Meet Alumna: Olivia Fu

Why did you decide to spend a semester with the NYAP?

One of my professors had told me about the program in my final quarter of undergrad, so the decision to apply for the program was sort of on a whim. A big part of me felt really intimidated by New York. I worked hard on the application… but, it wasn’t until I was in New York, interviewing with my prospective internship placements, that I realized how much the experience could change the course of my career.

Who did you intern with? How was your experience?

I interned with a gallery in Chelsea and with two professional artists. Both these experiences gave me a taste of the business side of the art world, as well as the everyday struggles of a professional artist. Becoming aware of the realities was really a valuable experience for me, and learning what I am good at professionally to make the right decisions I needed to make at that time, to get to where I am now…in art education! I learned a lot from my internships and still keep in touch with some of my former coworkers.

How do you think NYAP has helped further your career?

I think the real question is how HASN’T NYAP helped my career? I would not be where I am now if I had not done the New York Arts Program. I feel a huge sense of loyalty and gratitude towards the program and towards the people there.

Where are you now?

I am a Teaching Artist for a non-profit organization called Groundswell, where I work with youth, to create murals and engaging them in societal and personal transformation. I’ve been working there for almost a year now. I’ve seen first hand how this process really brings communities together, and how involved the youth become.

I’ve also just started working as a Teaching Artist for the New York Historical Society, where I teach the history of New York using objects and artworks from the museums collection. I know that art education is my career path and I am constantly growing as a teacher and searching for ways to make myself a more accessible and dynamic art educator.

What are you favorite spots to go to in New York?

I really love going to the Frick Museumgallery openings in Chelsea on Thursday nights, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and I love the food in Flushing and the East Village.

Any advice to future students?

Work hard, make an effort in every way possible, be conscious (of your decisions and of those around you), be open, don’t over think things, and most of all enjoy yourself!


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