Performance Artist Curates Her Voice
Casey WolharClass of 2020 • Newark, Delaware
- Zeta Tau Alpha, Programming Council;
- Music Department Musicals; Theatre Productions, Set Design
“I’m still a shy person by nature, but definitely with my art freshman year, I very much thought, ‘mine's not good enough.’ I tried anyway and the department nurtured my confidence in my art,” she says. “Now I really like my art and I have reasoning behind the artistic choices I make, which results in open conversation and good feedback. There are always things to think about and learn from, but my confidence in my ability has really improved.”
Casey believes she can make the biggest creative impact through performance art.
“I fell into performance art my sophomore year as a problem-solving method. In class we had to make our artwork move for a project, and I knew that if I put myself in it– it will move. I was really satisfied with it. I think with performance art you really captivate active viewership.” She elaborates: “Sometimes people go into an art museum and think, ‘oh that painting is nice,’ and they walk away from it and they don’t really think about it. When people are performing in front of you it invites another form of engagement; it forces one to think about what they are seeing in a way that isn’t always present in other materials.”
Casey has been inspired by recent performances in Kohl Gallery by multimedia artists such as Tara and David Gladden and Jordan Deal. These artists create immersive spaces and solicit audience interaction in a way that she also hopes to accomplish.
Naturally, Casey is working on a three-part performance for her studio art Senior Capstone Experience, putting herself into each piece.
“I'm interested in the human experience, and what better way to explain that than to be a human and experience the art,” she says. “I'm using the concept of self vs. other and how we can use performance art to connect with others and explore those relationships. Right now I’m working with other performers and we will do different performative actions engaging in how we can show our relationship, or the distance in our relationship. It's all about tension between wanting to connect with people, but not being able to.”
Casey is putting her artistic skills to use not only with her Studio Art SCE, but also with her Communication and Media Studies SCE and her final project in the Creative Process studio art class. In total she is curating and producing work for three exhibitions this year, a rare opportunity for any undergraduate student.
“I'm working on three projects that will add to my resume as an artist. As someone who wants to be active in the art world, I am gaining skills that I didn’t expect to develop so exponentially. WC has given me a lot of opportunities to be hands on. I don't believe at a larger school I would have had these opportunities and be given attention to foster this level of confidence in my work.”
To see Casey's artwork and all of the 2020 Studio Art Senior Capstone Exhibit, visit unsettled.kohlgallery.org
Casey's Four Year Plan
Year 1Favorite ClassSculpture with Prof. Julie Wills
“Sculpture allowed me to make big artwork. At the start of each class there was a prompt, and you just took it from there. There were no constraints.”
Year 2Memorable MomentsSpTps: Performace Art with Prof. Julie Wills
“I took the class and there were only four students in it, giving us very personal one-on-one attention with Julie. It really honed my skills and ideas for creating performance art. It’s my all-time favorite class I've taken.”
Year 3Learn By DoingKohl Gallery Intern
“My internship at Kohl is really informative in learning gallery practices and I gained confidence talking about art and using my art skills in the real world.”
Year 4Learn By DoingSenior Capstone Experience
“I'm interested in the human experience, and what better way to explain that than to be a human and experience the art,” she says. “I'm using the concept of self vs. other and how we can use performance art to connect with others and explore those relationships.”