Youth Council Bios
It is our pleasure to introduce the members of the AGO Youth Council 2012. For past Youth Council members, click here.
- Mary Chiu
- Natalia Gamaley
- Sophie Imas
- Jason Kung
- Dasha Kuznetsova
- Lisa Lam
- Phat Le
- Beatriz Leuterio
- Sofia Ludwig
- Megan MacLaurin
- Sonali Menezes
- Lindsey Nantes
- Philip Ocampo
- Jodie O'Neill
- Claire Peng
- Doris Isabel Pozo
- Rasha Rehman
- Aida Retta
- Paula Rico
- Larissa Sequeira
- Kira Xue
Hi, I'm Mary and I enjoy writing up long lists. Having that said, here is a long list of other things I enjoy that sum me up in a nutshell: crosswords, hot chocolate, fashion blogs, the public transit, watching people on the public transit, the internet, drawing, hiking, photography, board games (particularly my newfound love, Settlers of Catan), vintage clothing, good friends, Anne of Green Gables, pork bone soup, architecture, reading, history, tobogganing, bicycles, puzzles, making snowmen, creating elaborate plans that I never follow, neutral colours, picnics, handwritten letters, wood, psychological thrillers, my high school's stage band, and afternoon naps.
Hi, I'm Natalia! I am of Russian background but I was born in Israel and moved to Canada at the age of three. I recently graduated high school and now attend OCAD University majoring in illustration! I love painting, reading, and travelling to exotic places (recently returned from Africa)! I also love tumblr and sleep (both are very inspirational)! My favourite artists are Claude Monet (and impressionism in general) and Robert Bateman. My weeks at OCAD can be stressful, but I always look forward to those evening where I can come to the gallery, meet with people like me, and plan fun projects or just hang out and criticize art.
I was born in Moscow, Russia, and I came to Canada at the age of three. I'm a fun-loving person who, strangely enough, adores sad films. My favourite colour is yellow, I have a passion for writing and I'm crazy about art museums. Not surprisingly, I happen to have a strong admiration for Tolstoy. Apart from my artistic inclinations, I also love physics and math. I am happy to call myself a multi-lingual person: I speak Russian, English, French, mediocre Spanish, and a bit of Hebrew. Currently, I'm a student at Le Collège Français in Toronto and am trying to get through the I.B. program, despite the fact that it causes chronic sleep deprivation. My biggest challenge: juggling all of the extra-curriculars that I can't seem to live without.
Jason Kung is a fourth year film student currently residing in the North Eastern part of Toronto. Aside from filmmaking, he enjoys singing in the shower, dancing like no one's watching and participating in staring contests with babies on the Toronto Transit. His vast interests are often interrupted by his need to eat and sleep. Overall, Jason is a pretty average guy. However, if you do meet him in person, there is something you need to know. He will judge you.
I joined the AGO Youth Council in 2009, where I thought I'd only stay for a year. I love it so much that I'm still here. It's innovative and progressive, just like art, which has been a significant part of my life from a young age. Art is still something I integrate into my life, even though my studies of International Relations at U of T are in a completely different field. In the future, I hope to somehow fuse these two together.
Greetings, fellow Torontonians (and visitors)! I'm Lisa Lam and I love food and Led Zeppelin. I joined the AGO's Youth Council in hopes of gaining experience and knowledge from being involved in and surrounded by an artistic community. In the future, for one of our major projects, I would like to work on something that focuses mainly on individuals living in poverty, especially those living in third world countries.
I am a grade 11 chorister by day and by night I'm a gypsy on the loose. My interests are food, classical music, the arts and architecture. I've studied piano by ear since the tender age of three, and currently I am attending a choir school. I've gotten the opportunity to sing at Massey Hall and the national anthem at a Cubs game in Chicago. My ambition is to become an architect in the future.
Born in Manila, and raised in Toronto, comes a Spanish-Filipino kid who's all energy. I'd love to say I'm unique but I'm really not; the more 'unique' I claim to be, the more I turn out to be the same as everybody else - think of me as extraordinary ... without the extra. Nevertheless, I'm a 17 year old who believes in peace, love, and happiness. I love to create works of art (un-ironically), cook, skateboard/longboard, make films, play with toys for 5 year olds, and do anything for an adrenaline rush. I live for today, not for tomorrow, so I highly doubt that anything about my future will be said in this other than me telling you that I aspire to be an architect ... or a chef. Always in the mood for a good laugh and an awesome adventure - never a dull moment!
Sofia Ludwig is exciting and an enthusiastic person! She loves to travel as well as be involved in the art world where she is creative and works well with others. Her hobbies are making art; singing; swimming; reading and writing stories and creating opportunities for people to participate in fun activities. From home-schooling in New York and London, to taking videos and photographs in art shows and performances, Sofia is interested in people's possibilities and bringing out the best in everyone she works with.
Hi, my name's Megan and I'm a super-cool grade twelve student who's interested in English, history, and visual arts. My artistic passion led me to join the AGO Youth Council—It's here that I can collaborate with other youths who share my enthusiasm and creativity. I want to study art history in university and my greatest aspiration is to become the curator of an art gallery!
Sonali lives and breathes art. She just about always has evidence of paint under at least one of her fingernails. An avid soul searcher currently on a gap year between high school and university and with plans of pursuing a BFA in the future, it's safe to say that Sonali's life is not yet there but not quite here. Right now she's knee-deep in projects like T.A.P. H2O – a bottled water free initiative she started last year with her sister, (www.tapthatwater.org) and is excited about new adventures with the Youth Council!
Inspired by art and the most random things, I am Lindsey Nantes: an impulsive thinker, and over- achiever with big time dreams all rolled up into one tiny lady.
Hi everyone! I'm Philip, a grade 11 student at St. Michael's Choir School and a new member to this year's Youth Council. I was born and raised in the calm and quiet town of Toronto, Ontario. Some of my hobbies include drawing, acting, and listening to music. I like sleep, and lots of it. I want to put my doodling to good use by becoming an animator. The arts have always meant a lot to me, so I'm pretty excited about what's in store for us. But enough about me, how are you?
Jodie O'Neill likes Holden Caulfield, Frida Kahlo, boots, MGMT, 22 1b. Baker Street, cereal, tea, Jack Kerouac, the number 19, the colour black, Kim Gordon, hot sauce and Ikea. She is looking forward to this year with the Youth Council.
Hi, I'm Claire. I was born in China, but moved to North America when I was 5. I'm really interested in design, especially architecture, urban design, and product design - basically in the design of anything people interact with on a daily basis. I love sketching, especially doing portraits and figures. I also make clothes and jewellery and do a bit of photography. My school is very science/math oriented, so the AGO is a place where I get to explore my creative interests more. I'm really interested in psychology and I'm a sucker for personality quizzes. I like to sing and play the ukulele and I have a Wikipedia addiction. In the future, I hope to become a starchitect.
Doris Isabel Pozo
I was born at the start, from a time I don't remember. An angel gave birth to me, my mother. She taught me the colours I grew to love, she showed me the music I grew to admire, the dance I love to dance. She showed me all of life's gifts, all of life's treasure and tools. I live for my minds' imagination to use, share, and create everything from everything.
Hey my name is Rasha. My world revolves around music and art. The creativity of many wonderful artists in the world inspires me to create art and explore my own imagination. The AGO youth council happens to be the best place I can express my passion for art. My favourite artist right now would be Jack Chambers, as I see freedom and so much detail in his work. I enjoy adventure books, making jewellery, cooking, December snow, and am open to all types of music. Positive quotes, creative writing, soccer, friends, and family also keep me going.
My name is Aïda, I'm a grade 11 student at Le Collège Français. This is my first year on the AGO youth council. I joined this body of fabulous people because I wanted to contribute to, be a part of, and learn from the artistic community of the AGO. I suppose my secondary motive was to find a constructive creative outlet ... :) Some of the things I enjoy are doodling in economics class (it helps retain information), watching Moulin Rouge, listening to The Sonics and finally, RSAnimate. I'm looking forward to an awesome year with the council!
Hi, my full name is Paula Fernanda Rico Casallas, but you can just call me Paula. I came from Colombia approximately 5 years ago. I was 12, I didn't speak English and you can just imagine how afraid I was. The only way I communicated with others was by drawing and since then I fell in love with art. I've been taking visual arts courses throughout my high school years, and I am very proud of my artworks (I like to think I'm good). Drawing wasn't just a way of communication but a way to express myself. I got to draw the world from my own point of view. My other interests are children, cooking, knitting, photography, mountain climbing, and meeting new people. That's one of the reason I decided to volunteer at Art Gallery of Ontario, to meet new people and learn more about art.
"The doctrine that there is in humans no permanent, underlying substance that can be called the soul. Instead, the individual is compounded of factors that are constantly changing."
Larissa finds that this concept ironically best captures her perceived essence. Continuously changing, she finds herself too complex, even for her own understanding. This makes it irresistible for her to set foot into everything from academics to athletics to arts. Starting from piano, singing in a choir, lifeguarding and instructing at a hospital, to even being a Flight Corporal with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Yet art seems to transcend to every aspect of her life. Now at the peak of her youth, she embarks into the life of an adult, learning that not knowing lets her explore the possibilities for herself.
I find it hard to convey my entire entity of existence in a few sentences. Superficially, I am brutally honest, awkward with strangers, and can converse with goats. I have a morbid fascination with sharp pointy objects and read at the speed of light. For more profound soul searching, talk to me in person.