Arts & Humanities Librarian Wendy Spaček (left) and Senior Art Award winner Cas Almond. Cracked Egg print by Cas Almond.
Thank you to Elise Richman and Wendy for the pictures!
For over a decade, the Collins Memorial Library has sponsored an award for an outstanding graduating Art major. Each year a Library panel convenes to preview the senior show and after much discussion selects the winning artwork. The artist is awarded $250 and the honor of displaying their artwork prominently in the library for one year.
Collins Library is pleased to bestow the 2023 Senior Art Award to Cas Almond!
Excerpts from his Artist Statement:
“The purpose of my thesis is to give a perspective on transitioning and trans bodies. When I first began transitioning, I discovered much of the information available online is either medical, lacks any sort of visual aid, or actively discourages people from transitioning. I wanted to create a series of prints describing how my body has changed and the emotions attached to it. I also wanted to dispel the idea that trans bodies are in some way unnatural. To achieve this I combined images of my body with a variety of elements from nature including plants, octopi, and the sky.”
For his senior thesis Cas Almond created an ambitious series of prints documenting the physical and emotional transformations he experienced while transitioning from female to male. Combining renderings of the body with blooming plants, octopi, stars, and clouds, Cas dispels “the idea that trans bodies are in some way unnatural”. Cas’s thesis deftly navigates numerous printmaking techniques (cyanotypes, lithographs, relief, etchings, collagraphs, screenprints, and several techniques of monotype) while conceptually coalescing nuanced personal feelings and basic information in a clear, cohesive vision. Cas creates a counterpoint and an intervention in the anti-trans rhetoric he describes finding online (“medical, lacks any sort of visual aid, or actively discourages people from transitioning”) and speaks from and to the trans community–providing a joyful, celebratory, emotional, and informational road map for those embarking on the same transition.
We are thrilled to honor Cas with this year’s Senior Art Award and look forward to exhibiting a portion of his work in Collins Library in the upcoming year. Congratulations, Cas!
Wendy Spaček, Arts & Humanities Librarian
Jamie Spaine, Administrative and Special Projects Coordinator
Nick Triggs, User Experience and Discovery Librarian