Ashley Frato

Describe someone you’ve met here who has already impacted your future.

Professor Ray DiCapua. He has been an incredible mentor to me these last four years. He somehow instilled enough confidence in me as an artist to pursue my dreams in a way I did not think was possible before. I felt numbingly mediocre when I started the program in 2011, and Ray has helped me gain a certain confidence in my work.

Was there a defining moment during your time at UConn?

In March 2014, I was a part of an invitational exhibition of sculpture with three of my colleagues in Willimantic. Having the full experience of curating my own work, installing a show, and hosting an exhibition really solidified what it is I want to do in the future. It gave me irreplaceable experience as I head into the “real world.”

As a UConn IDEA Grant recipient, what project did you pursue?

My IDEA grant was based on my inability to find room for my family’s narrative in what I learned of the Cuban Revolution in school. My exhibition showed interviews I conducted with my family members that juxtaposed and challenged widely believed notions of the impacts of the revolution.

Where are you headed after graduation?

In the fall, I will be an MFA and MA candidate at Purchase College in White Plains, N.Y. I’ll be pursuing sculpture and Latin American art history, as well as becoming involved in art as social change.

What will you miss most about UConn?

Well, what kept me here were the friends I made and the faculty I have worked with, so I will miss them most. However, I will also miss Wings Over Storrs because there isn’t one in New York City … yet.