art as a means of self-expression and even rebellion. Ava is very involved in feminism, as well as other forms of social activism. She loves writing and watching movies. She is also an avid baker. Ava is not really sure what she wants to do in the future. One thing she does know though, is that she wants to find something that she wants to do, and do it to the best of her ability.


A wisp of desire
whipped up by the non-consequential,
In the quagmire
of my feeble
mind, lost in the sky
above thou.
It is I.


Chenelle lives in the Bronx and has a Latina background. She is interested in a lot of different hobbies like writing, music, photography, baking treats, and eating tacos. She enjoys swimming, riding bikes, and team sports. Her clothing tastes are edgy and hip. She believes that art is a way to express herself, and she enjoys making it. In the future, she hopes to become a composer as well as an editor.



Helen was born and raised in the Bronx near Pelham Bay Park. She is from an Italian and Polish background, and has loved art since she was young. Helen believes art is a central part of her life, and she is specifically interested in photography. She also loves film.



My concept lies within the past.
I am only a remnant of it now.


Holly is a junior at St. John’s Prep in Queens, and describes herself as “realistic, creative, and trustworthy.” She lives in Astoria and comes from a Puerto Rican and Italian background. When asked what art means to her, she says it is “the expression of the human experience visually.” She plays guitar and likes to read. She particularly enjoys philosophy. She finds inspiration in her surroundings, particularly in damaged or decayed things. In the future, Holly hopes to live a laid-back lifestyle without yielding to a repetitive or monotonous job;. She thinks she would like to teach.




Lisa was born in Salt Lake City and is from a Chinese background. She is currently a junior at Stuyvesant High School. For her, art is a passionate new hobby, and she hopes to continue to learn more about it. Aside from art, her hobbies are reading and fashion. In the future, Lisa would like to be a psychiatrist because she knows she would enjoy helping people. She would also like to continue making art and writing.



The structure of the video is that it is essentially half monologue and half shaky shots of my school life. I shot the video first then I shot about twenty minutes of monologue. I had intended for the monologue to be based on the video, but I quickly strayed off topic.

I wanted to make an honest video.


Logan is an intuitive, focused teen from Chelsea with a great sense of humor. He is interested in graphic design and likes stylized forms and bold colors in both his own and other works of art. To him, art is a form of expression and a stress reliever. He is interested in mixed martial arts, which he both practices and follows; he loves to read and enjoys playing video games. He is inspired by graphic design and by his father, who is a photographer. In the future he hopes to be a graphic designer who makes video games or a movie director. He also wishes to live in Greenland someday.


“My Life”

A video by me and about me. The end.




Before settling in the Bronx, Mieyoshi lived all over New York City. She is interested in many forms of art, but she primarily likes painting. Art is a hobby for her rather than a way of life—it is a means to have fun and enjoy herself, whether she is painting or drawing. She finds inspiration in comedy, painting, and her favorite subject, history among many other things. In the future, Mieyoshi hopes to become the best at something. She does not know exactly what she wants to do, but she wants to become the best in the world at her skill.


“Le Boring”

The footage in Le Boring is just a collection of little clips I captured. The clips consist of the things I have seen on television that I really liked, random people in my life, and quick flickers of what I do. I consider myself to be a really boring and private person, and this footage displays that.


Nicole possesses a life-long passion for art. Ever since she was a little kid, art has meant everything to her. From infancy, her mom would dress her up in pretty clothes, and she eventually developed an interest in fashion. So in a few years, look out for her new clothing line and get ready to be awed!




Owen was born and raised in New York City and now resides in Lower Manhattan.  He is of Jewish descent and is a student at Beacon High School. As a child, he attended the Stephen Gaynor School where he became interested in art. He uses art as a creative outlet to express his emotions. Owen is interested in government policies. He is inspired by the world and tries to understand it. In the future, he hopes to get into college and major in business.


“A Day in the Life”

My film is showing the highlights of an average day through my eyes.


Robert is a comic book artist who currently resides in Brooklyn. He is originally from the Dominican Republic. Despite his Hispanic background, Robert speaks no Spanish and has traveled to the Dominican Republic only twice. His passion lies in the art of creating comic books. Robert is inspired by what he describes as “the real world.” Robert also enjoys playing video games, skateboarding, and building his Parkour skills. He believes that art is generally undefined and that it is intrinsic to human beings. He feels that in order to create art, one must simply “create what comes to mind.” Robert’s main goal for the future is to fulfill his definition of what art is: to create and publish full-length comic books. Currently, he is working on different aspects of a whole story by producing small pieces at a time.


“I’m the Joker”


Sally is a fashion student who resides in Brooklyn. She is a tomboy at heart and speaks nine languages. During her free time, she enjoys doing yoga, baking, watching Japanese anime, and reading good horror and mystery books. Sally is fascinated by the idea that art is something you can make with your hands, literally out of nothing. In the future, she hopes to become a fashion designer.


“My Afterlife”

My film is about what I do in life at home and outside. It demonstrates my mood and anything that I do. At home my room is about who I am, and outside it is about what I do.


Teaunda is from an African American background and currently lives in Harlem with her father. She is a very outspoken and passionate young adult. She describes art as “a new language” and every time she learns something she soaks it in like a sponge. She likes photography, painting, and fashion, and she has a growing interest in global history as well as ancient Greek art. Teaunda is inspired by almost anything when she creates a new work of art. In the future, she hopes to look back and be able to say that she has done something great. She plans to travel the world and accomplish all of her academic and personal goals.



Tiffany moved from Taiwan to New York with her father when she was in sixth grade. One of the first places she visited in New York was The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she became interested in art. She sees art as a way for her to express herself. To her, art highlights unique ideas and different cultures throughout the world. Some mediums she enjoys working with are paint and clay. Tiffany is also interested in hiking in the mountains and strolling in the park, observing maple leaves change color in the fall, and watching cherry blossom petals float to the ground in the spring. She also enjoys drawing, sketching, reading, and writing during her spare time. In the future, Tiffany would like to study economics and art history. She hopes to become a lawyer and go to museums during her lunch breaks with her father.




Veronica is Venezuelan and Trinidadian. She learned English and Spanish before moving from Venezuela to New York City at the age of seven. To her, the meaning of art is self-expression and visual representation. Her interests are photography, boxing, running, and film. In the future, she hopes to have a good career that challenges her.



Unease revisits a former relationships of mine tainted by the misguided emotions of a friend both hostile and amicable. The video is comprised of the invective text messages and emails I recovered from him for the duration of our friendship. The elements employed in the video strive to recreate the dynamic of the relationship as the fondness we initially felt for each other was replayed by enmity.



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

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