Artist to Artists: Shaun Cassidy’s Prompts for prompt

Alumnus Artist Shaun Cassidy was asked to create a set of prompts. These prompts, creative parameters for an artwork, were then presented to Alumni Artists Quisqueya Henríquez, Susan Lee-Chun, and Willie Little, who were invited to return to McColl Center this summer for a pop-up residency and exhibition. Their charge: To create an installation in the main gallery of McColl Center, within four weeks, in response to Cassidy’s prompts.

The prompts:

  1. Create an artwork that uses the following pairs of words as the catalyst: divisions and differences; connections and intersections.
  2. The work must include one material, technique, process, or approach that is new to you.
  3. The work must have an interactive element to it in which the viewer can move a part or parts around to create different relationships, narratives, or ideas.

The site-specific, prompt-driven work created is featured in the exhibition prompt, which opens here at McColl Center on Saturday, June 11.

Cassidy is more than an accomplished and extensively exhibited sculptor; he is also a respected instructor at Winthrop University and an artist facilitator for the Innovation Institute at McColl Center. There’s a common thread through each of his roles. He’s always helping people reach their creative potential, be they students, professionals, or other artists. He practices what he preaches, too. Cassidy energizes his own work and potential by accepting that constraints are not barriers, they’re opportunities. 

McColl Center: The first of the three prompts you charged the artists with is to create an artwork that uses the following pairs of words as the catalyst: divisions and differences; connections and intersections. Tell us about how you chose those words.

Shaun Cassidy: I thought the words would provide an interesting range of starting points that could include an emphasis on material, form, social/cultural commentary, metaphor, and symbolism.

As an artist and educator, how does including a new material, technique, process, or approach push other artists?

Including a new material or process should allow the artists to explore something they do not fully understand or control, which will hopefully lead to some new discoveries for them.

How has this pushed your own work and practice?

[Listen to Shaun’s response]
 

What compelled you to challenge the artists to include an interactive element?

I thought adding the interactive element would increase the level of engagement of the audience and, again, enable the artists to consider the notion of a changing artwork.

How did knowing who the artists were affect your choice of prompts?

The only artist I know from the group is Willie Little and had little impact on the nature of the prompt. I was really focusing on what I, as an artist, thought would be interesting to deal with.

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prompt, an exhibition of new installations by Alumni Artists Quisqueya Henríquez, Susan Lee-Chun, and Willie Little, opens on Saturday, June 11, 2016 with prompt Party on Open Studio Saturday, a day-long celebration from 12-9 PM. We’ll have art installations, food truck, cash bar, hands-on creative activities for all ages, live music, and good people.