MEAT PACKING DISTRICT, Manhattan (PIX11) — Nearly 50 aspiring teen artists from all five boroughs had their work on display for one night at the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan.
It was part of the graduation ceremony from the 12-week-long Youth Insights Program. A free semester-long workshop that pairs high school students with professional artists and Whitney educators. This is the 26th year of the program.
“It’s great for folks who maybe do not have an outlet at school or elsewhere, and it’s an entirely free program,” Araya Henry, the coordinator of Whitney’s teen programs, told PIX 11 News.
“It just like fills my heart to know that maybe I can pass on something of my own, my creativity and my work through the years to these young artists,” Frances Gallardo, one of the artists who works with the students, said.
Annabell Colon, 17, from Harlem, said the program helped her gain new confidence.
“Growing up, I moved around a lot, my father was absent in my life, so it was just me and my mom, so I tend to isolate myself from others. I’m a very socially awkward individual, so with this program, I was just looking for a way, or an opening, to be more confident,” Colon said.
Justin Brissett, 16, from Brooklyn, said the class helped him improve his comic book sketches.
“I like creating stuff. I like seeing the smile on people’s faces when they see my work,” Brissett said.
There will be another free class for teens this summer, and registration for the fall class opens in June. You can find more information about it here.