This is the first in a new series called "Rcer Spot", where we highlight and check in with RC alumni, students, staff and faculty, learn about they're passionate about, and how they've come to view their RC experience!
Lucy Cahill (‘12)
What were your majors/minors?
History of Art; Minor: French Language
What activities were you involved in while a student, both within the RC and elsewhere on campus?
Member of the East Quad Music Co-Op; Member of F.O.K.U.S. Member of the UMMA Student Advisory Board
What are some highlights of your career - or side projects - that you’re most proud of?
I am proud of my Board of Directors membership to Youth Arts Alliance leading to being hired on as the organization's first Chief Operating Officer in May 2019. Since starting work at YAA, I have cultivated a robust roster of working artist collaborators who donate their times and talents to our programming efforts. I am proud of the successful fundraising efforts I have spearheaded, as well as my contributions to our curriculum plans. I am also proud of my successes in my "shadow career" as a freelance illustrator, including completing over 60 concert posters in five years, having a solo exhibition in Detroit, and having my artwork featured in the first issue of Maggot Brain, a new quarterly publication from Third Man Records.
What are you doing lately that you’re passionate about?
Drawing every day for #Inktober, and teaching visual arts workshops for YAA. Also, volunteering in my community weekly, by weeding, planting and harvesting vegetables at community gardens in Detroit such as the Cadillac Urban Garden and Earthworks.
What about it makes you so passionate? What is the underlying reason or cause you’re doing what you’re doing?
The pandemic that started this year forced the world, and my world in particular, to slow down in many ways. It forced me to identify for myself what was important to me and how I wanted to live my life, and whether that meant changing some things. Introspection over several months led me to realize that strong communities aren't just good for the neighborhood- they are good for individual health, for neighborhood health, and for the health of democracies. As an artist, I know that the arts- be it poster art, poetry, theatre, music, sculpture- have the power to shift our way of thinking, to invoke empathy, to rally energy around a cause. I have been moved to invest more of my energy in my own ideas of community this year- through getting to know organizations in my neighborhood while I volunteer in urban gardens; through reaching out to Detroit area artists to become involved as guest teaching artists or collaborators with Youth Arts Alliance; through creating a drawing club on Instagram and cultivating a month of drawing prompts as we all reached out for ways to deal with the frightening news in March and April. I am noticing first hand how working with people for a common cause is both good for the individual soul and the collective one.
How does something you did in the RC relate to this?
My involvement in the East Quad Music Co-op set me up for a future valuing cooperative methods of organization, and for the logistical back-end work that is necessary to bring awesome art into the world!
If you could have dinner with anyone, fictional or real, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would love to have dinner and martinis with one of my favorite writers, Eve Babitz. She was a talented writer who wrote essays and fiction about growing up in L.A. (specifically in Hollywood) in the 1960s and 1970s. Her prose is clever, cutting, and unapologetic, and she is a character entirely in and of herself.
What’s your favorite food to make, and why?
I am a HUGE fan of food- cooking it, exploring recipes, researching the histories of certain dishes, and of course, having potlucks with friends. There's no way I could pick a favorite food- but the most fun I had making a dish recently was frying green tomatoes from the urban garden in my neighborhood, coating them with breadcrumbs and shredded parmesan and spices, and serving them with a tomato pepper relish (also made entirely with produce from that garden). It felt exciting to cook with ingredients that were almost entirely grown a half mile from where I live.