We asked some of the city’s leading artists and creatives to tell us about how they decided to pursue an artistic or creative career. We’ve shared some highlights below.

John Cornicello | Photographer & Educator

Basically, it is all I know. I cannot not take photographs. I started out thinking I was going into the music business, but had photography as a hobby. But in college I recognized that I was not a great musician, but I was pretty good at the photography thing. I also had a great photo professor in college who encouraged me in his own way. He was very critical, yet still supportive. Right out of college I started working in a large studio operation in NYC. And have had my hand in photography ever since. I did have a corporate job for 20 years, but it was at Adobe (the Photoshop software folks), so I count that in with my creative career. After I left Adobe I resurrected my photo business for a few years, but with the covid situation I decided it was time to retire from business and just pursue personal projects. Read more>>

Diana Vurnbrand | Visual Artist

I believe an artistic career chose me. Growing up I was quiet and introverted. Silence gave me the mental space to observe the world. I imagined stories about people I saw trough car windows. My passion for photography began when I realized I could capture these stories with a camera. Also a dear uncle gave me his antique photo enlarger. I would wait for my siblings to fall asleep so I could use our shared bathroom as a dark room. The magic began then. One by one the characters from my city, captured earlier in Kodak film, started to appear. Later in life, when it was time for me to choose a career, i didn’t think it twice, i chose Photography. Read more>>

Kaylee Kintz | Dance Photographer

From the age of 2, I started dancing. My mom was a studio owner, so I spent 7 days a week in a dance studio. I always knew I wanted to pursue a job in the arts. For 15 years, I was also a dance instructor. I loved every second of it. I actually ended up getting my degree in Elementary Education, but my passion for the arts always drew me back to teaching dance instead of teaching school. Some people are just meant to be creative beings and that was me! I feel happiest when I am creating works of art. That is what led to to take my background in dance and begin capturing that through dance photography. Read more>>