Saying “Yes” to the City

img_6516Hi, I’m Kristen and I am a senior participating in the New York Arts Program this fall. I am a Visual Arts major at Ohio Wesleyan University concentrating in Drawing, Painting, and Ceramics. This semester, I am interning with two artists working in New York City, Katia Santibañez and Steven Assael.

Not only are these artists incredibly talented and hard working, they are also outstanding people and I consider myself extremely lucky to be working with them.

So far, from my experience in New York, I have learned that the most valuable advice is, always say “yes” and do not be afraid to explore. I received this advice from a NYAP alum, but I did not realize how useful it was until I got here. Whether its going to an event with your sponsor, or trying a new place for dinner, just say yes and do not be afraid to explore what the city has to offer.

By following this advice, amazing things have happened for me already. I’ve stumbled upon beautiful parks, inspiring artwork, and views that have taken my breath away. But the most incredible thing happened when I said yes to going to an event with my sponsor.

Last week, my sponsor, Steven Assael, invited me to an opening. Although this was not required, I said yes and tagged along. While I was there, he introduced me to one of his friends and fellow artists. Upon meeting him, he handed be a black duffle bag and said, “Someone I knew was supposed to come to the opening and I was going to give him these oil paints. Unfortunately he won’t be able to make it, so I was wondering if you wanted them.” I opened the bag to find at least 20 oil paints in various colors and tube size.

Amazing and unexpected things happen when you go out to experience what the city has to offer and step out of your comfort zone. When I have done this, New York City has rewarded me with unforgettable memories, inspiring mentors, and free paints.

Pictured is a detail of the piece I’m currently working on with the paints that I received.


Written by Kristen Canda


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