This year, a high school student has joined the ranks of the accomplished artists participating in the eighth annual Bay Ridge Storefront Art Walk (SAW).
Fontbonne Hall Academy senior Lauren Silverman was the only high school student selected by a panel of curators, art administrators and artists to participated in the SAW, which is an event in which artists create site-specific installations in storefront windows at participating businesses along Fifth Avenue.
We spoke with Silverman about her involvement in the event, as well as her plans for the future upon graduation.
When did you first get interested in art or realize you had a talent for art?
When I was little, I drew pictures like crazy. I used to write little stories to go along with them, too. (My mom still has an unfinished one called “Little Bunny and Little Worm,” which was cute, except the worm was the same size as the bunny, and that would make a better Stephen King novel than a children’s tale.) It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school that I entered an art program, not knowing that it would kind of take over my life from that point on. I got super serious about it in junior year. That was when I started following artists online, picking my favorite styles, and learning about local art movements.
What is your favorite medium?
My favorite medium is film. I haven’t made any films recently, but the few I’ve made have been great sources of joy for me. For me, film is a combination of my interests, so nothing gets left out; I get to write the story, direct the visuals and work with a camera.
What will you be creating for the Art Walk?
I’m building an installation for the Art Walk, and my storefront is Galaxy Comics. It’s actually a completely different execution idea than what I’d originally proposed. The theme, however, is the same: I’m focusing on the nature of human communication. I’m making a display with paper mache balls that are composed of submitted texts. They contain dialogue people have either sent or received in conversation, over text, and so on. I’m currently taking submissions from my fellow classmates at Fontbonne.
How did you feel when you were selected?
When I found out I was selected for SAW, I didn’t process it right away. I refresh my email inbox a ridiculous amount of times throughout the day, and one time the congratulatory email for SAW popped up out of nowhere. It had been a while since I had submitted my application, so at that point I wasn’t sure when to expect the results of the judging. I was truly caught off-guard. After I realized I’d been accepted, I was thrilled but also pretty anxious. This was the first time I’d be doing something of this scale outside of school. And since I’m the only high schooler in the program, I felt alone at first, figuring the other artists would be intimidating and super serious, but it wasn’t like that at all! I met everyone at one of the meetings; everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I’m so excited to be working with such talented individuals.
What are your college plans? Will you continue art/study art in college?
Last week, I committed to William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY. I’ll be starting my freshman year with an undeclared major; I plan to focus on all of my interests and pick a major from there. I currently have English, Film, and Art up in the air. But who knows? It could be more by the time I start classes (Let’s hope not!). I would like to minor in American Sign Language, though. Even if I don’t major in art, I’m definitely going to study it. I’m excited to be going to college in New York City so I can further familiarize myself with the amazing museums there. I can’t wait!
Silverman’s work will be on display at Galaxy Comics (6823 Fifth Avenue) from May 13-June 11. For more information on the SAW and a list of other participating locations, visit bayridgesaw.org.