Daniel Kasser’s development as a visual artist is rooted in his formative experiences growing up in Southern California, his arts education in Northern California and New Mexico and life-long interests ranging from the industrial arts and design to the cultural, environmental and technological transformation of landscape in the American West. This amalgam of interests has provided the core subjects and subject matter for his work as an artist.
Daniel’s career now spans four decades where he is primarily known for his work as a photographer and arts educator. His multifaceted work in photography encompasses exhibition portfolios of Landscape and Still Life and collaborations with his students to produce photographic surveys and publications about the City of Stockton. Daniel considers himself a regionalist photographer.
“I live and work in Northern California where the land is beautiful and bountiful.
As an artist, I can continually grow here, it’s a year-round harvest!”
More recently, after a thirty-year commitment to creating and exhibiting his photography and teaching undergraduates, Daniel has returned to his work in lutherie. He began studying and building musical instruments in 1976 while an undergraduate art student in Redding, CA. His first instruments were dulcimers, built for friends playing folk music between classes and for weekend parties. In 2010, after meeting and attending an inspiring workshop with Roger Siminoff, Daniel realized that he had left something important to his creative life on the table many years before. He is currently researching, designing and building mandolins and guitars in his workshop.
Daniel received his Master of Fine Arts in photography from the University of New Mexico and completed undergraduate studies at Humboldt State University and Shasta College in Northern California. He joined the faculty at the University of the Pacific in 1985 teaching photography, printmaking and topical seminars. Prior to his 2019 retirement from teaching and full-time work in his studio as a photographer and luthier, he taught courses in two-dimensional, three-dimensional design and sculpture.
Daniel has collaborated and conducted public workshops on several aspects of photography including his gelatin-silver printing/toning and digital techniques; he has undertaken historically related consultation and photographic archive projects; and he has curated and juried several exhibitions of visual art and photography in the Northern California region. His photographs are held by numerous private and public collections. Inquiries from this site will be directed to the artist.
The KasserArts Studio is a consolidation of Photography/Sculpture/Lutherie
by Daniel Kasser and Painting/Drawing by Lucinda Kasser.
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Daniel Kasser’s formative work in photography began in the mid-1970’s as an undergraduate art student in Redding, California. His early studies focused on mastering foundational art and design skills and the principles and techniques of photography. He attributes the turning point in his conceptual development and commitment to photography to Thomas Joshua Cooper, while studying at Humboldt State University in the late 1970's.
“As part of my early studies I learned that great artworks are designed and take form through concept and craft. When these two factors are balanced, artworks can be compelling and enduring. Photography is the medium I selected to develop my artistic intentions and voice. Early in my development as a photographer, I pursued my pictures as fully previsualized photographs; this is no longer the case. My pictures now evolve out of the process, what I make from what I see and discover. As a Photographer, I collect images of places and objects and assemble them into pictures of ideas, crafting them from the multiple possibilities inherit in contemporary photographic techniques, materials and processes.”
Stylistically, Daniel’s photography has evolved from a West-coast modernist approach of regional landscapes toward “mythopoeic,” interpretations of the contemporary Western landscape. Daniel uses the mythopoeic viewpoint to interpret the landscape and its bounty: ordinary landscapes are transformed into symbolic terrain and a unique facet within the genre of Western landscape photography.
In the Western Technosites and Artifacts of Technology portfolios Daniel amplifies industrial artifacts within views of the landscape from which they were excavated—compelling us to consider the continuing impact that these agents of progress and change have had upon the appearance and ecology of the western landscape. Aspects of Daniel’s work have been aligned with the emerging Ecopoetics movement in literature.
Daniel's work as a luthier resumed in 2010 after devoting 30 years to teaching and exhibiting his artworks. The development and history of musical instrument design has intrigued Daniel since he was a young man. He is currently researching, designing and building mandolins and guitars in the KasserArts Studios in the Stockton-Lodi, California region.
"I have always appreciated luthiers and the high level of skill required to produce an instrument that sounds and looks good, plays well and is durable. That said, I'm a minimalist, I really appreciate the simplicity of design in the early Martin and Gibson guitars. For the foreseeable future, this is my goal for design and building. I really respect accomplished luthiers; most of them are genuine polymaths, masters of many skills, renaissance men and women. Lutherie realizes form and functional design at its best!"
Daniel began his involvement with lutherie in the mid-1970s building dulcimers for friends who were also interested in folk music. These instruments were largely built (sawing, steaming, carving, gluing and finishing) with hand tools on the kitchen table of a small mobile home in Millville, California, east of Redding, CA. In the fall of 2010 Daniel met and completed a workshop with Roger Siminoff in Atascadero, CA. From that experience, Daniel decided to revisit that creative chapter in his earlier life as an artist.
"My current shop has developed considerably since those early days (but I still have that old table). I can also say that my skills and appreciation for the art and spirit of lutherie has expanded significantly since those early days when it was all so new and unknown territory."
The consolidation of our (Dan and Lucinda’s) studios is a formal arrangement of what we have been doing throughout our careers as artist/educators. This website is designed to link our activities and provide insight and access for our friends and followers. As we re-organize our activities and business relationship we hope to provide you all with updates on our current projects, future exhibitions and new things available in our studios through our Blog posted below. Please stay in touch, your thoughts are welcome. Sign up or message us in the links below.
Dan & Lucinda Kasser/ KasserArts Studios
We would love to share our work with you. Feel free to call or email to request a visit to our studios.
5499 Hildreth Lane, Stockton, California 95212, United States
We divide our time between studio and field work during the week and set aside our weekends for visitors and relaxing. With some lead time, we can accommodate most requests to visit our studios. Please call if you would like to arrange a visit.