Meet CMA Artist in Residence Niousha Kiarashi
The Iranian artist and educator on sneaking into her mother's closet to create costumes and the role of fundamentals in arts education.
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Across the boroughs, CMA's three Artists in Residence are currently implementing ambitious arts curriculum at each of our partner sites throughout New York City: Hudson Guild in Chelsea, Sid Miller Academy in Crown Heights, and Children’s Workshop School in the East Village. Come spring, our residents will showcase their students' work through exhibitions and installations across the city.
Below, meet Iranian multidisciplinary artist and educator Niousha Kiarashi, who works with elementary age students at Sid Miller Academy, one of the leading District 75 school providing specialized support for children with disabilities.
Niousha as a young artist
Can you describe a fruitful childhood experience that influenced your practice?
I used to sneak in my mother's closet and make costumes out of everything I could find and perform in an imaginary world full of imaginary characters. Still to this day I'm making costumes and trying to create environments to perform within.
Why is it important to make art accessible to all children and families?
Childhood is the most crucial time of our life and makes the most important impacts on us creating our future characters. Creating art and it being accessible for everyone makes everybody able to get more closer to their perceptions of their surroundings and to make a better self. Expressing their characters through art and visualizing them in order to solve more of this complex puzzle of existence.
Up Close, fine liner on paper and photograph, 12 x 16 cm, 2019
In your words, what does it mean to be an artist?
To observe everything more carefully and try to connect with deeper aspects of the nature of things to be able to define them in a simple way.
Why is children’s artwork important within the context of art history?
The unconscious understanding of the fundamentals of art that every child has allows them to produce works that could be both the origin and initial steps for becoming a greater artist and change the history of the art.
Far Off, marker, fine liner, and color pencil on paper, 10 x 15 cm, 2019
Niousha Kiarashi is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She holds an MFA in Integrated Practices from Pratt Institute and a BFA from Tehran University of Art and Architecture. She is passionate about creating alternative and sustainable ways of understanding our surroundings and working with diverse communities to put these experiences into practice.