Behind the Muse: with Kassy Newman

Kassy Newman
Kassy with her boyfriend, Ryan.

Tell me about yourself: I graduated from Bridgewater College with a degree in Art in 2011 and have lived and been falling in love with downtown Harrisonburg ever since. I am inspired by nature and one of my favorite things to do is go hiking with my little nugget dog and best friend, Optimus Prime. I practice Bikram yoga at Hot Yoga Harrisonburg. Introducing yoga into my daily routine has offered a new sense of clarity and center that I’ve only been able to get when I throw pottery. Going to music festivals, especially Lock’n in Arrington, helps me recharge as well. I just recently quit my job so that I could focus on creating and living a healthier lifestyle. Some of my favorite artists include Franz Kline, Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, and Roy Lichtenstein (I have one of his pieces tattooed on me). My main medium is wheel thrown ceramics, but I like to think that I’m ok working with oil paints as well.

Jennifer Rucinski
Reference photo of Jennifer by Kassy.

Tell me about your partner, Jennifer: I am absolutely in love with Jenni’s soul. I was able to head to her house and meet her and her son Al for a while. We also got to talk to each other at the [Midway] Mixer. Just from the few minutes that we spent together (she had just got home from work and Al was practicing his soccer skills), I can tell she is an amazing mother and human being. She exudes positivity and strength while still keeping an infectious sense of humor. I think all of those traits are pretty amazing when you have two kids, let alone a pre-teen girl at home. Here is the photo that I will be using as a reference for the painting… I’m so happy that I was paired with her and I think that I have found another friend in the Harrisonburg art community.

For Art Lotto #4, Kassy Newman will be portraying Jennifer Rucinski. You can find her finished portrait alongside 49 others at the opening on Friday, August 5, 5-8pm at Spitzer Art Center.

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