Cara Seccafien: building bridges in the arts community

Cara is a fourth-year Bachelor of Fine Art student specializing in painting and printmaking. Currently she serves as the president of the Visual Arts Student Association (VASA), which is the governing body in charge of student affairs for the Department of Art and Design.

First off I would like to say, that anyone serving as the president of VASA will inevitably play an important role in the arts community if they do their job right. VASA was originally created as a fundraising committee for the BFA graduating class to plan a graduation exhibition. This exhibition is a unique feat that our school offers to its graduating students. It can play an important role in an artists’ career because it gives budding artists the chance to participate in a juried show, a very important credential when being applying to galleries for exhibition or for government grants. In order to bring this graduate show to fruition, VASA is obligated to organize a major art auction and various other fundraisers throughout the year.

Aside from the important tasks mentioned above, Cara has done a fine job as VASA president. Recognizing that VASA was composed of only students in their graduating year, under her leadership, the committee eliminated the precarious structure and implemented new executive positions for students to get involved with VASA as soon as they entered the program. To encourage more involvement, she focused on friendship building with students in the department by hosting various socials and movie nights (something that was obviously needed but never happened in my past 4 years at the university). With Cara as president, VASA managed to organize multiple exhibitions for BFA students during the year and hosted a successful art auction fundraiser.

Apart from her contributions to the U of A, she also has an extensive CV which proves her importance in the greater arts community. As an undergrad, she has already participated in an astonishing 27 exhibitions and has landed 2 more exhibitions for the near future. Other professional associations include working for The Works Art & Design Festival as a Curatorial Supervisor, a Festival Writer, an Exhibition Organizer, a Curatorial Coordinator, and a Curatorial Assistant. She also worked as the Artist Facilitator of the public participatory project A.M.P. that took place in the Jubilee Auditorium in 2011. On top of all this she also has an endless list of volunteer experiences for various artistic initiatives in the community.

Cara’s contributions at the young age of 21 are only over-shadowed by her skills in leadership. She is insightful, open-minded, and very encouraging to the community around her. It would be difficult to find any undergraduate that is more influential than Cara Seccafien in the arts community.

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