Art, Community, and Pizza: A Conversation with Hampshire Alum Caterina Kenworthy 14F
Based in Northampton, Massachusetts, Kenworthy currently splits her time between Western Mass and Brooklyn, New York, where her family and business are located. We sat down with the recent alum to discuss her Hampshire experience, photography, and entrepreneurial endeavors.
Tell us about your experience at Hampshire.
I spent my Div III experimenting with the visual language that image makers use when depicting femininity. This exploration culminated in a photographic exhibition and publication of a book that elaborated on the work with poetry and additional images. With the help of my professors, I challenged myself to create a body of work that investigated and celebrated femininity without standardization or commodification. It was a project driven by dualities—bloom and decay, repulsion and desire, permission and denial, illusion and truth—and the way that these opposites inevitably bleed into each other to form a dialectical relationship, becoming more like counterparts.
“Hampshire taught me to foster a critical, but open, mind. I learned to experiment and recognize that mistakes and obstacles are as integral (if not more) to personal and professional development as accomplishments.”Caterina Kenworthy 14F
Did your experience at Hampshire influence your current work?
Above all, Hampshire taught me to foster a critical, but open, mind. I learned to experiment and recognize that mistakes and obstacles are as integral (if not more) to personal and professional development as accomplishments. My experience at Hampshire has touched everything I’ve done thereafter because it encouraged me to adopt a mindset full of curiosity, community care, risk, and creativity.
Can you share a bit about your most recent photo series?
My “Quarantine” series began on a whim during the first week of lockdown. After photographing Mr. Singh at Pop’s Package Store in Northampton and my housemate Lexi on our front steps, I thought, “What better way to spend quarantine than by making art and learning more about my community?” I posted on social media asking if any locals would want to pose for socially distant portraits at their homes and was overwhelmed by the number of responses. I ended up meeting and photographing over 30 people and had so many wonderful conversations in the process.
Tell us a bit about your family’s business, your involvement, and some of the projects you’ve worked on for them.
The foundation of La Rossi Pizza is the belief that good, wholesome food brings people together and has the power to strengthen community. Our local and sustainable recipe took years to perfect and features culinary technology that preserves nutrients, flavor, and freshness through a flash-freezing process. Getting the business off the ground was an all-hands-on-deck affair—I have done everything from mixing the tomato sauce and baking the pizzas to freezing and vacuum sealing them. I’ve made deliveries around New York City, developed designs for the packaging and website, and managed social media. Currently, I’m working on designing packaging for the La Rossi Capsule Collection, which will feature limited-time pizza collaborations with chefs in NYC that share similar values.
Lastly, what advice would you give to current/future Hampshire students?
The same advice I would give to anyone: staying true to yourself is more important than anything else!
View more of Caterina Kenworthy’s work on her Instagram.