Daniela Cassetta is the new Middle School Art Teacher at Esperanza Academy Charter School. She brings a wealth of knowledge and passion that will be an inspiration to our students as they practice a variety of art forms and enjoy a vibrant atmosphere to relax and learn. We are happy to have Ms. Cassetta on our team and look forward to the beautiful creations to come! Read our interview with her below to learn more about her reasons for choosing to be an artist and why she is excited to teach our students!
1.Why did you choose to work at Esperanza Academy?
Esperanza from the start felt like a space that emphasized community. I wanted to be surrounded by support. So far, I’ve felt like I’m becoming a part of something larger than myself, and I love it!
2. What are you most excited about teaching our students at the middle school?
Middle school is a sweet spot of an incredible amount of growth in such a small amount of time. So, I’m very excited to see students come into their own and explore who they are- especially in their artwork! Art is a great outlet for everyone, but especially those who might not always want to talk about how much change they’re experiencing all at once.
3. Why do you love teaching art?
I love teaching art because it sparks so much joy. My mantra has always been that everyone is an artist. Art is everywhere- it doesn’t always have to be a traditional painting in a museum. It can be the building we live in or the devices we use everyday. Someone is behind everything we use and admire. We are all artists and have to start somewhere!
4. What inspired you to be an artist?
I have always been interested in art. I was and still am a doodler. I am ALWAYS putting pencil to paper. It’s when I feel most centered. Making art is part of who I am to my core. My art has always been for me. If other people like it, that’s only a plus!
5. What is your background in art?
Since I was a child, I have always been painting and drawing, but my professional background started at UArts. I went to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia for Fine Arts with a concentration in painting and drawing. I minored in art education, and that made sure I took a class of every single type of art possible- so I have truly dabbled in a little bit of everything! I stayed at UArts for my masters in Teaching Visual Arts as well. I just graduated this past May!
6. Are you from Philly?
I’m not from Philly! I grew up in Queens, New York. My family moved to north New Jersey right before I started high school, so I also spent some years living in Bergen County, NJ. I moved to Philly for college and decided to stick around after! Philly has been home to me for 6 years and hopefully many more!
7. Anything else about you we should know? Fun facts about you? Favorite hobbies?
I had some pretty phenomenal art teachers growing up that only encouraged and fostered the path I’m following. I’m aiming to make the same types of connections that I experienced as a child with my future students, it’s a very special thing!
A fun fact about me is that I have a cat named Humphrey! He’s about 6 years old. He’s a very big boy, about 15 pounds, and he has heterochromia- one blue eye and one yellow eye! I talk about him a lot, he’s my whole world. I’m painting a picture of him and my roommate’s cat right now!