Katy Cassell


Medium/Materials: Enameled copper, graphite, sterling silver

Dimensions: 1 x 9 x 9 inches

Year: 2015

Artist Statement: 

I worked as an archaeological illustrator in India which left a lasting impact on my preference for decorated surfaces, my desire to research the material residue of different cultures, and my grasp of the long view of time. People build, settle, and create in their time between life and death; small lives converge to create something larger. The parts create the whole. Geometry.

My work is a response to the duality of joy and tragedy that is inherent in the cycle of life. The crashing expanses of natural disasters become metaphors for personal loss. I acknowledge our frailty in our interior and exterior worlds as both are exposed to the destructive powers of calamity, illness, and war. Anything I create will be destroyed, yet life thrives in the midst of decay.

My work explores the interdependence between humans and the biological and botanical worlds around us. My materials of choice are durable metal and glass. I’m interested in exploring ideas of fragility/durability, the cycle of death/rebirth, and creation vs. destruction

Artist Biography:

Katy Bergman Cassell earned her BFA in Enameling from the Cleveland Institute of Art and her MFA in Metals/Jewelry/Enameling from Kent State University in Ohio. She has worked as an archaeological illustrator in India and as a museum educator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters, in New York, and at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, OH, all of which were huge influences on her art. She taught at the college level for 8 years before joining the faculty of the Fine Arts Center where she is Visual Art Department Chair.

She was awarded a prestigious National Artists Teachers Fellowship in 2012 and used the funds to travel to England to work with Elizabeth Turrell and Jessica Turrell and explore the country. Highlights included visits to the Jurassic Coast, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Victoria and Albert Museum enameling archives, and the British Museum. She was a South Carolina State Parks Artist-in-Residence in 2012 and 2013.

She is a member of the ArtBomb Studios in Greenville and has recently exhibited at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, GA. She has had seven solo shows, three of which were titled Connective Patterns which traveled to Nevada, Florida, and South Carolina. Her artwork has been published in 500 Enameled Objects by Lark Books in 2009, The Art of Enameling: Techniques, Projects, and Inspiration by Linda Darty in 2005 and has also been featured in Metalsmith magazine, Cleveland Scene, At Home in the Upstate, and The Greenville News.

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