Hometown: Danbury, Conn.
WCSU Degree: Master of Fine Arts in Art - Painting
Internships: Eight-week artist residency at Chautauqua Institution; Aldrich Museum as Allison Smith's artist assistant from January - May 2013, responsible for helping Smith create and complete her solo exhibition, "Rudiments of Fife and Drum"
Activities: Teacher's assistant for two semesters; active participation in local art community, including co-managing a local Danbury gallery, The Mercurial, from 2011-13 and membership in the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, Arts Network of Danbury and the Richter Art Association. Part-time jobs at Art & Frame of Danbury LLC as a framer and art consultant, and at Fairfield Fine Art in Ridgefield as an art consultant. Responsible for a wide spectrum of art services throughout New England. Work on a freelance/contract-based basis at the Aldrich Museum doing install and deinstall in between exhibitions.
Honors and Awards: 3.73 GPA, 4.0 GPA during fall semester, recipient of W.B. Connor Trust Scholarship, Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO Sisterhood) Grant, Joan Lincoln Ceramics Scholarship, Peggy and Andy Anderson Family Scholarship
Katie Bassett attended Western from 2005-08, graduating in May 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sculpture and a B.A. in Graphic Design. This May, she will add to that a Master of Fine Arts in Painting.
Bassett says she always intended to go into the arts. "I made that decision before graduating from high school." She came to Western because she was "looking for an art program that was close to New York City, but rural. Fairfield County was the pace, culture and environment I thought I would thrive best in."
Western's M.F.A. program director, Darby Cardonsky, made a lasting impression on Bassett. "She has been an incredible mentor, inspiration and support to me thoughout my experience at WCSU," she says. "Darby is extremely intelligent, cultured and organized — making her the perfect director for the program and my needs."
Asked what she will remember most about her Western experience, Bassett says, "A highlight of the program's completion was our thesis exhibition show in the gallery at Higgins Hall. It was amazing to see the work displayed in a professional gallery space."
After graduation, Bassett plans to "keep making work and continue to refine my craft. I'm looking forward to my future endeavors in the art world as an exhibiting and professional artist."
Bassett's advice to new students entering WCSU is: "Stay focused, work hard and be involved. Ask for what you need, look for opportunities and be part of the community."