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Art & Life with Cassia Kite

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cassia Kite.

Cassia, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
In 2012, I began making hand-stitched works that were based on my personal narrative and landscape imagery from my family farm located in the Midwest. Having no formal training in embroidery or quilting, I enjoyed the exploratory process of making work that I had no formal education in or pre-disposed expectations for. In July of 2013, I was standing in my Grandparents’ farm home back yard and wondered what it must have been like to hear the piano sound coming from the home as my Grandmother played her piano. I was curious as to how I could associate that sense or the piano sound to the imagery I was currently hand-stitching. It was because of that moment that I began my Soundstitching journey.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Soundstitching is an interdisciplinary, multimedia project that transforms color from a hand-stitched image into a musical composition that can be interpreted by a musician and/or performance artist. The result is an organic combination of three forms of art into one collaborative, multisensory experience.

My hand-stitched tapestries are read from the left to right, top to bottom and are organized into a color map pattern. I created a color scale that collaborates with the piano in the key of C major scale that is used in tandem with the color maps to translate the colors within the hand-stitched image into musical compositions.

I have used the piano as a tool to perform the original music composition. I do not consider myself a musician, as I am not classically trained. I am interested in creating a dialogue between two different forms of art, by translating color into the sound that is inspired by familiar imagery.

I believe everyone can relate to parts of their lives that they have a hard time letting go of, whether it’s through death, change, demolition, time, what have you, there is a change of energy that happens and/or exists within a particular space/place in time. In an effort to document and experience that energy, I have created a collaborative project that is all-inclusive for everyone that experiences the performance of the site-based, site-responsive work. I believe that art is for everyone, collaboration is the key to education and providing opportunities for people to experience new ways to interact with art is at the heart of why I create.

What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
Do not be afraid to reach out to other creative in the community in which you live. I am a member of a Contemporary Artist Collective in Sarasota called SARTQ. We organize exhibitions, participate in community projects and engage the public in all things art. Try to connect with people through creative community-engaging events and art centers. That’s what they are there for. I have always opened my own doors to art opportunities. You have to be ambitious and progressive for yourself. Do your research on opportunities and connect with people, collaborate on ideas and be open to trying new things!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
An exhibition of my work is currently on tour in Nebraska and can be seen this coming June at the Stalder Gallery in the Falls City Library and Arts Center located at 1400 Stone St. Falls City, Nebraska. My work is represented by Anderson O’Brien Fine Art Gallery in Omaha, Nebraska and at the State of the Arts Fine Art Gallery in Sarasota, Florida. My collaborative work can be viewed on my website at:
I also have an Instagram account under cassiakiteart #soundstitching.

I love collaborating! In July 2017, I was given the opportunity to exhibit a series of works at KANEKO in Omaha, in collaboration with the Omaha Under the Radar’s Music Festival and it’s educational Soundry Program directed by composer, Dr. Stacey Barelos. Through this collaborative opportunity, I was able to work with the Chicago Academy of the Arts New Music Ensemble (CAA New Music Ensemble), under the direction of Jesse Langen. The students that played the music were Elenna Sindler, Julia Borelli, Mallory Pargulski, and Karen Szczech. I was able to add the element of dance to the works through the collaborative direction of Collective, an Omaha-based, modern and contemporary dance company.

Grant funding is a great way to support collaborative projects like Soundstitching. This past March, my project with Northwest Missouri State University’s Fine Arts Department was partially funded through the CollaboarACTION Heartland Foundation Grant out of St. Joseph, Missouri. Grants are a huge help in funding all collaborators involved in the performative aspects of the Soundstitching process.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Cassia Kite Art, KANEKO, Omaha Under the Radar, Dr. Stacey Barelos, Chicago Academy of the Arts, Northwest Missouri State University

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