Cass is an Urban ArtWorks volunteer, helping us out and also putting some paint on walls. We asked her for her thoughts on public art and its role in creating engaged communities:
How did you find out about Urban Artworks?
My guess is like most people in Seattle I knew about UAW’s work long before I knew UAW. I ended up in the same masters program as Lina at Seattle U and through her I found out that UAW was involved with so many of the murals I’ve been seeing around town.
Which project(s) did you work on with us? Which one was your favorite?
Wow, I got a chance to do so many things, I’ll talk about three highlights. Last year I helped set up online voting and data collection for a crazy mural that is going up this summer at Pike & Harvard. For two weeks in February I was Lina’s TA for an afternoon mural class at Summit Sierra High School. And recently I contributed some writing for a grant proposal. That was probably the most meaningful for me because the grant is for a super amazing program that could impact the lives of 24 young women.
Tell us about yourself, where did you grow up / how did you find yourself in Seattle?
I moved to Seattle in 7th grade from the San Juan Islands. After high school I spent time living in New York and Los Angeles. I consider Seattle my hometown but the older I get the more I find myself drawing on the experiences I had as a kid living out in the woods.
What in your personal life has influenced you to choose your career? Has it influenced you to join Urban Artworks?
While my career path has zigged and zagged I’ve always sought work where I felt my contributions mattered.
In your opinion, what are some ways that public art helps create a sense of community?
Personally public art keeps me aware I’m part of something larger than my daily routine. When I see public art I think about all the people who have also walked by the same piece. I like to wonder if other people had a similar reaction as me and if not why would their experience of the art be different.
What are your thoughts about public art as a tool to reach young people?
A great example of this is the enormous amount of care and effort that students at Summit Sierra High School put into designing and painting a set of bus shelter panels knowing that they were creating art for their community.