As part of the 25th anniversary celebration of Long Island’s Best, the Museum invited alumni to share how the program shaped their lives and careers. Responses from working artists, therapists, graphic artists, musicians, and scientists confirmed that art remains an important part of their lives no matter their chosen profession, with many offering advice to the next crop of Long Island’s Best students. Read their statements below.
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My experience being in Long Island’s Best exhibitions gave me a glimpse of what it feels like to be in the company of other passionate and talented artists. I felt inspired and excited to keep working. It gave me the confidence to have an artistic voice and not be afraid to show it. I remember feeling so excited being at the opening exhibition and feeling that spark of joy and pride within myself. – Nina Miller, Long Island’s Best, 2015.
Don’t let a non-art career stop you from creating. Creativity has followed me throughout my career, informing my work as a scientist and allowing me to express my passions through a diverse set of mediums. I’ve created graphics and designed websites for my research, published my comics in comic anthologies, and illustrated art (both personal and commissions for others) to express my love for space exploration. — Caroline Juang, 2013
I’m a research associate at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown University and I’m also a graduate student in English, with a concentration in contemporary poetry. Art is inseparable from emotion, and emotion is just as important as logic. So art is always a good reason. — RK Fauth, 2009
The opportunity to participate in Long Island’s Best was the beginnings of my career as an artist. I was passionate about art growing up and took several art classes in high school. Participating in Long Island’s Best really did shape who I am as an artist today. This was a great experience to grow and expand my skills as an artist so early – Emily Martin, 2014.
I was shocked that I won third place in my year of Long Island’s Best; it showed me how to be and feel like an artist, and allowed me to see how much potential I have. On opening night, being surrounded by family, peers, teachers, and mentors, I felt like I could truly see this happening again in my years ahead. Making art everyday even in the tiniest of ways, makes you an artist at heart with a talent and a drive like no other. Do it for your own happiness. Connect with others through your art. Create love and a community. Create passion. — Crisoula Lazaridis, 2015.
I teach [music], last year I founded and directed “Collaborative Clarinet in Concert Exhibition” which featured new works for clarinet by composers from Mannes School of Music and New York Youth Symphony alongside artwork inspired by the original compositions created by artists from Parsons School of Design. This project’s aim was to unite the broader arts community working together as a team of artists welcoming each other to create a one of a kind performance experience. — Francesca Gray, 2011
Follow your passions, they can take you anywhere! I wanted to go to art school and ended up becoming an adolescent therapist utilizing art therapy! Let your passions take you to new places. — Samantha Murphy, 2012