Cassie Tompkins is a Chicago-based artist currently working between the media of printmaking and fiber. In 2001 she graduated with a BFA in photography from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and in 2010 received a BFA with a concentration in visual communication design from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Tompkins’s monoprints explore transcendent environments and capture ephemeral experiences. Using a language of geometric and organic shapes and the sensorial experience of color, she works as an improvisor, balancing compositions through intentional and serendipitous marks.
In 2017 she completed the inaugural FIELD/WORK Residency at the Chicago Artist Coalition. She was an award recipient of the Cleve Carney Art Gallery’s One: Annual Emerging Artist exhibition and an open studio resident at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME in 2018. This year she was chosen to participate in Mana Contemporary Miami Exchange residency and will be the 2019/20 Lillstreet Art Center artist in resident in textiles. She has exhibited throughout the country and locally at the Comfort Station, the Annex Gallery at Spudnik Press, Lillstreet Art Center, ACRE Projects, Cleve Carney Art Gallery, Mana Contemporary, and the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative.
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: a Q & A with Cassie Tompkins
How long have you been at CPC?
I moved into my studio at CPC two years ago.
What’s your favorite type of printmaking?
What other media do you enjoy working in?
I’ve naturally moved between mediums throughout my career and have worked in painting, photography, and design. My current process includes dyeing, screenprinting, stitch and weaving.
Cool stuff coming up?
What direction are you planning to go in the coming year with your work?
I’m currently exploring dyeing with found rusted objects and doing research on water, climate change, and bodies.
What book are you reading currently?
I just finished My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel by Oyinkan Braithwaite and have just started Florida by Lauren Groff.
What is your favorite non-art distraction?
I’ve been practicing yoga regularly for the past seven years.
Who are three artists (dead or alive) that inspire you?
Carmen Herrera, Tomashi Jackson, and Helen Frankenthaler.
Who is your favorite printmaker?
My mentor and former teacher Fraser Taylor.
In your past life, you were a _______.
What was the last gift you gave someone?
I made a print for my friend’s new baby, to hang in his nursery.
What color crayon are you?
What’s your favorite thing about CPC?
Having a studio within the shop provides a private space in the communal environment—if I need quiet and space to work alone I have that but also have all the benefits of being a part of an inspiring print community.
Tompkins’s work is currently featured in our summer exhibition, SOFT, through August 31st. This exhibition, co-curated by Tompkins, is open every Friday and Saturday from 12-5:00pm. For more of Tompkins’s work, visit her website. Read other Member Spotlight interviews here.
Photography Credit for portrait image: Michael Sullivan / On the Real Film