Not in Kansas Anymore: An Aspiring Artist in the Big Apple
Whether creating or admiring, art is a passion of many people. This summer, Lily Johnston ’16, a studio art major from Leawood, Kansas, is working to promote contemporary artists through her internship at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (EFA) in New York City. As its mission statement clarifies, EFA is “dedicated to providing artists across all disciplines with space, tools and a cooperative forum for the development of individual practice.”
Johnston is grateful to the Kevin W. Kennedy ’70 Internship Fund for the Arts, which is sponsoring her internship, as well Associate Professor of Art Rebecca Murtaugh who suggested EFA.
Johnston is promoting professional artists and their exhibitions using EFA’s social media outlets. The EFA’s main goal is to act as “a catalyst for cultural growth, stimulating new interactions between artists, creative communities and the public.” Through her work at EFA, Johnston has had the opportunity to create with professional artists one-on-one in their studios, observing their processes and gaining hands-on experience.
An aspiring studio artist herself, Johnston is thankful for the opportunity to meet and learn from successful artists: “I have learned the ways in which they made it and how I will need to make it one day as an artist. This involves a lot more school, failing, struggling, but also having the determination to keep working hard and creating pieces with influence.”
“I wish people knew that it is just as hard, and easy, and rewarding as any other career choice,” Johnston stated, “you only succeed if you work hard and have self determination.” She plans to pursue a masters in art at the graduate school level, then “would like to keep working on [her] vision and apply to artist residencies around the world.” Eventually, Johnston would like to return in NYC, owning her own studio and showing her pieces in museums worldwide.
Lily Johnston is a graduate of the Barstow School in Kansas City, Mo.