Cassandra Buck was born and raised in Rochester and has spent the last few years not only showing her own paintings but also finding ways for her fellow artists to get noticed. Buck has helped organize several exhibits at the Creative Salon, including two La Notte Delle Donne shows, which celebrate local female artists. In 2014, Buck, who teaches art at Kasson-Mantorville Middle School, started to see her own career take off. She sold paintings to Ridgewater Community College in Willmar, and Buck was invited to exhibit her work at her alma mater, Winona State University.
How big of an honor was it to be asked to show your work at Winona State?
It was wonderful. I just found out about it a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I started to get back into the art scene a couple of years ago. And now, I’m really pushing my art.
What drives you to volunteer so much of your free time to promote other artists?
I don’t know why I do that. I think it’s maybe to create a community or artists and an art scene. I’ve never really been all that focused on promoting myself. Maybe I should do that more? I think it’s to get Rochester’s art scene going and thriving. To get people’s names out there. I don’t want all of this good art hidden. I’m getting better at promoting myself with the exhibit at Winona State. Willmar College purchased some of my paintings. But I love to organize stuff. I think that is that teacher in me.
What made you organize the La Notte Delle Donne all-women shows?
I just want to get some exposure for female artists, get their name out there. Not just for myself but also for other female artists. Because I think women aren’t as aggressive at promoting themselves to the public. So that’s something that I strive to do.
Next week you have a big exhibit at the Creative Salon. Tell us about the program.
It’s an exhibit and talk for the people who participated in the artist workshop series. There were six of us who attended workshops taught by Simon Huelsbeck and Fred Ginocchio. The exhibit will give us a chance to showcase the art we had worked on since September. It’s on Jan. 9 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The artists’ talk is at 7 p.m.
What is it like to teach 13- and 14-year-olds about art?
I love to watch learning take place. Right now, they are exploring. They are really discovering their artistic abilities, and I love to watch that. They are not as all over the place as elementary students, but they are not set in their ways as high schoolers. There’s a lot of magic that happens in the middle school years.