Ashley K. I grew up living a sheltered life in Mercer island. When I was a little girl, I loved to draw anime characters and animals. My family was really artisitic and well that artistic talent was passed on to basically all my cousins and my sister. I, on the otherhand realized that drawing really wasn’t for me. Around the end of elementary school, I lost passion for art because my definition of art was drawing. Then, the summer before my freshman year arrived and I joined YouthCAN. With every session, YouthCAN opened my eyes to all the social problems like racism and the minorities of not just my community but also the world. Most importantly, YouthCAN taught me that art is used to express yourself through your own unique creations. You didn’t need to be good at it. I found my second family and my passion for art again that summer. As an upcoming Senior at Mercer Island High School, I currently enjoy things such as photography, beauty and most things that don’t require presenting a comprehendable drawing.
Candice L. When I was young, my family and I lived in Beacon Hill, Seattle. My two siblings, cousins, and I would go to my grandparents’ house every day; he took us to school and babysat us in the afternoon. In 2000, my family moved to Mercer Island for education and conveniences. That was when I first noticed different locations had diverse manners, actions, and appearances. Over time, my experiences in Seattle and Mercer Island shaped me into the person I am today. I strive to be more selfless and thoughtful to people and their ideas. I think it is important to have fun and be yourself, treat everyone equally, and never let anyone discourage you in any way. I want to become a stronger person that can support others and my community.
Xin-Yan W. Growing in Manchester, Maryland I loved to draw mermaids and sea creatures hoping that maybe one day I could see them in real life but as time passed by, I didn’t believe in these mythical creatures anymore. Not long after that my parents had decided to move to the city Seattle. After moving into Seattle, I attended a school where I met my new art teacher who had opened my eyes to the different types of art. I learned that there are different ways to make art and what you can do with art. In high school I was not given any art classes so I signed up for muraling classes after school but that was still not enough. Then I joined YouthCAN after hearing about it from my friends at school. YouthCAN has taught me so much about the importance of the community and social problems THROUGH art. YouthCAN is truly my second family and a place where I can just be myself. Now I enjoy photography, painting, and exploring the beautiful nature in the PNW. My artwork has been featured in the Narramore Art Show at the Seattle Art Museum, the Wing Luke Museum, and at Franklin High School.
Jennifer Chen As a young child, I always had a strange passion for the arts ranging from drawing to coloring and ballet. Growing up, I became more open to the different types of art forms (and their sub-categories) out there such as photography, cinematography, painting, writing, dance and other visual arts. I am a self-taught artist who enjoys dabbling around and learning new things. I am particularly interested in street art, graffiti, photography, and writing. I suppose my “style” would be that of a minimalist. In high school, I dabbled with forms of art through YouthCAN (such as creating sculptures and making murals). YouthCAN and my insanely talented artistic friends like Alex Jeongco, Mike Diep, and Jonathan Wakuda Fischer inspire me to continue to create and express myself through art. They remind me how happy art makes me through their breathtaking artwork. YouthCAN sparked my interest in social problems, such as inequality and racism, current events and the history of minorities in the United States. Through my art, I try to touch upon these topics. I also portray my torn identity crisis as Chinese American woman in American society, whether I am more Chinese or more American and why. My art has been featured at Franklin High School, at the Wing Luke Museum, the Narramore Art Show at the Seattle Art Museum, and I’ve been featured on the SLOG, http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/02/19/currently-hanging-under-a-jennifer-chen-administration-dancers-have-the-right-of-way. I am currently majoring in Law Societies and Justice at the University of Washington and eagerly pursuing a career in the law field.