The students started their day with a lecture by Cassandra on the history of enclosed garden spaces. They looked at medieval garden plans and discussed the significance of hortus conclusus, learning that the gardens functioned on a poetic level experienced by walking through them as well as looking at them. The enclosed gardens were a way of taming chaotic nature into something beautiful. Cassandra spoke about nature as motif and how society started to bring nature into interior spaces with mosaics, tapestries, and paintings.
The 2013–2014 T/AP season kicked off when students met with Dallas-based artist Cassandra Emswiler. Over the next four classes, students will complete a project designed by Cassandra that relates to works currently on view in the galleries. Cassandra first gave the students a brief lecture about her own work, providing insights into her inspiration and process. In her most current body of work, she creates sculptures and installations with ceramic tiles printed with her own designs.