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Cassandra Tondro artistArt is my solace and my joy. I turn to creating art when I'm happy and when I feel a need to express myself.

An early interest in art was encouraged by my mother, who sculpted in wood and stone. We had original art in our home, and I gained an appreciation for art in school through studio and art history classes.

I didn't immediately pursue art as a career and instead went into computer programming, which was a burgeoning field at the time.

While I was good at programming, I didn't enjoy the work and longed to have more time for my art. In 1993 I got my wish! The company I worked for moved out-of-state and laid off all of their local employees, including me.

I recognized the layoff as an opportunity to do something different, and I opened a fiber arts store, offering fiber arts supplies and classes. Through the store I met many artists, which strengthened confidence in my own artistic abilities. After seven years I sold the store, and since then I've been a full-time working artist.

My art has gone through several phases. In the beginning my focus was on the materials I use and finding techniques for working with them. Later I concentrated on creating art that would sell. Over the years I have gradually transitioned to making art that expresses my own unique vision and style.

My artwork currently encompasses both painting and collage. Because of concerns about the environment, I use repurposed, upcycled and natural materials for my work, including leftover house paint, discarded magazines, rust, contact leaf prints, and natural pigments and dyes.

I create art that addresses the beauty and angst of our times. Themes for my work include the wonders of the natural world and issues we face as our planet goes through an enormous transformation.

My art has been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, and placed in numerous public, corporate and private collections. In addition, my work was selected for the American Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon in conjunction with the Art in Embassies Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

It is my pleasure and joy to create inspirational art to enhance your life.