Welcome back to Free Spirit Friday, a weekly segment where I interview local artists and creatives of all kinds. Every Friday a different artist will be featured until I run out of people to interview. If you would like to be featured on Free Spirit Friday, send me an email at jess.ripley89@gmail.com

This week I’ve interviewed Cassandra Buck whose work can be found here and also on Facebook. I’ve known Cassie for a few years. She is a previous board member of the arts nonprofit C4 and she has been instrumental in helping provide resources for emerging artists to have a voice and get their work out in public. It’s because of Cassie that I became involved in the creative community in Rochester. She is a magnificently talented artist, and a beautiful person with a huge and encouraging heart. She would save the world. She also started a gallery cooperative called Gallery 24. It’s rare to meet someone who shakes the world and gets things done without getting caught up behind all the red tape. Cassie is such a person. I could go on and on, but words really can’t describe the magnitude of her generosity and impact she has had on the Rochester art community and on my life as a fellow artist and friend.
So without further ado, onto the the interview!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Well that’s kind of a hard question. First thing is, I am a very stubborn woman and if someone tells me I can’t do something I do it anyway to prove them wrong (I inherited this from my Grandma). People like to call me Mama Cass because I tend to mother, take care of and guide others that need it. I couldn’t live without art in my life. I have an equally stubborn daughter who is my mini-me. I have a very supportive husband who is the exact opposite of me in every way shape and form.

What is your creative medium?

Painting, Mixed Media, Drawing, Printmaking (more recently cross stitching).

What draws you to it?

I love to get messy, I love the instantaneous release of thoughts or feelings. I love being in “the zone” of art-making.

What has been your favorite experience as an artist?

My favorite experience so far as an artist has been to go back and visit my Alma mater (Winona State) while exhibiting my recent work, as well as getting to see my professors.

What are you currently working on?

I just finished up a series of mixed media pieces focusing on the redefining the visual language of the feminine. This will be up at the University of Minnesota Paul Whitney Larson Gallery March 25th-April 25th.

What is your dream project? 

My dream project?! I feel like every project I have done up to this point has been my dream project. I just keep adjusting and adding to my vision with every new project I do.

Do you have any upcoming shows? 

I have two upcoming shows. First is the “Lost and Found” at the Paul Whitney Larson Gallery at the University of Minnesota March 25th-April 25th and second is a Solo Exhibit in August at the Austin Art Works Center.

What kind of community-driven projects would you like to be part of?

I want to create an upheaval in Rochester.

I want to shake things up.

I want to change the status quo.

I want to educate and empower emerging local artists.

I want city-wide projects between local organizations and local artists to take place.

I want murals and sculptures all over the city: covering buildings and streets/street corners.

I want artists to be paid for the work they do.

I want Rochester to be inclusive to all.

I’m willing to put in the work. but WE ALL need to be willing to put in the work to make it happen.



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