UF alumna Katie Kashmiry (BAHA ‘08) will be donating 10 percent of her profits from her fine jewelry business over the next 12 months to the UF Center for Arts in Medicine. Kashmiry graduated from UF in 2008 with her degree in Art History. While at UF, Kashmiry volunteered on the pediatrics floor and in the bone marrow transplant unit at Shands Hospital. As an artist-in-residence, Kashmiry made art with kids who were receiving treatment, allowing them to have an escape through art.
“Volunteering at Shands impacted me in more ways than I expected,” Kashmiry said. “I always left the hospital with a sense of gratitude for life itself and with a heightened awareness of the importance of cultivating empathy for others.”
Often Kashmiry would simply keep the children company while they watched her make art. Kashmiry believes this human connection between the artist and the patient is powerful and was one of the things she enjoyed most during her time volunteering at Shands.
Today, Kashmiry runs a successful fine jewelry business based out of New York. All of her jewelry is hand crafted using traditional wax carving and hand fabrication techniques.Kashmiry believes in awareness and activism in the jewelry making business. She said she always strives to purchase gemstones that are responsibly sourced from conflict free environments and to work with recycled metals. Much of her jewelry is inspired by the textiles, prints and ceramics of the Middle East and India, and much of her design process is still based off the skills she learned as a student at the School of Art + Art History.
Kashmiry chose to donate 10 percent of her profits to the Center for Arts in Medicine because she believes that what the center is doing is very important.
“UF is at the forefront of research, education and outreach for the arts in medicine, and I’m really proud of that as an alumnus,” Kashmiry said.
Each year, Kashmiry donates a portion of her profits because she believes in “paying it forward” in business.
“I think everyone has some talent they can donate to others,” Kashmiry said. “While I was at UF, the arts in medicine program at Shands provided me with the platform to do just that. And I’m thankful. Donating to the Center is a way for me to express my gratitude.”