I’ve painted at the league before as a high school student and I’ve never felt so much friendship and commonality in one room. Sure, we artists are competitive but when we are all painting, it’s as if world peace has been achieved and all the evils are eradicated by the stroke of a brush. Not majoring in art was a matter of economic prudence and a calling to be a public servant, but there is still that artist in me looking at the composition, the color, the temperature, and proportions of anything I look at. However, the enthusiasm I show for all these things remain unreciprocated in my daily life. Artists are like a different species, and our natural environment is the studio with other artists. Now that I’m not studying art in college, I feel like a polar bear in Hawaii. Studying at the Art Students League will both help me receive the feedback and criticism all artists need, allowing me to work alongside old friends, and make me feel at home again.

When I grow up, I want to be an environmental lawyer. As much as I enjoy art, I enjoy nature which gives us all our inspiration and materials to create more art. Although I may advocate for environmental policy through art, I’d rather be on the front lines of this humanitarian crisis. I’d of course be trying to make my way into galleries to sell and display my art in the meantime but wouldn’t have it as my main source of income.

The artist that influenced me most is Caravaggio. Although not a unique favorite, Caravaggio is a master of compositional drama, visual narratives, and a genius in his use of light. In high school, the Baroque era was an obsession; Bernini, Rembrandt, Rubens, Caravaggio, what wasn’t there to like? But it was Caravaggio who, with his wild biography and religious journey to redemption, showed me real substance in a painting for the first time. I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning from him, and that is what is most important and influential about Caravaggio, timelessness.

High School of Art and Design
Spielberger-Spanierman Scholarship 2021

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