I am a Vermont Artist: Will Kasso Condry
Growing up in the inner city of Trenton, New Jersey, Will turned to art as an escape from the violence in his community. As Will describes it, painting and drawing became his loyal friends at a time when many of his peers were falling victim to the streets. “Art has always been my center.”
Will studied fine art and illustration at The College of New Jersey and co-founded Trenton’s premier aerosol art production crew–dubbed Vicious Styles Crew. He also started a nonprofit organization focused on organizing urban beautification projects in Trenton.
Although he now lives in Vermont full time, Will continues to travel and facilitate community mural projects with local schools, universities, and community-based organizations, including the McCullough Student Center at Middlebury College, the University of
Vermont Mosaic Center for Students of Color, and Ripton Elementary School.
Will shared his thoughts about being a Vermont Artist.
How has living as an artist in Vermont affected your creative process?
In the past two and a half years of living here, I find that the rural environment and relative isolation has helped me slow down and focus on a deeper level. I’ve also had to learn to become more disciplined in holding myself accountable to producing at a steady pace. Nowadays, I am much more patient and I take my time with my creative process. This allows me to connect more intuitively with my work.
What is something about your art that has changed over time?
My subject matter and style have changed over time. The more I connect with my lineage, my ancestors, and family history the more I see their influence manifest in my work. I’m currently delving into a series of paintings and illustrations inspired by African spiritualism and Afro-futurism.
What is your vision for the next several years?
In addition to producing paintings and murals, I plan to work with ceramics and produce sculptures as well. I would love to see more community-based public art projects in Vermont and I hope to be a driving force in that. Vermont is a very white state and it can be a challenge finding where my work and aesthetic fit in, but I will keep producing and let my ancestors guide the way. I believe Vermont is ripe for a creative “colorful” takeover.
My wife, my daughter, and I have a small home-based business called 7 Brujas Boutique. It’s a lifestyle brand that promotes conscious inspired creativity with an African spiritualism influence.
We are in the process of turning our home in Brandon into a creative sanctuary. I’m looking forward to what the future holds and continuing to build my artistry here. I plan on bringing more color to this state in more ways than one.
Visit Will’s website.
See Kasso’s Journey.
Learn about the Painting Princeton project.
Watch Will’s TedX talk.
The “I am a Vermont Artist” series explores how artists’ creative expressions reflect their experiences of ethnicity, gender identity, religion, disability, or age. Covering all artistic disciplines, and a range of backgrounds—from New Americans to the state’s first residents—we hope to amplify voices that deepen our understanding of what it means to be a Vermont artist.