» Aniya Spears
How did you become an artist?
I believe everyone is an artist, most just don't know it yet. I realized that I was an artist in the fourth grade at FAIR School. Previously, I was active in the youth art ministries at my church, and Greater Mount Vernon MBC. Since these experiences, I have flourished.
What inspires you?
Seeing other artists progress and achieve inspires me. I know that at some point I want to get to their level. Watching them grow helps me continue my journey.
How has Intermedia Arts been a part of your story?
Intermedia Arts has greatly impacted my life as an artist and as a person. This is my second year being involved with Intermedia and I've grown so much. I've also been able to grow my network, which is really important nowadays.
What is one of your most powerful or meaningful experiences at Intermedia Arts?
I love coming into Intermedia Arts and seeing what is displayed in the gallery. Every theme, no matter what it is, makes me think deeper about that topic. Sometimes I catch myself being close-minded, but all of the images and angles help me see the world through a different lens, which all people can benefit from.
What do you see as Intermedia Arts' role in this community? Why do we need Intermedia Arts?
My community of young artists of color really appreciate having a place for our voice to be heard.
What is it about art that draws you in?
The rush of adrenaline before I get on stage to perform feels amazing. Also, as an artist, specifically a performing artist, I am able to showcase my work, knowledge, and passion with a face attached. When people actually see who I am makes the message more personal.
“Everyone is an artist, most just don't know it yet.”
- Aniya Spears
Is there one specific artistic experience that moved you?
I remember the first time that I had an emotional reaction to music. My 7-year old self was listening to Jesse McCartney's song Because You Live in my room with my niece. Partway through the song, I started crying and my niece went to tell my mom. This story is so odd to me because only being 7 years old, I didn't know what he was talking about, yet the music moved me. Art is the language of the world. We can all connect to sounds, images, and movement, even if we don't completely understand it.
How has art changed your life?
I was surrounded by very close-minded people when I was younger, which rubbed off on me. Going to FAIR, attending SPCPA, and interacting with various cool and interesting people expanded my mind. Since then, I haven't been the same.
What core values are most important to you?
Stay true to yourself. Don't forget where you came from. Stick with your morals. Don't allow yourself to regret anything. Dream big and work hard. Do what makes you happy-you are in control of your own happiness. Don't take yourself too seriously, no one else does. Relax-life it short.
Aniya Spears' artistic journey started when she turned 6. Since then she has been heavily involved in her church's youth choir, praise dance, and poetry ministry. While attending FAIR School Crystal she found her inner artist. Now, at age 15 and attending the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, she has grown dramatically as both an artist and an individual. In 2014, Aniya joined the Youth Leadership Council at Intermedia Arts. Currently she plans two bi-monthly events with Youth Leadership Council during the spring and fall. She also sings in the MacPhail Community Youth Choir with JD Steele as the director.