Aya Gurevitz Stern

An Ode to Mishpacha

Galit, Avrum, Matan, and Aya: a wrestler, a therapist, a cook, and an artist all share the last name Gurevitz Stern. Although each family member has their own interests and talents, we learn together and foster each other's growth. An Ode to Mishpacha explores the ways my family shapes my identity as I mature. As the youngest member of my family, I see how three fabulous individuals influenced my values and expression. My mother taught me what it is like to listen and be listened to. My father showed me what it looks like to change. My brother represents both my childishness, and how to grow out of it. Transitioning into college, I hope to take these lessons and memories along with me. Through traditional and non-traditional portraiture, I explore the concept of identity, nurturing, and, most of all, gratitude.

Aya Gurevitz Stern was raised in Brooklyn, New York, where they embarked on their artistic journey from a young age. They are a ceramicist, volleyball player, pianist, painter, drummer, chronic doodler, and, most recently, photographer. During the pandemic, they explored nature in urban settings and in 2022, discovered their love of portraiture. Through courses at their high school and the International Center of Photography, Aya delved into both non-traditional and traditional portraiture. They are currently a student in ICP’s Teen Academy Imagemakers program. As of late, they have been very interested in exploring the intertwined themes of gender and relationships, using their home, friends, and family members as subjects. As they prepare to leave for college, they hope to use their passions for portraiture, gender, and family to heal, reflect, and grow.