Cassidy Fritts, Visual Arts Instructor at SAY Sí, joined us for CAST LIVE where she guided CAST students and educators through a step-by-step walkthrough on how to make their own MINI ZINE. Her personal story of hope and resilience taught us about the power of art as a mechanism for reflection, connectedness and healing.
Her Art: What She Makes and Why She Makes It
A San Antonio local, Cassidy graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts, concentrating in painting. Cassidy is currently a local artist exploring mediums of painting and printmaking and is also a muralist. Her artwork explores topics of personal identity, mental health and community.
Cassidy has always been creative. However, it wasn’t until high school when she started taking art more seriously. During her time in high school, she had a hard time talking about her feelings to her parents, family and friends. Her counselor introduced her to art therapy. The process started with a few little assignments and evolved into Cassidy painting the walls in her bedroom. Self-identity and reflection then became common themes in her work.
“I was really lucky and had parents that encouraged this and I think they mainly did it as they saw it as a time for me to really explore healing and expressing myself.” Cassidy Fritts
Creating Connections Through Art
Cassidy then went on to high school overseas, in Germany. After graduation, she came back to San Antonio and enrolled at the University of the Incarnate Word as a journalism major.
“I thought that’s what I wanted to do. I was set on it.” – Cassidy Fritts
In college, she took her first drawing course. Professor Angela Fox noticed her talent and asked her why she wasn’t majoring in art.
“I couldn’t really answer her. I didn’t know why I wasn’t. After a month, or so, I couldn’t stop thinking about painting and drawing and making stuff and I switched my major.”
Now, majoring in Fine Arts, Cassidy continued exploring ideas of Identity and reflection. Though challenging for her, she started talking more about connections with people.
“…my art really became that way for me to connect with other people. It became that way for me to show myself that there was hope in my future, in my relationships and it was a way for me to really persevere through hard times.”
Stepping Out of Her Comfort Zone
Cassidy then began experimenting with different techniques. Her insatiable curiosity and willingness to step out of her comfort zone drove Cassidy to try wood working, using wire and embroidering with wire to expand her knowledge of different mediums of art. After college she self-taught herself animation. Currently, Cassidy is now painting murals as they allow her to give other people a platform to be seen and heard. Her future work will speak to interpersonal connections, specifically how people connect with one another and interact with one another.
“Art still is a way for me to show how I’m feeling, a way for to form connections with other people and a way for me to keep striving.”
How to make a Mini Zine
A ZINE is a smaller version of a magazine. They are a special way to document thoughts, showcase creative and capture stories. Tools required: A piece of paper, scissors and something to write with. You can keep zines to yourself, trade with friends or even sell them.
Student Voice – The Moderator
The event was moderated by Jonathan Rodriguez, a CAST Tech Junior and current Marketing and Communications Intern for the CAST Schools Network. Jonathan is also an active member of SAY Sí.
“I’m also a student that goes to to SAY Si. I love it. I’ve been going there after school since 9th grade and I just love it. I love going there.” – Jonathan Rodriguez
About SAY Sí
SAY Sí began as a program under the umbrella of the King William Neighborhood Association in a space at the Blue Star Arts Complex [a large warehouse arts district south of downtown San Antonio]. Classes began in February of 1994 with 12 students from one high school, with studio sessions held three days a week. Since that time, SAY Sí has steadily grown. The program now includes nearly 200 students from over 70 schools in its programs, with studio sessions held 6 days a week. Additionally, thousands of youth throughout Bexar County participate in SAY Sí’s outreach program, ABC [Artists Building Communities]. You can learn more about SAY Sí here.
About CAST LIVE
CAST is constantly striving to reinvent schooling in order to maximize learning opportunities for their young learners. In this time when schools are physically closed for the remainder of the school year, the CAST promise of providing each student with authentic learning experiences continues. Through CAST LIVE we are providing connectedness in a time of social distancing, enriching the community in a time of ambiguity. CAST LIVE is a platform to share stories of hope and resilience. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we at CAST are confident that our students will be fully prepared to lead the way.