Cassandra Buck

Artist/Painter

The Work is Not Over

I have been working very hard the past two months with my peers to create a temporary multi-purpose space for the community and local artists. 

This space exhibits our collective vision

This space is not permanent 

This space is only an idea 

This space is not the end

This space is only the beginning of the hard work ahead 

This space is what we aspire to accomplish

This space is not our home but an example of what we aspire our home to be. 

There is so much more to come!

Hope to see everyone at the Grand Opening this Friday August 11th 5-10 pm 

 

My Life, My Community, My Art

I am working hard 

I am making art

I am trying to better myself and my community

I am not doing it to say Im successful

I am not doing it to make money

I am not doing this as a hobby 

This is not a game to me

This is my passion

This is my art

This is my fellow creatives art

This is for my children

This is for my friends children

This is so they can grow up in a town that loves and appreciates the arts.

This is so they can grow up in a town that I never had.........

 

The End

When I reflect on the past 7 years I know that it was not a waste.

I am a good teacher

I am good at leading others. 

I know I have made an impact on their lives.They took something from my class, they learned how to think and feel through art. They learned how to be human and express themselves. They learned that there is more than one way of thinking, there is more than one answer to the question of life. 

The nightmare of finding housing for a mentally ill disabled person

So let's start from the beginning.

My  Mother has BiPolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder. To help this even further she has had 3 strokes (which hasn't helped with her illness).

She becomes angry, she lashes out, she acts "crazy". She is not easy to deal with. Some things she has control over but others I truly believe she doesn't. 

This has caused the non-renewal of her current lease because she "complained too much". You think ok not a big deal just find another apartment. WRONG

A symptom of both Borderline Personality Disorder AND BiPolar Disorder is impulsivity. RACKED UP CREDIT CARDS BAD CREDIT NO ONE WILL RENT TO YOU. 

You think "ok find a renter who doesn't check your credit". NON EXISTENT 

OK next step "Find help"

Contact Social Services and ask for assistance. Great! They say we can help you......

A month passes and the social worker has given you applications to fill out which your daughter drives you around to turn in.

Another month passes....... the intake social worker hands your case over to your real social worker.

You set up a meeting and you think awesome we are going to figure this out NOPE.........She doesn't show up........... Call her and her message box is full.

Hear nothing........until finally she calls and sets up another meeting. Meeting day comes and she shows up 45 minutes late and gives you more applications to fill out and turn in. All of which you are denied. 

You have 20 days left to find a place or you are homeless. 

You have 15 days left to find a place or you are homeless.

You call your social worker and she says call Arc (a non-profit organization for people with intellectual disabilities i.e. downs syndrome)

You set up a meeting and the person from Arc and she gives you a stack of applications to fill out all of which you are going to be denied because of your credit. 

 

You have 10 days left to find a place or you are homeless 

This is where I am now with my Mother.......10 days left and she is homeless.....the social workers don't answer their phones and every apartment we apply for she is denied.

Today I called the landlord of an efficiency we recently applied for to see if he would rent to my mother. He said he was leery because of her credit.

I cried to him..........I begged and I cried.... 

Today I called Zumbro Valley Mental Health and left a message for their housing services program person....... 

I don't know what else to do

 

WELCOME TO THE NIGHTMARE OF FINDING HOUSING FOR A MENTALLY ILL PERSON WHO NEEDS LOW INCOME HOUSING

 

 

The Ramblings of a crazy person.......

I need time, more time! 

Things to do with in the next couple of weeks:

1. Figure out how to set up display panels for art on the ave on sat

2. Put title cards on work at Forager

3. Pack CSA crates for Next week

4. Print brochures for Art on the Ave

5. Make Gallery 24 sign for Art on the Ave

6. Go look at apartment with my mother today.

7. Print posters for Women's show

8. Get artwork from market for Art on the Ave

9. Connect with artists over email 

10. Art on the Ave Event! Sat!

11. CSA pick up event on Thursday!

12. Work with Lynette and Mike on Artist in Residence choices

13. Hang posters for womens show

14. Organize garage sale stuff

15. Get new artists up at Forager end of May

16. Make new title cards/bios for new artists at Forager

17. RE-Organize Gallery 24 website. 

Holy crap that is a lot of shit to do..................Sad thing is there is no art making time on my list. 

 

 

5 days!!!!!

I am super excited! 5 days until I bring my work up to the University of Minnesota for "Lost and Found". The opening reception will be Friday March 25th. I have been very busy working on my last 3 paintings. I still need to get wire on them but as many of you know I am the queen of procrastination and I work well under pressure so there will be no problem getting it done. The issue we may have is getting the work up there. I have been painting very large so we may have to rent a u-haul ......eeeeekkkk! Thank god my husband is so supportive! He has helped me get this far :)

I have a mother in the biological sense. She gave birth to me and kept me alive for the first years of my life but I really have never had a mother figure. By mother figure I mean someone who cares for you when you are sick, someone you can call and tell about your day, the person you run to when things go wrong in your life. The person who reads to you and tucks you in before bed. The mother that asks you how you are feeling and makes sure you have clean clothes the next day for school. I do not have one memory of this.

My memories are of me taking care of myself. 

I do not resent my mother for being this way. She is not physically or mentally capable of it. Over time she has been rewired to be cold and cruel, Something awful has broken her. Something that cannot be mended. A piece is missing now and it will never be put back in its place. Its lost in time.

I often wonder what she was like as a child. I wish I could have met her before the change. I wish I knew her before the sickness set in. 

For years I have been a mother to my own mother. I have saved her from herself many times. To the point of harm to myself mentally and physically. I am 30 years old and I dont think I can do it anymore. 

This isn't meant for anyone person to read. My mother doesn't have the internet so she will never read it. This is the first time that I am actually putting it out into the world. I haven't even created art on this subject as it is triggers many feelings of anxiety and sadness.

I've said it now so this must be the first step....

 

I am a professional

One thing I HATE is being talked down to. "Mansplaining" happens to me a lot. I don't know if it is because I am short in stature and I seem weak but it happens all the time. I am a woman and because of this do not assume that you need to explain my work to me. I understand what I am doing. I am not an idiot. I am a professional. I am by no means saying that I know everything. I still have a lot to learn, but when I am blatantly disregarded and talked over this is what I cannot and will not tolerate. 

New Artist Statement and Next Series......

My work has always focused on two things: expression and the feminine. I am constantly striving to discover how color and texture can evoke feelings and ideas that we are unable to articulate. Color and texture are exploited and taken to the extreme. Currently my work explores the use of discarded found objects to communicate societal narratives of the feminine. Each series within this focus seeks to challenge current constructs.

 

Our Lore, Our Truth

The first room of the gallery will be focused on the myth of the feminine archetype. One wall will have 5 large 6 ft tall 4 ft wide mixed media "Faces" created with discarded found objects. These faces will represent the 5 main female archetypes. One wall will have vinyl lettering that says "our lore". Another wall will say "our truth". There will be 100 smaller mixed media faces also made out of found objects. These 100 faces will represent facets of a woman's identity. There are two goals for this series. The first is to reveal and reconstruct the hidden repressed attributes of the feminine, and the second is to deconstruct the the historically established and accepted view of the feminine archetype.

Giving myself away in pieces.....

Ever since I was little I have been a "mother". I was a natural caregiver. I have taken care of people my whole life. At what point do you stop giving up pieces of yourself?

This self sacrifice is expected of women but when we try to stop it we are seen as selfish.

How do you end the stigma?

 

Ideas

I missed a day of writing! Shame on me..... I really need to keep on top of it. So I am trying to decide how I am going to execute my next large piece. I want to keep the colors simple but texture intense. What items could I use that have "intense" texture. 

-Glass

-Crumpled paper

-wire

-marbles

-Toys (Fiona's old ones?)

Too many choices.  

Teaching

Whenever I tell someone I am an Art teacher they react very positively. " Oh that's nice!" or "What fun!" . Then they ask me what grade I teach and I tell them Middle School. That's when it happens. They look at me with pity and say "ohhhhh that has to be hard" or "awe man I couldn't do that." 

My question is why? 

Why is middle school seen as the leper or the outcast. 

Yes I understand they are insane. Yes I understand they have mood swings. Yes I understand that they are at the "awkward stage" where their feet are growing to fast and their body to slow or vice versa so they have absolutely no coordination. Yes I understand that some of them are very mature and others have a long ways to go (all in the same classroom). 

But so what.....I love seeing this kids figure themselves out. ITS MAGICAL!!! 

This is the time when they figure out what they care about. This is when the "Aha moments" take place. 

My aha moment was in 6th grade. I finally got it. I figured out how to see things differently. I learned how to see things like an artist would see things. 

Its like the middle school years are the invisible years. They are messy and emotional so the world would rather ignore them than embrace them. 

My Neurosis

I am a very neurotic person. I have tried for many years to change this about myself. As I get older I have realized that I need to worry less and work more. I need to not let issues get the best of me. I have gotten a lot better but there is always the initial hurt and resentment of being rejected. My brain turns it into "Well what did I do?" "What is wrong with me?" it continues to run in circles and creates scenarios that dont actually exist except in my mind. Until I realize that there is other things, other reasons besides me as a person or me as an artist. And then I finally GET OUT OF MY HEAD AND GET OVER MYSELF! I am not always the reason. My flaws are not what people think about every time they see me. People dont care. 

 

 

Promises to myself

 I have made a promise to myself to step up my game. Things I will be doing to keep the creative juices flowing and to keep me on my toes. 

-I will write everyday...the mundane, the good, the bad, the ugly. I will do this to keep my head clear and ready to create. Also to keep track of my creative progress. 

-I will create something EVERYDAY! No matter how small or simple I will work everyday

-I will practice everyday

-I will connect with my fellow artists at least once a week or once every two weeks....No longer than this.  I will share my ideas and work with them to get authentic feedback. Not "oh that's so good or so nice!" I want them to be brutal. It is the only way I will get better. 

-I will be working on rewriting my artist statement..... Creating a more professional eloquent well written body of text which will accurately depict who I am as an artist and what I stand for. 

-I WILL DISCOVER MY VOICE AS AN ARTIST ! (and be able to articulate it with words lol)

 

 

Made a decision.....

So I have decided to start writing a blog about my creative life, the ups and the downs. Why you ask? I feel like maybe this will help me grow as an artist.

Where am I now? Well I feel like I am at a precipice in my life creatively and just in general.

I will give you a little background. I have been teaching middle school art for the past 7 years. Last year I was cut to half time. My year was literally cut in half so I had the Fall off and I am just beginning my year. I feel as though I need to move on; but to what is the question that I have yet to answer. My art career is going well but it isn't going to pay the bills so to say....... at least not right now anyway. I have some ideas of what I might do. 

I'm ready to move on to the next "thing" I just need to figure it out and maybe this blog will help! 

Join me on my journey !

p.s. I am horrible at grammar and spelling and I apologize for current and future posts. I'm just writing what's on my mind.