Laura Cassidy

Laura Cassidy is a Ph.D. student in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford University where she is developing a dissertation project at the intersection of art history, spatial history, eco-criticism and experimental media arts. Prior to Stanford, she earned her Master's degree from the San Francisco Art Institute and her Bachelor's degree from the University of Puget Sound.

Laura's interest in art and culture was sparked at seventeen years old when she visited an exhibition of paintings by Francisco de Goya in Madrid's Museo del Prado. In her early twenties, she made wood sculpture and wrote cultural ethnography about the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Tacoma, Washington; the Mercosur regional trading block that integrates Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay; and the Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. It was January 2005 when she secured her first internship at the Seattle Art Museum, which cascaded into work at the Museum of Northern Arizona, De Young Museum, and Montalvo Arts Center among other galleries and studios. Projects undertaken while at SFAI and De Young shifted Laura's focus from culture to the environment including two student exhibitions of land art, Plan View (2007) and Arc of the Sun (2008); short essays on evolution and ecology for Shaving the Mammoth (2009) and ArtAsiaPacific (2010); and a Masters thesis entitled Rendering Life, an experimental ethnography about nature and culture in Golden Gate Park.

While at Stanford, Laura makes time for freelance work. She has published several exhibition reviews for Art Practical, an essay on eco-critical work by Lordy Rodriquez for Pro Arts 2 x 2 Solos (2012), and a conversation with Dawn Weleski about her socially engaged work for the Stanford MFA Thesis Exhibition (2013). In April 2013 Laura traveled to Berlin for the weeklong SYNAPSE Curatorial Workshop on "The Anthropocene Project" at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, and in September 2013 a series of design proposals that respond to industrial pollution and degradation of the world's oceans, curated in partnership with Blue Trail and UCSC OpenLab, will be the topic of an evening event at Aquarium of the Bay.