NYAP STUDENT FEATURE — Amelia Stanley

This week our NYAP Student Feature is Amelia Stanley. Originally from Grand Rapids Michigan, Amelia is a Senior Studio Art major at Hope College with a focus in sculpture and installation. While in New York, she is interning with a sculptor/ installation artist E.V. Day and Lee Boroson.

Carianna Arredondo: Thanks for speaking with me, Amelia. I want to start with a simple question: What does your apprenticeship entail?

Amelia Stanley: Mostly right now I’m working on constructing their projects. With E.V., I work mostly with their manager and he tells me what needs to be done with the piece and gives me the opportunity to figure out for myself how to achieve the emotional affect in the piece that E.V. desires. With Lee I’m mostly working with his piece for MassMOCA–he’s been working on this installation for three years and actually installs next September. Right now I’m just sewing, welding, and sculpting for him.

CA: Any experiences here you want to talk about?

AS: I really enjoy the beaches here a lot. I love the food here — I’m a big foodie and I ESPECIALLY love this soba noodle shop down in the lower east side by little Italy. I really like running in Riverside Park because it stretches all along the Hudson River. This is where I do my really long 20-mile workouts.

CA: So, what are you training for exactly?

AS: The New York Marathon. I am really excited for this because I am running in memory and honor for my sister. It’ll also bring me a little bit closer to the city. You see, I’m not a city girl at heart and coming here wasn’t easy, but I think it’ll make me more one with the people here in the city.

CA: Are you running with a group?

AS: Yeah, Team Continuum. What they do is raise money to help cancer patients pay for food, utilities, and gas. You wouldn’t think that those needs wouldn’t go unnoticed, but cancer takes a huge toll on a families’ income and those are the first things that get hit. They sometimes have to choose between feeding themselves and getting the proper treatments.

CA: When is the marathon?

AS: November 3rd at 9am. It starts at Staten Island and ends at Central Park. The run goes through Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan.

CA: What are you going to do to raise money?

AS: I’m probably going to have a bake sale outside the building and a change war inside the building between the floors.

CA: I look forward to the change war! So to change gears a bit, how are you going to use your experiences here for the future?

AS: Coming from a — well, I don’t want to say happy-go-lucky town in Michigan, but I do come from a small town here so I find it very surprising the differences in culture and how much streets smarts and grit you have to build over yourself—I can carry that wherever I go and I certainly think that will help in my life. With my internships, I am learning a lot of different techniques with materials that will sophisticate even more what I’m doing now — and then I can clearly communicate what I want in my work. And well, with the running, it’s something I’ve done all my life, but I think running here and running for a specific cause is very enlightening and something I will never forget. It has taught me not to just run to compete, but to run for others and run for the benefit of others. It’s not just this individualized sport anymore, but rather a sort of communion for me in a way.

CA: Well said, do you have any advice for people looking into the program that will prepare them?

AS: If you want a REAL life experience, come here. Because this isn’t classroom stuff, it’s more than that—it’s common sense, it’ll strengthen your intuition. And that is something that is key to all artists seeking to make good work. You learn to hustle here, and you learn to push that focus faster, think on your toes, and go with your gut. And you’ll have the courage and confidence to do what you need to do to trust yourself.

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