Featured Volunteer: Cassie

Cassie is one of our new Summer volunteers. A Graphic Design student at Buffalo State, she is excited to be volunteering at “such a unique place,” and to have the opportunity to learn about and practice the history of design.

“Such a unique place.”

Cassie first discovered WNYBAC two years ago when she attended our annual Edible Book Festival. Since then she has been looking for a way to get more involved in the local Buffalo arts community, and a summer volunteering at WNYBAC was the perfect opportunity.

While Cassie was growing up, she did a lot of arts and crafts, went to pottery camps, and even sold her work at art festivals. Since entering college, she has interned with the Burchfield Penney and the Buffalo Bisons, and she just organized her first solo show a few months ago. As a volunteer, she also got to display some of her work in our annual member show. Her piece is called “Psycho” and it’s a digital print of a poster design for Alfred Hitchcock’s famous horror movie.

The 10th Annual Members’ Exhibition is on view until August 18th

For class, Cassie designs posters and vector-based advertisements, and recently she has gotten into digital painting in Photoshop. Some of the things she works on at her internship include curating social media posts and making video board graphics. When she’s not designing on the computer, her favorite traditional medium to work with is charcoal.

When she’s here at WNYBAC, Cassie returns to the roots of design. She works with the printing presses to make things for our shop, like cards, gift bags, and coasters. She also had the opportunity to help with the screen printing demo we did at our recent Buffalo BookFest. She says that so far her favorite thing to do here is type setting because, even though it can be tedious, she finds it really interesting. Since starting here, Cassie has had to opportunity to learn about screen printing, printmaking, and other mediums she didn’t know much about before.

Her favorite thing about volunteering here is how friendly everyone at WNYBAC is. She appreciates that we get involved in the community by running workshops on and off site, keeping our gallery free and open to the public and by putting on free events like BookFest. Cassie loves learning beyond the classroom and leaving her comfort zone when she can, and she has been able to do that here at WNYBAC.

Lattes: A digital painting

For Cassie, volunteering here relates a lot to her degree. Typography is an important part of graphic design. Much of the jargon still used in design programs today originally came from letterpress. For example, the term leading is still used to describe spacing, because, in letterpress, actual pieces of lead are used to create spaces between lines of type.

“Incorporating traditional elements into her otherwise digital design approach is 

‘important for maintaining a personal style.” 

Cassie says that incorporating traditional elements into her otherwise digital design approach “is important for maintaining a personal style.” “Working with the printing presses has stressed the importance of having a solid layout before anything else gets done.”

Kill Your Darlings: A digital painting

“Working with the printing presses has stressed the importance of having a solid layout before anything else gets done.”

Volunteering here has made her appreciative of the ease and convenience computers create, but she won’t lose touch with the traditional methods she’s learned here. It’s still true that sometimes it’s these traditional methods that get the best results.

For Cassie, volunteering at WNYBAC has been a chance to get involved with the Buffalo art community, and to learn about the tradition of design. It has helped her to evolve her personal style, and given her the opportunity to learn outside the classroom.

We’re thankful for volunteers like Cassie and for the opportunity to share our love of printing with someone new!


Remember to stop by and see Cassie’s work and work by our other volunteers and members in our Member’s Exhibition!



We would like to take this opportunity to thank our funders listed below, for providing support to WNYBAC's ongoing programs taking place throughout Western New York:

NYSCA M & T Art 4 Moore Zenger Group Evans Bank Community Foundation
Baird Foundation Cameron Jane