09.16.22

I’m Walking ‘Ere

I’m Walking ‘Ere asked teens of New York: Why are you proud of your identity? Living in New York, one can get lost in the crowd of ambitious young lights. What is it like to develop your voice as a creator amidst the hustle and bustle? Take this opportunity to express yourself through the New York state of mind.

Curators

MinAh Chu
Jaecinda-Jazmin Ortiz
Sanaa Sanders
Helen Zambrano
Delani Zarumeno

Exhibiting Artists
Elaine Chen
Oscar Culpepper//Na//Oski
Ada Donnelly
Tatiana Estrin
Adele Sin Yee Ho
Sharon Hwang
Hannah Jung
Zane Mathis
Maximillien St-Jacques
Roberto Quesada
Joel Ray Jr
Graham Tanenbaum
Sophie Vilton

 

Hannah Jung & Helen Zambrano

 

HZ: What version of New York City do you want to portray in your artwork?

HJ: New York City is one of the most diverse cities in the world. My piece “What’s Next?” portrays the connections from so many different cultures, values, and beliefs, which has shaped me to who I am today. These experiences and interactions have continuously inspired me to stay on the path to my dreams. I wonder what will happen next.

 

HZ: How do you want viewers to feel by looking at your artwork?

HJ: I mostly create artworks based on possible struggles involving human emotions that people may encounter in their lives. I appreciate the viewers’ honest interpretations towards my piece while reflecting on their own experiences as well. I imagine the viewers would have a strong sense of empathy and comfort, as if there were someone out there who actually understands what they are going through.

 

HZ: What or who is your biggest inspiration?

HJ: I say that I am my own biggest inspiration. Art has always been a positive coping strategy while dealing with depression, providing me an emergency exit from the long dark tunnel I was placed in. I became happier and more confident through every creation process, all of which have further motivated me to pursue a career in this field. As I found sanctuary through art, I hope that my creations can comfort others who may be still going through their darkest times.

 

 

 

Roberto Quesada & Sanaa Sanders

SS: How does living in NYC affect your creative process?

RQ: New York is an extremely diverse city and this reflects in my creative process. I live in Queens – the most ethnically diverse county in the United States – and on my morning commute I see people from all over the world including many other Latinos. This has helped me understand the struggles facing various groups and has taught me about the obstacles we have in common. Many of my art pieces touch on the diversity of New York City and the relationships between residents.

 

SS: What do you want the viewer to take away from your artwork?

RQ: I want viewers to get an idea of the diversity of Latin America and how many of the stereotypes placed on the region are not accurate. A lot of the rhetoric regarding the people “south of the border” has caused those in the U.S. to see Latinos as one big monolith. Mestizaje breaks this apart and reflects on the history of race mixing in Latin America. On that note, I also want this to motivate people to research about the history of Latin America and how race mixing occurred through colonization. This knowledge helps explain many of the social issues we face today in the community.

 

SS: What do you use as a driving force to keep you going forward as an artist?

RQ: My desire for social change drives me as an artist. I use visual art to capture moments in time and explain my perspective on issues through a different lens. The political scene is always changing and there are always new topics to discuss, and that pushes me to continue making more artwork so that I can make my voice heard.

 

SS: Who or what inspired your artwork?

RQ: I came up with the idea for this art piece when I was filling out a form for AP exams and realized that the racial categorizations did not fit me at all, even though I was expected to fill in one of the boxes. This reminded me of other experiences such as when I had filled out the census, and the racial confusion that resulted. This art piece is a reflection of my frustration with systems that don’t reflect the actual diversity or racial composition of many of the people in the U.S.

 

 

 

 

Oscar Culpepper & Sanaa Sanders

SS: How does living in NYC affect your creative process?

OC: Living in New York City affects my creative process by influencing some of the decisions I make when I paint or draw something.

 

SS: What do you want the viewer to take away from your artwork?

OC: I want them to see the freedom of painting in that you can basically paint on any material as long as you have the right type of paint.

 

SS: What do you use as a driving force to keep you going forward as an artist?

OC: I use my emotions and views I see in the world or sounds I hear in my environment.

 

SS: Who or what inspired your artwork?

OC: My work was inspired by Keith Haring, Vexx, and Takashi Murakami.

 

 

 

Ada Donnelly & Sanaa Sanders

SS: How does living in NYC affect your creative process?

AD: Living in New York City we’re exposed to a lot of things that teenagers living in less concentrated and diverse areas don’t have experience being around. There’s a meshing of cultures happening around us, so we get to encounter many different styles, viewpoints, and ways of life. These aspects of New York City Life I carry with me into my work. I try to showcase the different ways people in our city express themselves while also documenting the hardships that city life induces and includes.

 

SS: What do you want the viewer to take away from your artwork?

AD: I want those who view my photography to feel like they’re standing where the camera was placed. I want the viewer to feel as if they know my portrait subjects, even though they haven’t met. I try to capture the way my subjects dress, carry, and express themselves. In my landscape photographs I want the viewer to take in the mood and atmosphere of the location and to think about what in the picture is different or new to them.

 

SS: What do you use as a driving force to keep you going forward as an artist?

AD: I want to share glimpses of the city and world around me and for my photographs to be used in the future to better understand the past. I also want to have my collection of photographs to look back on later in my life to remind myself of past experiences and to see how I have grown as a photographer.

 

SS: Who or what inspired your artwork?

AD: I’m inspired by the world around me and the people in it, primarily my friends and loved ones. I want to share their faces and stories in my artwork. I am also inspired by female photographers such as Nan Goldin, Mallory Barry, and Erika Kamano.

 

 

 

Maximillien St-Jacques & Helen Zambrano

HZ: What version of New York City do you want to portray in your artwork? 

MS: NYC has countless qualities, facets, and historical backgrounds; from gritty, stylish to exciting is why I love NYC. The varied colors, shapes and interesting architecture, as well as the decaying and intriguing surfaces that are often overlooked is what I’m drawn to in my photography. I document my daily experiences and impressions of the city and aim to show how amazing and expansive NYC is in the seemingly insignificant details like a crumbling MTA wall to the grander aspects of NYC such as its notable skyline.

 

HZ: How does living in NYC affect your creative process? 

MS: NYC allows me a lot of freedom and it’s a stimulating place that is very dynamic every day. This inspires me and energizes me in my daily life. NYC is never dull or stale and this nourishes my creative process.

 

HZ: What or who is your biggest inspiration?

MS: My friends and family are my biggest inspirations because I have fun and learn from them. I’ve known many of my NYC friends since age five so we have a lot of memories and history together. My family and them inspire me everyday.

 

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