By Lily Scheindlin
Walking into Gateway changes my day. I am enamored with the culture of the organization. The upbeat atmosphere charms me into a thoroughly positive mindset. When I first began my internship with Gateway it was a slight mystery to me. However, the people behind this organization have transformed my life in ways I didn’t know to anticipate. To call Gateway Arts a special place is an understatement. I’ve learned vast amounts about myself, about people in general, and about appreciating art in its truest, un-tampered form. From the incredibly talented artists, to the amazingly unique and thoughtful facilitators and administrators, each person at the studio is enthusiastic and excited to be there. Focused on improving and building Gateway, these individuals invigorate me. A feeling as strong as this towards a place of work seems like a rare occurrence for most people my age. Knowing that I feel at home, challenged, secure, and trusted in this environment inspires me further.
The first time I met Carl he was tracing superheroes over a light board for a piece he was working on. It was my first day at Gateway as a summer intern and I was nervous. He swiveled away from the table and asked if I wanted to hear a joke. This being our first interaction, I was excited. My nerves softened and I felt myself slipping easily into the natural routine and rapport of Gateway. I imagined the insiders of the Gateway community were taking me under their wing. He asked “What does a gingerbread man use for a blanket? A cookie sheet!” Everyone in the vicinity laughed and I knew that I felt comfortable here. The summer went on and I was lucky to hear more of Carl’s jokes. As he became more familiar with me, I became more comfortable with Gateway. A year later I returned to Gateway for a second summer and found Carl armed and ready with more jokes. I learned he had graduated from using the light box and was drawing more freehand. Now his works will be featured in an upcoming gallery show.
Finding something to elicit passion is challenging. Fostering a creative and supportive environment cultivates positive work for both administrators and artists. I never dread going to Gateway. I hanker to be more involved in projects and desire more chances to engross myself in the Gateway world. Immersed in so much creativity and individuality, I cannot get enough of it! Visual art garners powerful emotion in viewers and Gateway artists play with this idea by using their ability to truly capture and comment on the world. Searching for a passion in life drives me to try new experiences and situations and working with Gateway has satisfied that journey.