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Colleen Cassady | Guest Curator

My appreciation of the visual generates from two realms. The first is a very clear, strong affinity for the powerfully graphic and sculptural, whether in the form of fine art, furniture, architecture, product design, graphic design, textile design, or product packaging. I prefer the monumental/iconic to the diminutive. I seek the meaningful and skillful marriage of the technical and the conceptual.

The other realm is less clear to me. I am not always sure why something engages me. It could be a connection, recognition, a memory, innovation, structural beauty or tension, workmanship, something distinctly in contrast to its surroundings, or something utterly new. I like pieces that make you think about universal context and that play against the backdrop of cultural, social, and political perceptions, expectations, and norms.

Some of my favorite artists include: Tony CraggJames SurlsMartin PuryearEva ZeiselRichard SerraIsamu NoguchiThomas Hart Benton, and Arthur Dove. I am intrigued by Mark Tansey‘s work, love Scandinavian design and covet the chairs of Frank GehryAlvar AaltoHarry Bertoia, and Hans Wegner.

I have thought a lot about why we value art and the visual in general. And what that intangible craving for it and sating is when you see something you like. And I don’t have a well-formed answer—yet. I love the experience of viewing art in a formal setting–the expanse and empty, hollow sound of an exhibition space–the sea of air in which defined points of focus are placed. I also like finding art in everyday life. When I find something that strikes me–I never tire of it. I want to physically absorb it. I love the visual. I am visual. I thrive on the visual. When the color drains from the day–I am done.

I do have a reliable aversion to anything contrived, trendy, trendy-cute, or self-conscious. Whimsy is good. I am not sure what I think of all the cute cartoon stuff that seems to be everywhere. Though, I appreciate Yoshitomo Nara and a variety of others. But I am starting to wonder if I am an art curmudgeon as, while I appreciate all forms of digital art, I am most drawn to and appreciative of pieces that the artist formed with their own hands.

On buying and collecting art, I believe you should buy art because having it does something to you: gives you pause, stills your being, transports you, makes you think, evokes a feeling, or gives you new insight—and especially if it does it every time you look at it.

Originally from Austin, Texas, Colleen Cassady has been involved in the visual arts for most of her life and received her BFA in studio art from the University of Texas at Austin. Her personal artist portfolio, colleencassady.com  showcases her masterful eye, unique insights, and exceptional aesthetics. She has a diverse professional background in copywriting, marketing, and an assortment of entrepreneurial endeavors. In addition to being a guest curator, Colleen oversees the strategic development for artmuse.com. We are excited to have Colleen on board here at artmuse.com as a contributor and Guest Curator.

See all of Colleen’s artmuse.com picks here.

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