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Meet the 2014 AK Teens: Future Curators

February 3, 2014

The 2014 Future Curators with Sopheap Pich's Cycle, 2011.

We asked the 2014 Future Curators to tell us a little bit about themselves and why they wanted to participate in the program. Here’s what they said:

Almisah McAllister: I am a junior at Amherst Central High School. I love drawing, painting, music, and interior design. Art keeps me sane and to have a chance to be around it every week is amazing. I am honored to have been accepted into the Future Curators program and am looking forward to creating a spectacular show with this amazing team. This experience will further my knowledge of art and hopefully inspire me to see art in a completely new way.

Anika Fors: I am a senior at Williamsville East High School. I am honored that I was chosen to become a part of the Future Curators program. I have always loved photography as well as history. I have been to many art museums around the world and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to design an exhibition alongside the rest of the Future Curators team. 

Claire Martin: I am a senior at Iroquois High school. I am thrilled to be a part of this program and consider it a great privilege. Being surrounded by others my age that have the same passion and drive as me is refreshing, and I am grateful for this opportunity. I have always loved art and art history and I plan on earning a degree in art conservation in the future. I hope that what I learn from this program will give me some insight into what I might be doing in the future.  

Clare Galbo: I am a junior at Nardin Academy. For me, art has always encompassed drawing and painting; however, more recently, I began my own business, Chroma Custom, in which I bring my designs to shoes and apparel. As I explore the option of art as a career, Future Curators will offer me a vision for pursuing my interests in a variety of fields. In addition to art, I also enjoy soccer, lacrosse, and skiing, while listening to music and reading help me relax.

Connor Caso: As a senior at Lewiston-Porter High School, I am highly involved in the arts and couldn't be happier about being included in the Future Curators program. My involvement in 3D and 2D design classes and many music programs, as well as my aptitude for creative writing, will enhance my immersion in the culture and sophistication offered at the Albright-Knox. Helping arrange this exhibition will definitely give me the opportunity to stretch my creative muscles and will act as a sort of artistic haven for me. I am really looking forward to the exhibition’s opening.

Erin Vecchies: I am currently a senior attending Lewiston-Porter High School. Since my school is heavily involved in the arts, I am so excited and honored to have been accepted into the Future Curators Program. I have always had an interest in art, and I hope to continue that interest in college. This program will give me more knowledge and hopefully a bigger and better understanding of art for my future. I am excited to be a part of this group and can't wait to see how this experience will benefit me. 

Jack Nelson: As a junior at Amherst Central High School, I am involved in orchestra and soccer. I love to draw and have been interested in the field of fine arts for my entire life so I am excited to participate in the AK Teens Future Curators program. I am not sure what I want to do with my future, but I hope that by participating in this program, I will gain the experience required to make an educated decision about whether or not to pursue a career in the field of art.   

Jess Rohl: I am currently a senior at Williamsville East High School. I love everything art-related, but I have a special love of photography. Along with photography, I have been in five Drama Club productions at East. We are currently doing Seussical. I cannot wait to get to know the fellow Future Curators. This is destined to be an amazing experience and an amazing final show. 

Jess Trainor: I am a senior at Kenmore West High School with a long-time love of art. I couldn't be any happier to have been accepted into this program and I cannot wait to see what it brings to my life. I have always had a love of photography and I hope to one day have my work in a gallery or possibly even work in a gallery. I'm looking forward to this experience in the hopes that I can find some guidance for future plans and possibly a little inspiration! I'm proud to be a part of the 2014 AK Teens Future Curators program.

Kari Karsten: I am a junior at Niagara-Wheatfield High School. It is an honor to have been accepted into this program, especially because I have such a strong passion for the arts. I hope to become an arts educator after I graduate from college. This is an amazing program and I hope it will help me discover my talents more fully. I also love to travel. Over the summer, I visited Italy and Greece and was able to visit and experience historic works of art. Hopefully, I can visit other famous art galleries throughout my life. Working here with the staff of the Albright-Knox will truly be a once in a lifetime experience and I am excited for the forthcoming months.

Lily Zenger: I am a senior at Nardin Academy and I am excited to be a part of this program. I applied so I could get a more intimate view of how museums and exhibitions are run as well as meet the people that run them. In the future, I aspire to work in a museum either in an Education Department or maybe even as a curator. Art has always been a big part of my life and I love going to and learning about museums, so I'm sure I am going to really enjoy being a part of the AK Future Curators team. I hope to study history or Art History in my future studies. 

Lissette DeJesus: I am a 16-year-old Buffalo native, and a junior theatre major at Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. I am a performing actress and I also dabble in visual art. I hope to be an active and positive influence on the exhibition that we create. 

Megan Rogers: I am a senior at Lewiston-Porter High School and am excited to be part of the Future Curators team this year.  Art has always been a part of my life. I look forward to experiencing all that the program has to offer and gain skills that will help me in my professional endeavors.  I can’t wait to review the submissions and see our exhibition come to life.

Mitch Stepien: My reason for being in the Future Curators program is simple—to be amongst art. I grew up in an environment rich in art. My exposure to art has always prompted me to pursue it, in both a physical and philosophical sense. My interests include philosophy, contemporary classical music, fine arts, and rock and roll. I also enjoy thinking and spending time with my girlfriend’s dog. 

Rose Rivera: My name is Rose Rivera, and I am happy to be in this program. It seems like a wonderful opportunity to explore the world of art. I am in this program to learn new things. I am interested in whatever there is to learn about it. I want to use what I’ve learned for future inspiration.

Sarah Fenn: I am a senior at Nichols School and will be attending Kenyon College next fall. I have always been drawn to making and studying art, an interest I am able to explore through two of my electives this year: AP Studio Art and AP Art History. This program offers a unique opportunity for me to learn about and experience another aspect of the art world. I am thrilled to be a part of this team of talented students and artists.

Sienna Martinez: My name is Sienna Martinez, and I am a junior at Lewiston-Porter High School. The chance to be a part of the AK Teens: Future Curators program is an amazing accomplishment in my art career. It will be a great way to build new skills, and make friends and memories! 

Steven Goehrig: I am a senior at Canisius High School. I am proud to say that in the last couple of years, I have progressively taken art more seriously, developed my skills, and now consider it a fundamental part of my life. Being able to learn in-depth about the process of curating an exhibition at a large art gallery while still in high school is a unique experience which I feel fortunate to be given. I hope to go to college for Comparative Literature with Latin and Arabic, and double major in Film and Media Studies, though I certainly plan to continue pursuing visual art as well.

Sydney Bryk: I am currently a senior at Lewiston-Porter High School. I love painting, drawing, reading, snowboarding, and learning more about ancient history. I plan to attend Brock University in St. Catherine's, Ontario in the fall for classical studies, in the hopes of earning my Ph.D. in archaeology. The AK Teens: Future Curators program is one of the most amazing opportunities I have been able to take advantage of and cannot wait for our exhibition opening. It is an honor to be a part of this prestigious group and I look forward to the weeks to come.

Teddy Wieleba: I am a senior at Kenmore West High School, in the second year of the International Baccalaureate Programme. I am extremely honored to be selected to work with my peers in the Future Curators program and to take part in curating an exhibition of student work. The program will be an enriching experience for me as I am very interested in art history and hope in the future to curate for my own gallery.

Yeojin Kim: I am a senior attending Williamsville East High School, hoping to pursue industrial design or animation in college. I am happy to be a part of AK Teens Future Curators 2014. So far, this program has shown me an interesting and different perspective on art. I look forward to working together with my peers of different backgrounds and perspectives to curate an amazing show!

The 2014 Future Curators are currently sifting through hundreds of their peers’ submissions to select artwork for their exhibition, which will be on view at the Albright-Knox this spring. Learn more about the AK Teens Future Curators program.

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Mitch Stepien: My reason for being in the Future Curators program is simple—to be amongst art. I grew up in an environment rich in art. My exposure to art has always prompted me to pursue it, in both a physical and philosophical sense.  My interests include philosophy, contemporary classical music, fine arts, and rock and roll. I also enjoy thinking and spending time with my girlfriend’s dog. 
Rose Rivera: My name is Rose Rivera, and I am happy to be in this program.  It seems like a wonderful opportunity to explore the world of art.  I am in this program to learn new things.  I am interested in whatever there is to learn about it.  I want to use what I’ve learned for future inspiration.
Sarah Fenn: I am a senior at Nichols School and will be attending Kenyon College next fall.  I have always been drawn to making and studying art, an interest I am able to explore through two of my electives this year: AP Studio Art and AP Art History.  This program offers a unique opportunity for me to learn about and experience another aspect of the art world.  I am thrilled to be a part of this team of talented students and artists.
Sienna Martinez: My name is Sienna Martinez, and I am a junior at Lewiston-Porter High School. The chance to be a part of the AK Teens Future Curators program is an amazing accomplishment in my art career. It will be a great way to build new skills, and make friends and memories! 
Steven Goehrig: I am a senior at Canisius High School. I am proud to say that in the last couple of years, I have progressively taken art more seriously, developed my skills, and now consider it a fundamental part of my life. Being able to learn in-depth about the process of curating an exhibition at a large art gallery while still in high school is a unique experience which I feel fortunate to be given. I hope to go to college for Comparative Literature with Latin and Arabic, and double major in Film and Media Studies, though I certainly plan to continue pursuing visual art as well.
Sydney Bryk: I am currently a senior at Lewiston-Porter High School. I love painting, drawing, reading, snowboarding, and learning more about ancient history. I plan to attend Brock University in St. Catherine's, Ontario in the fall for classical studies, in the hopes of earning my Ph.D. in archaeology. The AK Teens: Future Curators program is one of the most amazing opportunities I have been able to take advantage of and cannot wait for our exhibition opening. It is an honor to be a part of this prestigious group and I look forward to the weeks to come.
Teddy Wieleba: I am a senior at Kenmore West High School, in the second year of the International Baccalaureate Programme. I am extremely honored to be selected to work with my peers in the Future Curators program and to take part in curating an exhibition of student work.  The program will be an enriching experience for me as I am very interested in art history and hope in the future to curate for my own gallery.
Yeojin Kim: I am a senior attending Williamsville East High School, hoping to pursue industrial design or animation in college. I am happy to be a part of AK Teens: Future Curators 2014. So far, this program has shown me an interesting and different perspective on art. I look forward to working together with my peers of different backgrounds and perspectives to curate an amazing show! The 2014 Future Curators are currently sifting through hundreds of their peers’ submissions to select artwork for their exhibition, which will be on view at the Albright-Knox this spring.