In 2016-17, YI Leaders collaborated with artist Stewart Uoo and performer Bailey Stiles to host Halloween Teen Night and with artist collective Unravel to host Teen Event: Unravel. They also hosted 2017 Whitney Biennial Teen Night. In November, they met with artist MPA to discuss her exhibition MPA: RED IN VIEW and participate in a workshop called the Grid. In March, YI Leaders participated in a photography workshop with 2017 Whitney Biennial artist Oto Gillen.
Amanata is a senior at The Hewitt School and lives in Brooklyn. She is a middle child, and her parents are from Guyana. Amanata was a Youth Insights Artist for two semesters—she enjoyed it so much that she did it twice! Amanata finds inspiration in her teachers. She loves photography, art history, contemporary art, and every kind of music that isn’t country. In the future, she hopes to go to college outside of New York City and travel the world.
Enrique was born and raised in Manhattan. He is curious about the arts and the effect they have on people. His interests include philosophy and playing chess. Enrique hopes to become a fashion designer and an artist.
Francheska is a senior at Gotham Professional Arts Academy. Her family is originally from Puerto Rico and Italy. For Francheska, art embodies expression, freedom, and creativity. Her hobbies include drawing and singing. In the future, she hopes to get a bachelor’s degree in art history, become a curator, work her way up to director, and maybe run her own gallery.
Gia is a senior at High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies. She is a native New Yorker, raised in Brooklyn. She identifies as an American, but since her family has no unique/defining culture, she is who she wants to be. Gia’s main interests are fashion, music, activism, empowerment, and art. She has adopted the philosophy of trying anything once. Gia is inspired by seeing her peers going after the things they are passionate about. She hopes to inspire others to be comfortable with who they are.
Iga is a senior at the Lycée Français de New York. She describes herself as: an activist, Polish, Scorpio, traveler, feminist, and French fry enthusiast. Art has always played a huge role in Iga’s life—she has taken art classes since elementary school. Whether she is producing a watercolor painting or playing her guitar, art is a form of cathartic release for her. Iga is so excited to learn more about the Whitney and to meet new people from all around the city that share the same passion for art as she does.
James is a senior at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. To James, art is a way of communicating and understanding other people. His interests include cooking, eating, music, and learning. He loves learning about other people’s perspectives and how they translate into their work. In the future, he hopes to be someone who can make substantial, positive change.
Joyce is a junior at St. John’s Prep in Queens. She is Chinese and came to the United States three years ago. Art is an integrated part of her life, which empowers her to be a strong and independent person, and she loves to travel. Joyce wants to gain more art-making skills and work with artists.
Katya is a senior at Tottenville High School in Staten Island. She is from Kalmykia, Russia. For Katya, art is a hobby. She enjoys video games, and uses them as a way of escaping reality. In the future, Katya hopes to achieve true happiness.
Layla is a senior and an art major at Lower Manhattan Arts Academy (LOMA). She is from New York, but her family is from Florida and the South. She believes art is expression, and that it means various things to different people. Layla has more interests than she can list, but they include music, art, and literature. She is inspired by satire, Shakespeare, and The Onion. In the future, Layla hopes to be an author.
Lucy is a senior at Packer Collegiate Institute. She is a passionate artist and writer whose work addresses the issues women face daily. Art is what Lucy loves most about our society and what drives her to find meaning in everyday encounters. Lucy is inspired to make art so that she might be able to change the way people view themselves and others.
Maria is at Fort Hamilton High School. Her family is Mexican. Maria wants to improve her social and leadership skills, while also increasing her knowledge of art history. Art is a way to express herself. She also loves playing music and softball. Her mother is her inspiration. Maria hopes to go to college and become a veterinarian.
Nicole is Filipino and Russian and was born and raised in Brooklyn. She is a food and art lover who always stays busy. To Nicole, art is literally around us everywhere. She also loves architecture, photography, food, and exploring. In the future, Nicole wants to be an urban planner who helps raise water and living standards.
Nudrat was raised in Jackson Heights and has a South Asian background. She is a senior at Brooklyn Technical High School. Nudrat believes art is something everyone should be able to access and experience. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching cooking shows, playing instruments, fashion, and exploring! Inspired by the people around her, Nudrat hopes to be content with where she stands and make everyone proud.
Storm is a senior at Edward R. Murrow High School. She is an African American girl living in Brooklyn. Storm’s parents heavily influenced her appreciation for all forms of art. When she’s not making art, she is pursuing science research with a focus in microbiology. An exhibition that affected her tremendously was A Subtlety by Kara Walker. After viewing this work, Storm began to internalize the ways in which plantation work affected her ancestors. Art plays such a major role in her life because it can inform her on subjects that are prominent in history.
Tiffany is a senior at Brooklyn Technical High School. She enjoys learning about her Chinese culture. For Tiffany, art is a form of expression and relieves her stress. She likes painting in different mediums. Tiffany is also interested in graphic design, and hopes to grow as an artist.