June is Membership Month at the Niagara Artists Centre, which means it’s the perfect time to launch our new Member of the Moment feature. We asked NAC members about art in Niagara and the number one reason to join the NAC. Fibre artist Cassie Leigh Clancy tells us how joining NAC inspired her to develop her art, about a memorable STRUTT experience and why you should join NAC, “a community that motivates and encourages creating what makes you happy.” Sign up for your very own NAC membership online or stop by NAC at 354 St. Paul Street in St. Catharines during gallery hours to get your membership in person. Sign up in June, and your name will be entered in a draw for a Special STRUTT Wearable Art Weekend package that includes a pair of Curator’s Row tickets (front row seats) to the Saturday night runway show.
Cassie Leigh Clancy is a fibre artist and past resident of St. Catharines. She contributed to Niagara’s STRUTT in both 2013 and 2012, as well as participating in Small Feats in 2014 and 2013. Most recently, she contributed to In The Soil Festival in 2014, where she knit an interactive cave as part of the Rhizomes area of the festival. Cassie currently lives in Toronto where she works on commission for her pieces.
When did you become a NAC member and why?
I first became a NAC member in order to participate in STRUTT. I had been searching for a place that I could display art that I had created, and the NAC offered me that space.
Are you an artist, an art appreciator or both?
I am both an artist and an appreciator. I began as more of an appreciator, attending events such as The Grey Borders Reading Series, but I became more active with the NAC as I became more familiar with the people. It is a very inspiring and inviting place for young artists.
What’s the best thing about being an artist in Niagara?
The best thing about being an artist in Niagara is the sense of community. Starting out with your art can be a terrifying endeavor. The NAC, along with the rest of the art community in Niagara has a way of making everyone feel important and talented, regardless of how long you have been creating.
Name a Niagara artist whose work knocks your socks off.
I would have to say that I have always been fascinated with Clelia Scala’s work. Her masks that have been displayed in STRUTT for the past few years have always been a main focal point for me, and I really admire the obvious time and effort it takes to not only create the masks, but also the story that goes along with them.
Tell us about a memorable NAC experience.
My most memorable experience with the NAC would have to be the first year I submitted to STRUTT. The amount of work that my partners and I put into the submission was some of the hardest work I have ever done for art. Seeing the piece on the runway was one of the proudest moments that I have ever experienced.
What’s the number one reason to become a NAC member?
The number one reason that someone should become a NAC member is the community surrounding it. Not only does the NAC give the opportunity to appreciate all types of art, but it welcomes budding artists into a community that motivates and encourages creating what makes you happy.
Check back for more Member of the Moment interviews throughout June.