Monday, May 16, 2011

Cassidy Cupero: "Being youthful, its easy to be bold, so absolutely take advantage of it..."

Member Profiles is a new feature where we talk with a new member and learn more about their artwork, their interests, and their opinions on how the art scene in Bangor and beyond can be better.

RR: Tell me about yourself and your artwork.

Cassidy Cupero: I'm Cassidy and 17, I don't believe in grudges or lack of representation. I build my life only around the most influential people I can find with the most vast tastes and hobbies. I love owls and anything vintage and I probably don't belong in central Maine, but for some reason I live here.

As for my artwork, I pretty much only do photography but every now and again a pen and paper flows okay. I am actually not even that advanced, I hardly know what the "widgets" on my Nikon 55mm does... I never had the opportunity to get into photography class while I was in high school but I had some training from a friend and read some books on it.

My portfolio isn't that big, but that's mostly because I only take pictures of what I really, really love. I could never take someone's senior pictures unless they wanted something real original. My least favorite thing to take pictures of is landscapes. They drive me crazy.

RR: Where do you want to take your photography skills? What would you love to photograph? Any projects in mind?

Cassidy: I would like to take pictures of models and maybe do some advertisements for local handmade stuff and have it get published or appreciated somewhere, but without having any real training. I want to skip taking wedding, senior, family pictures and still do really good for myself.

If I could say I had a project in mind, it would have to be doing a shoot with my friend Zamora on a nice murky day. In the bigger scheme of projects in mind, I want to do an activist type of shoot but definitely still need to think on that one.

RR: Why do you think it's important for youth to express themselves creatively?

Because people doubt youth. Youth are told you're not in "the real world," but you are and you're not held back from anything. So when you're creative, its like you're showing that you're bigger than all that, and that you can't be stopped, not even a little. Youth is always shut down and not taken seriously but if you can prove yourself in outstanding ways that you're a hoot then you're untouchable in my opinion. Being youthful, its easy to be bold, so absolutely take advantage of it. When someone under 20 says, "No," its stands out a lot more than someone 40 saying, "Yes."

RR: Do you think there are enough opportunities for that?

Cassidy: No, absolutely not. I don't feel like youth are supported a bit. Every time in my community when it came time to speak out youth was shut down before they could mutter to one another that they were uncomfortable. The art programs in my schools were hardly supported and when we asked to do more about it, the answers were always delayed. There is hardly anything for people out of high school and not yet in college to do also. It's really hard to find ways to get involved or ways to be noticed when opportunities are weak.

RR: What could be better about Orono/Bangor area, for young people?

More gatherings! I just moved from Asheville, North Carolina and every Friday night there was a huge drumming circle from 4 till 8 or something, everyone went to it at least once. There would be people hula hooping, people selling jewelery and miscellaneous items, upwards of 50 people playing drums, restaurants would see more business and it was just all in all a really good time. I would love to see something like that happen around here, just something simple and free once a week that helped out everyone and was easy and fun!

It's really hard to be a teenager in Maine sometimes because honestly it gets pretty boring if you don't have any money. Since Orono is a college town I would expect more from them, even like some stupid parade just to bring people out of there houses every once in a while! I hate that everything is decided by your age, I can't go to a club on a Friday night with friends because I'm not old enough, its almost embarrassing. It would be cool to have a community art show too, and more music too-- make it a charity event-- anything just get us out of our houses and doing something fun. ✦

Images (from the top): Cassidy Cupero (self portrait), "Down," "Kate #5

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