Jeremy Feliz, ArtsConnection alum, now in an internship at The Smithsonian Institute National Museum of the American Latino
ArtsConnection: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Jeremy Feliz, I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and moved to New York in my early teens in pursuit of better education. I went to International High School at Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, where I learned about ArtsConnection. I first got involved with ArtsConnection when a piece of my work chosen to be exhibited in 2018’s Simplicity in Complexity exhibition; this experience was a very gratifying one as it encouraged me to take more serious art classes to improve my skills and knowledge of the arts.
During my time in High School, I joined many extracurricular activities, amongst them were various ArtsConnection programs and events, such as Teens Curate Teens, Art2Art, Pizza and a Movie, and Teen Advisory Council. These experiences made me the person I am today. It really helped me develop social and interpersonal skills, pushing me out of my shell and making me feel more confident and comfortable approaching people and opportunities.
After graduating from high school, I interned at ArtsConnection while in college, working on the Student Art Programs, which focused more on gallery exhibitions, installations, event organizing, and so on. While I did many tasks independently, I worked alongside many people. Here I developed collaborative skills, improving my communication and listening skills. In early 2020, I was given the opportunity to be a Curator for a small exhibition we named Essence. My involvement in this project was not limited to the selection of the artwork, I was also part of the installation team as well as planning for the opening event.
AC: The Latino Museum Studies Program Internship sounds fantastic. What are you working on, and what do you hope to get out of this internship?
After completing my associates in Studio Art, and transferring to another college, I found an opportunity to work with the Smithsonian on Bilingual Exhibits Design. Here I’ll apply the skills and knowledge I gained through my experiences at ArtsConnection. This work feels meaningful as it can have an impact on how museums approach bilingual exhibits, making them more accessible to the non-English speaking public.
AC: Lastly, any advice/encouragement for high school students interested in the arts?
As someone who struggled communicating, not just because of the language barrier, but out of shyness and lack of confidence, I can now say to anyone interested in the arts, if you find passion in any form of art, you should try it, look for and take advantage of any opportunity to experience them, for it won’t just bring you joy but also grant you with knowledge and skills applicable to other aspects of life, both in a personal aspect as well as a professional aspect.
AC: We wish you all the best. And we look forward to seeing great things from you.
Teen Advisory Council at the 2019 ArtsConnection Benefit Celebration.
Photo credit: Brian Hatton