How did you become an artist?
Ever since I was little I wanted to be an artist, even though I wasn't exactly sure what entailed, I knew that's what I wanted to do, and little me was right. I was basically just that kid that drew on everything and wanted to make everything just a little bit more fun! In eighth grade I took my first real look into the world of media arts in a film class, and that really kick started everything, because once i started, I couldn't stop. And now at the age of 17 my interests are still growing and expanding, from film making and directing into the world of photography, where I am now, occasionally dipping my toes in things like acting, paining and drawing. And really, I'm only just beginning.
What inspires you?
One thing that really inspires me is the idea that everything is connected, like how one thing couldn't always exists if it wasn't for the other thing. Like fish and water, two completely different things, yet the fish needs the water survive. I've just always really love finding the connections between things, its something that I try and put into my work.
How can art be a tool for speaking out, for creating change in the world?
Art is universal. Art can be put into almost every situation, ever. Its such an open thing. For instance, most all the arts go hand in hand. Like to make a movie you would use not only your film skills, but actors and musicians alike. Its goes the same for using art for change. An artist can express a situation in their work that many people from different backgrounds could understand. It brings unity. One way I've used it in my life to bring such unity actually has to do with Intermedia arts. When they have the Mega-Movie-Fest-A-Thons, I really try to branch out to all the kids that go to my high school, and try to have them come down and enjoy the night with people they maybe didn't really know before, bringing unity to us. And if that's only to my school for a night, the things art can do to community in a longer period of time are remarkable.
How has Intermedia Arts been a part of your story?
For a long time I've wanted to open a community art center when I get older. A place where anybody could take classes and learn the skills, or just come and hang out. And in the middle of sophomore year, when I first discovered Intermedia Arts, and I saw what it was all about, I knew that that was a place where I needed to be. I started taking classes year-round and now I am at Intermedia as much as I can be. I've been learning and growing and just having a really good time every time I step in the building whether it be taking an after-school class or weekend workshop, emceeing a Mega-Movie-Fest-A-Thon, taking pictures of a gallery opening through Media Active, or working with the new Youth Council. Intermedia Arts inspires me for my future.
“We need more places where anyone can be welcome and join a conversation. It helps keep people connected.”
What is one of your favorite experiences with Intermedia Arts?
The first day I came to the INDY film class at Intermedia Arts, and just the fact that these teachers were gonna let me express myself however I wanted to, and they would support me, really stuck with me. It was the feeling of becoming my own artist, developing me own style and what I wanted to do. It was one of my first steps in becoming independent.
How has art impacted the way you interact with your community?
I grew up with art on the brain. Its been the way I relieve stress or just express what I'm thinking or feeling. Its always changing me, I feel as if art has changed me many times. As I've changed so has my community, but one thing that's been in all of them is art. Its something people have in common, something everyone can talk about or do or just understand.
What do you see as Intermedia Arts' role in this community?
Intermedia Arts to me is an outlet, that anyone can enter, and anyone could use, weather it be to look in the gallery, take a class, see a show, or even to just play with the magnet poetry in the bathroom. It’s somewhere to go, somewhere to be. Just the fact that it’s open to anyone makes it vital. We need more places where anyone can go and join a conversation. It helps keep people connected.
JAHLIE is a 17 year old senior at south high school. Her interests currently reside in photography and film making. She lives in Minneapolis, where she had a show at the tarnish and gold gallery displaying some of her recent work. Outside of school she does a lot of work at Intermedia Arts and within her community, her goal is to work in the arts as an adult, and Intermedia is helping prepare her for such things.