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An Interview with Faye Orlove

Updated: Apr 15, 2019

Junior High is a space for everyone. Offering a platform to marginalized voices in the art world, Faye Orlove aims to create an inclusive atmosphere for young artists in what could be seen as a narrow-minded art scene. Fostering a supportive community, Junior High is named for a time in one's life that, for most people, is marked by the cruelty and oppressive standards that the art gallery attempts to combat.

A recently launched spin-off magazine, Junior Hi, takes the philosophy and artistic sensibilities of Junior High into a new medium. Featuring interviews with everyone from Amindi K. Fro$t to Japanese Breakfast, the magazine is an authentic appreciation of creativity; it is clear that the magazine is made by friends for friends, paging through it feels a bit like looking through a scrapbook.

That's also the most astonishing thing about Junior High: it's truly a labor of love. From collaborators to patrons, everyone involved in Junior High clearly believes in its mission statement, and this belief is incentive enough to participate. Demonstrating the impact of curatorial activism, Faye Orlove has assembled a tightly-knit circle of outsiders that is genuinely open to everybody. Junior High shows us that it's what we choose to include and give exposure to that matters.

Why did you start Junior High?

I wanted it to exist, I wanted a space like it for me and for my friends and for my little sister and there wasn't one so I made it! I wanted a place that made me feel safe and supported and where I could provide safety and support.

What's been the best moment since starting Junior High?

One of my first intern's mom's told me that they saw a change in their daughter since they started volunteering at Junior High. That they saw their kid get more confidence. That made me so happy.

How do you hope to grow in the future?

I'd love to turn our volunteer positions into paid ones. Right now we don't have the funds, but I hope someday soon we will!

What do you think is the most important thing young people should know about the world?

That their opinions and feelings matter and that young people determine the entire trajectory of the universe. Even though it feels like old people are in charge, it's young people that make all the trends. The way the world pivots is because of YOU so continue to be kind and open and progressive and the world will follow even though it feels like the old people are backwards and wrong and making things impossible.

How would you describe the content of Jr. Hi magazine?

Comfortable! All of the interviews and photoshoots are among friends. It's a passion project and we hope people love reading the mag as much as we love making it. 

What's your favorite issue of Jr. Hi magazine?

The indie pop issue is insane to me! Design wise I think it's my best work and in terms of content, so many amazing artists were involved it's almost unbelievable. I still can't believe it came together!

What artists would you most want to collaborate with?

Rihanna and Ariana Grande!

Who is the most interesting visitor you've had at Junior High?

Hmmm...I'm not sure! We had a family come to our Scholastic book fair that was literally evacuated from their home during the California Wildfires so that was really special to know that even while their home was in danger and they were without their usual comforts, the Book Fair could offer some solace!

What's the weirdest thing that's happened at Junior High?

Someone was really rolling on something, LSD maybe? And literally peed on our rocking chair. That sucked. Also one time there was a live possum in our upstairs studio. We had to call animal control because everyone was too scared to go near it. 

Images used in collage via @fayeorlove


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