Although Heather Casto grew up doing art alongside her father ever since she was young, it wasn’t until she was in middle school that she “first really became interested and inspired,” as she put it. She was accepted into the Performing and Visual Arts (PVA) magnet program at Brooklyn Park Middle School, and she began to get formal training.
In particular, her eighth-grade art teacher, Starlyn Hacker, helped guide her path. “She just had a really good teaching style and she was really helpful and had the students’ best interest at heart,” Casto said.
That was also about the time that she discovered the Mountain Road Library’s Artist of the Month exhibit, which she would see regularly because her bus stop was at the library. Now a rising sophomore in the International Baccalaureate (IB) magnet program at Old Mill High School, Casto will join the ranks of other Pasadena artists before her who have shared their work with the community by displaying it at the library.
“I will be showing some acrylic, watercolor and ink paintings that I have completed over the summer as part of my IB personal project,” she explained, noting that her broad range of subjects include people, animals and landscapes. “I like to use dry media like charcoal, chalk and graphite. I don’t really like to paint but I will be doing some paintings for the art exhibit.”
The 15-year-old will often find inspiration from pictures she has or photos she has taken on her phone. This is the first place she has exhibited besides school art shows.
“I like the feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish a piece and it looks how I wanted it to, but I also like how expressive art can be,” she said. “I think it is interesting to see all the different styles and techniques people use to create unique artwork.”
For now, she thinks of art as just a hobby and does not expect to pursue it as a career. “I do not personally see art as a future profession for myself but I could still change my mind,” she said. “I could see myself pursuing a creative profession of some sort, but to me, art is more like a relaxing leisurely activity.”
Casto’s work will be on display at Mountain Road Library throughout the entire month of September. For more information on the Artist of the Month series, call 410-222-6699.