Nick Cassway received a BFA in painting from the Tyler School of Art in 1990 and has exhibited his drawings, prints, and site-specific installations both locally and nationally.
He has been involved in the Philadelphia arts and cultural community for over 25 years as an artist, independent curator, gallery director, and educator. His work has been featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the ArtBlog, Grid Magazine, and Art News.
In the Mid-1990’s Nick co-founder Dissentia Curatorial Services, a guerrilla curating group that presented projects such as: Art2U, a gallery placed in the back of a U-Haul truck; 100 paintings for 100 bathrooms, a city-wide exhibition of art placed in public restrooms; and Steal This Show, an exhibition where all of the work could be stolen. Steal This Show garnered worldwide attention with press coverage on NPR, CNN and ArtNews.
From the late 1990’s until 2009, Nick was an artist member and eventually executive director of NEXUS/foundation for today’s art. He mounted 2 solo exhibitions of work in experimental mediums involving portraiture, these included: Heads, an exhibition using a variety of non-traditional mediums that related directly to current social and political subjects; and Who Died, an exhibition of portraits of recently deceased newsworthy individuals using retinal after images as a means to make temporary visual impressions. As executive director Nick mounted a series of large scale curatorial projects including Metaphoric Vinyl, UnIntended Uses, My Face in Your Space and NexusRadio. With Metaphoric Vinyl, Nick invited 9 artists into his studio to experiment with his Roland GX-24 vinyl cutter to make artwork. UnIntended Uses was a collaborative project with the Hacktory that invited artists who were using analog and digital technology in ways that weren’t originally intended as the foundation for their work. My Face In Your Space was posited as the gallery equivalent of a social network where five selected artists were chosen from different generational strata to exhibit portraits of their peers. In turn their peers would make portraits and exhibit them and the network was allowed to expand until the end of the exhibition. NEXUSradio was a two month event in which a pirate AM radio station was broadcast out of the gallery space. The programming was open to any and all members of the community and included musicians, poets, DJs, critics, actors, dancers, activists and performance artists.
In 2002, Nick was awarded a commission at Eastern State Penitentiary to exhibit Portraits of Inmates in the Death Row Population Sentenced as Juveniles, an exhibition of 42 portraits stenciled onto steel plates using rust-proof clear coating, areas not coated rusted and the stencilled areas retained the original color of the raw steel. From 2005 – 2010 Nick also served on the art selection committee for Eastern State Penitentiary.
Nick has been an associate professor of computer graphics for the past 18 years and currently teaches at Drexel University in the Design and Merchandising program. His focus is computer imaging tools, the creative process, brand identity design and editorial design. He has developed curriculum for students of all levels towards building confidence with computer imaging tools. In one of his required courses, Nick partners with non-profit clients who are in need of brand identity updates and has his students work on solving these design problems. In the Design and Merchandising programs one of his main charges is to oversee the annual development and publication of the D&M Magazine, this magazine – created entirely by his students – has won numerous national and international awards over the past 5 years.
Over the past 7 years Nick has had solo exhibitions at James Oliver Gallery in Philadelphia, a three person show at the Main Line Art Center in Haverford and an upcoming solo installation at the Felicity R. “Bebe” Benoliel Gallery space. He was awarded the Antonia W. Hamilton Fellowship in 2015 at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA) and was named an artist in residence at the TaconyLAB (a partnership between Philadelphia Mural arts and the Free Library of Philadelphia) in 2016.