Thanks to a teen-only exhibit at a Fayetteville art gallery, one local girl has earned the chance to host her own show.
Cassidy English stands as the definition of a successful artist with a bright future. Now the Harnett Central student is getting the opportunity to display her work for public viewing in a solo showing at Alter Egos Gallery & Studio now through Sept. 23.
“I’m so stoked to have the privilege of displaying my art on a much larger and more professional scale than I’m used to,” Cassidy said. “This will be my first solo gallery show and so, in a good way, it’s forcing me to learn skills and do things that I’ve never done before, but I know I will need to be good at in the future to have a successful career in the art world.”
Cassidy said the contest results in opportunities artists her age are rarely afforded. She first began to make a name for herself as a promising young artist winning awards at various competitions across the area. She has now begun building the foundation to the success she hopes to achieve — something that began in earnest in fifth grade when she made up her mind art was going to be her passion.
“It’s a very rare opportunity for kids my age, especially in this rural area, to have a platform like this to express themselves,” she said. “So I am beyond thankful for Alter Egos Gallery for allowing me to have this show.”
Her original piece “Destruction of Hamas” was selected by visitors to the gallery as their favorite piece. Taking the “Citizens Choice Award” from Alter Egos earned her a prize package including not only the month-long solo showing, it also included a year long membership to the museum and two free tickets to a teen painting event. The exhibit opens Friday at 6 p.m. and will feature 20 of her pieces.
“I’m planning on putting my best foot forward by displaying the most technically and creatively advance pieces I have,” she said.
She also wants to make sure everyone who attends leaves with the feeling of a relaxed and entertaining show, not one that’s overly stuffy or aimed at a higher level of art fans.
“As far as the actual displaying, I don’t want to make everything so precise that it feels almost pretentious because that’s not who I am, I’m a teenager and that’s how I want it to come across,” she said. “I don’t want anyone to not come to the show because they feel like they’re not fancy enough to be in an art gallery.”
Cassidy believes the road she began in her formative years is now becoming one of both education and opportunity. She has spent many hours doing pieces as simple as a portrait or as complex as something out of her imagination. She believes she’s turning the corner and really beginning to gain both confidence and knowledge.
“As I’m continuing to progress as an artist there are lots and lots of things I am learning and starting to do differently in a good way,” she said. “I feel so blessed to have the support and motivation to do what I love to do everyday and I’m so glad it’s paying off.”
The gallery is located at 108 Gillespie St. in downtown Fayetteville and is open from noon to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Cassidy is currently showing off some of her work on her Instagram page @arts.the.purpose. For information about purchasing some of her work or having her do a commissioned project she can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.