A painting of many different people

2020 AK Teens: Future Curators Exhibition:
Meet Me in Between

Isabella Conde (Lewiston-Porter High School). What it used to be. Oil paint.

Isabella Conde

Lewiston-Porter High School

What it used to be

What it used to be depicts a solemn story of a young child and a father. Their relationship has become strained; at one point they felt love for one another, but as time progressed the love decayed. Through the use of cool colors, gray tones, oil paint, and the cleaner Citrasolv, the work portrays a mood of sadness and sorrow, just as one feels when a relationship diminishes. The father in the background is shown to be fading away, becoming absent from the work itself. Citrasolv was used to create a blurring/dropping effect; everything is blurred except for the main focal point—the child. Reality is altered so the child seems familiar and real, while the father is colored in fading gray.

Nicole Xu (Williamsville East High School). London. Mixed media.

Nicole Xu

Williamsville East High School


Isabella Conde (Lewiston-Porter High School). Purple Words. Oil paint.

Isabella Conde

Lewiston-Porter High School

Purple Words

Purple Words depicts the desire of a child for attention. The work portrays the past and future, childhood and adulthood. The neutral colors of black and white represent this duality in time. The background is surrounded with strokes that represent the faded memory. The purple flower stands as the focal point of this work and symbolizes a yearning for attention. The child opens this faded and surreal curtain to show her truse emotion.

Olivia Graham (Etobicoke School of the Arts). Perceptions. Photographs.

Olivia Graham (Etobicoke School of the Arts). Perceptions. Photographs.

Olivia Graham

Etobicoke School of the Arts


Alexandra Lee (Lewiston-Porter High School). A Shopping Expedition. Mixed media.

Alexandra Lee

Lewiston-Porter High School

A Shopping Expedition

The artist uses a figure—not quite human, and not quite alien—to pull the viewer in. The figure feels familiar, like something real, but it also has a surrealistic twist. The humanoid figure is looking at the viewer, making them feel welcomed into the painting.

Neltje Green (Etobicoke School of the Arts). Laundromat. Photograph.

Neltje Green

Etobicoke School of the Arts


The artist’s works are representations of architectural spaces in which color and perspective, memory and emotion interplay. They are based on real, visited spaces that are subsequently altered. These new spaces then exist somewhere between perception and reality. Made void of inhabitants, the viewer can focus on abstract explorations of space that include glimpses of the unknown.

Esther Gardner (City Honors School). Placidity. Colored pencil.

Esther Gardner

City Honors School


Alexandra Lee (Lewiston-Porter High School). Going Over to a Friend’s House. Mixed media.

Alexandra Lee

Lewiston-Porter High School

Going Over to a Friend’s House

Keira Das (Etobicoke School of the Arts). Callum. Photograph.

Keira Das

Etobicoke School of the Arts


Alexandra Lee (Lewiston-Porter High School). Pickled. Oil on canvas board.

Alexandra Lee

Lewiston-Porter High School


Skye O’Hearn-Smith (Etobicoke School of the Arts). Not Quite Yet. Blender.

Skye O’Hearn-Smith

Etobicoke School of the Arts

Not Quite Yet

Alanna Swanson (Frontier High School). Fat Boy. Oil, watercolor, and acrylic paint.

Alanna Swanson

Frontier High School

Fat Boy

Fat Boy is composed of three types of paint: oil, watercolor, and acrylic. The black, red, and purple–tinted background is contrasted against the figure’s skin while the green shapes mimic tall blades of grass. The viewer’s eye is drawn to this pop of color, meeting somewhere between what you can recognize and what you can’t.

Emma Ferguson (Kenmore East High School). Untitled. Acrylic on canvas.

Emma Ferguson (Kenmore East High School). Untitled. Acrylic on canvas.

Emma Ferguson

Kenmore East High School


These works are two of a collection of three obscure yet alluring paintings depicting alien-like figures. The artist uses chiaroscuro, the play of light and shadow, to create dramatic contrast, drawing the viewer to the face and to the pupil-less eyes. The artist expressed that this was deliberate as she wanted to illustrate a disconnect between the soul and the physical form. The artist also said this was intended to make the viewer consider beauty standards and how society views individuals. As these works depict these figures that are strange and outlandish, the artist manages to make them captivating, reversing expectations on what we perceive to be beautiful.

Amnna Attia (Etobicoke School of the Arts). Autobiography. Photograph.

Amnna Attia

Etobicoke School of the Arts


Jackson Trummer (Pioneer High School) I want to feel whatever you think I should. Oil paint on canvas.

Jackson Trummer

Pioneer High School

I want to feel whatever you think I should

Brooke D’Agostino (Fredonia High School). Collage. Mixed media.

Brooke D’Agostino

Fredonia High School


Dessa Ely (Etobicoke School of the Arts). House Keys. House keys and freight train.

Dessa Ely

Etobicoke School of the Arts

House Keys

Keys often represent domesticity and the household; however, by allowing these keys to be run over by a train, the artist is able to find a greater understanding of their relationship with divorce and separation. Their once perfectly serrated ends are now malformed, preventing them from fitting into a keyhole. The keys are used to convey ideas of separation and alienation from one’s home while simultaneously being a recognizable everyday object

Jinho So (Canisius High School). Reflect. Oil on canvas.

Jinho So

Canisius High School


Although it might seem rather frivolous, the living room, for some, is a place of affection. The reflection depicted in the work is not just a minor detail that shows texture of tiles. It is also a method that can indirectly illustrate a reflection of the past and a temporary return to the loving, intimate moments one shares with family. The work is experimental for the artist in that it is painted much like a watercolor except with an opaque, rather than translucent, nature. Reflect does not only show off technical skills; it articulates different meanings of the word “reflect”—the literal and the abstract.

Niya Gao (Etobicoke School of the Arts). The City of Individuals. Acrylic on canvas.

Niya Gao

Etobicoke School of the Arts

The City of Individuals

Ryleigh Houston (Lewiston-Porter High School). Two peas in a pod. Stoneware clay.

Ryleigh Houston

Lewiston-Porter High School

Two peas in a pod

What bonds us all and what we all have in common as humans is our range of complex emotions and how we communicate them to the world. We as humans can see another, a complete stranger, and have an instant understanding without uttering a word. We don’t have to speak the same language. The power of human empathy connects us in a way no other animal can relate to. We have a mutual connection with one another even when coming from different paths.

Emily Peca (Nardin Academy) Anxiety. Acrylic on canvas.

Emily Peca

Nardin Academy


Kayla Brady

Clarence High School

White Noise

Sarah Wisniewski (Niagara Falls High School). Piano Man. Acrylic paint.

Sarah Wisniewski

Niagara Falls High School

Piano Man

Katelyn Shiel (Sweet Home High School). 1/1/1980. Stoneware clay.

Katelyn Shiel (Sweet Home High School). 1/1/2020. Stoneware clay.

Katelyn Shiel

Sweet Home High School

1/1/1980 and 1/1/2020

Tate Novak (Etobicoke School of the Arts). Reclamation #18. Photograph.

Tate Novak

Etobicoke School of the Arts

Reclamation #18

Anna Luisi (Nardin Academy). Disparities. Acrylic paint on paper.

Anna Luisi

Nardin Academy


Julia Ramos (Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts). Ew, A Pig! Digital.

Julia Ramos

Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts

Ew, A Pig! 

Gretchen Gwitt (Nichols School). Albright Hall. Photograph.

Gretchen Gwitt

Nichols School

Albright Hall

Alexis Balestrieri (Silver Creek High School). Ophelia. Charcoal.

Alexis Balestrieri

Silver Creek High School


Mathilda Stock (Etobicoke School of the Arts). Untitled. Photograph.

Mathilda Stock

Etobicoke School of the Arts


Joy Wilson (Etobicoke School of the Arts). Ophelia Series. Digital.

Joy Wilson (Etobicoke School of the Arts). Ophelia Series. Digital.

Joy Wilson (Etobicoke School of the Arts). Ophelia Series. Digital.

Joy Wilson

Etobicoke School of the Arts

Ophelia Series

Emily Peca (Nardin Academy). Portrait of the Viewer.

Emily Peca

Nardin Academy

Portrait of the Viewer

Portrait of the Viewer is an amazing combination of familiarity and the abstract. The manipulation of the human face is symbolic of the differing points of view that exist in every work of art. Each viewer can question their own beliefs and feel as though they are being morphed into a new version of themselves.

Shreejana Khanal (Sweet Home High School). A Wrinkle in Time. Photograph.

Shreejana Khanal

Sweet Home High School

A Wrinkle in Time

Catherine Gehman

Sacred Heart Academy

Smoking Girl

This work uses surrealism to portray the beauty in the progression of time. Our actions have extreme consequences in our lives, even though they may seem meaningless, unconscious, or irrelevant. One innocuous breath led to a life of respiratory illness. One certain step caused the necessity of that knee replacement. One particular cigarette that was smoked on one certain day of a long life pushed the body to its limit, resulting in dire consequences. This work is a unique and striking representation of how important every single decision can be. Each small action can be the difference between life or death, whether we know it or not.

Ali Kolaga (City Honors School). Coming Into My Color. Mixed media.

Ali Kolaga

City Honors School

Coming Into My Color

This work depicts a form that we are all familiar with: the human body. The artist manipulates the coloring so as to represent a recurring theme in her life. Women have experienced an extended conflict with their own bodies. The author represents a symbolic "coloring" or acceptance of her own body.

Faith Mikolajczyk (Lake Shore High School). Prayer for Little Hands. Photograph.

Faith Mikolajczyk

Lake Shore High School

Prayer for Little Hands

Lucy Dietrich (Tonawanda High School). Thoughts and Prayers. Screen print.

Lucy Dietrich

Tonawanda High School

Thoughts and Prayers

Thoughts and Prayers relates to the violence faced by schoolchildren across America. While only one school is depicted, it could represent any institution in the country. The choice of medium was vital to the overall meaning of the work as the subject is able to be printed over and over, much like the feelings of Americans following each act of brutality, knowing that little to no action will take place. The cycle repeats each time another shooting occurs, a repetition much like the raising and lowering of the flag.

Ayat Bhat (Williamsville East High School). What hides behind the lies. Paint and Styrofoam.

Ayat Bhat (Williamsville East High School). What hides behind the lies. Paint and Styrofoam.

Ayat Bhat

Williamsville East High School

What hides behind the lies

Jinho So (Canisius High School). Countdown. Oil on canvas.

Jinho So

Canisius High School


Countdown is an oil painting done in a muted color scheme, meant to show the change in the artist’s passion throughout life. The work is separated into five segments, each expressing a different love experienced by the artist. Time and objects are represented by the changing combinations of numbers. Other loves in the artist’s life are shown, with the depictions of a tunnel jet fan and clarinet. Each of these are linked under the idea of motion, which is artist’s most faithful love. The changing and unchanging loves in a person’s life is a familiar feeling to many.

Jacqueline Keesee (Williamsville East High School). TiGhT. Photograph.

Jacqueline Keesee

Williamsville East High School


Nicole Xu (Williamsville East High School). Christmas. Charcoal.

Nicole Xu

Williamsville East High School


Alexander Mendoza (Frontier High School). Frosted Greens. Digital.

Alexander Mendoza

Frontier High School

Frosted Greens

Nay Thaw (Lafayette International High School). Nature. Oil pastel.

Nay Thaw

Lafayette International High School


Anna Brown (Williamsville East High School). Views from the Jungle. Micron pens on watercolor paper.

Anna Brown

Williamsville East High School

Views from the Jungle

Gervais Hazzard (The Gow School). Misplacement. Photograph.

Gervais Hazzard

The Gow School


Jillian B VanHouten (Jamestown High School). Little Brother. Mixed media.

Jillian B VanHouten

Jamestown High School

Little Brother

Vivian Tran (Etobicoke School of the Arts). A Bed’s Width Apart. Oil on canvas.

Vivian Tran

Etobicoke School of the Arts

A Bed’s Width Apart

About the 2020 Future Curators

The 2020 Future Curators team consists of 20 students in grades 11 and 12. From January to May 2020, this creative team of young aspiring art professionals learned about what goes on behind the scenes at the Albright-Knox. They also used the museum's collection and the special exhibition Open House: Domestic Thresholds by Heather Hart, Edra Soto, and Rodney Taylor to learn how to think about art from the mindset of a curator. Learn More about the 2020 Future Curators

Program Sponsor

AK Teens is presented by KeyBank.