On view March 10 2023 to March 31 2023

Opening reception March 10 6pm to 9pm

Closing reception March 31 Transgender Day of Visibility, 6pm to 8pm

A new group exhibition called VIVID comes to Gallery CA in March 2023. Co-created by a team of trans femme and queer artists (Terra Swann & Daina Reszneki & S.M. Prescott, with mentorship from Rahne Alexander) and a public health researcher-aspiring artist (Mannat Malik). VIVID is a coming together of ways of knowing and telling sometimes cast as contradictory, mismatched, and worlds apart.

VIVID is a response to the rivalry between the arts and quantitative data, investigating histories of distrust between transgender communities and researchers born from legacies of research that reduced transgender people to their hardships or failed to see them at all. The artists weave their mediums and data points from a study of transfeminine people across the Eastern and Southern U.S. (called the LITE study) to (re)tell and make visible their own stories about gender expression and mental health and families and spirituality and more.

We invite the public to join us in a joyful installation of fashion designs, poetry and paintings, textiles, and data sharing. VIVID includes participatory art elements and we look forward to sharing in making and remaking with you.

The opening reception will be held on Friday, March 10 from 6 PM to 9 PM and will feature light fare, with the exhibiting artists introducing their works. The closing reception will be held on Friday, March 31 from 6 PM to 8 PM (also featuring light fare) and is meant to honor Transgender Day of Visibility by bringing together local trans-artist-activists for a panel discussion about leveraging arts for community organizing and to amplify community needs.

We will share updates on exhibition programming through the Gallery CA Instagram page @GalleryCA and our VIVID Facebook event.

VIVID is made possible with support from the LITE & ENCORE studies and the Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research (Adolescent and Young Adult Working Group Microgrant).

About the Artists

Terra Swann (She/Her) is an East Baltimore, MD native and self-taught sketch artist influenced by literature and European art, and fashion design. Terra hopes to establish a career as a fashion artist by intertwining ways of creating that are based on both fashion design and visual arts. Her work for VIVID explores ways of expressing our genders, fluidity, and diversities in all of their complexity, through fashion. Her art experience and background span volunteering and learning at institutions such as Baltimore City Community College, School 33, Pride Center of Maryland, Amassi Center of Maryland, Art with a Heart, and Baltimore School for the Arts.

Daina Reszneki (She/Her) has had a lifelong fascination with artistic expression. She spent her pre-teen and teenage years at a magnet arts school in North Carolina. In college, she spent far more time on her poetry and in and out of the workshop, than any of her studies. She fell out of the creative mindset after transitioning, until stumbling back into it through VIVID. Her work uses painting and the written word to tell stories of mental health, families, and accepting and loving her body.

For most of S.M. Prescott’s (They/Them) life (born Bossier City, Louisiana in 1993), their father was the pastor of a tiny country church in the woods. They seek to both respect and subvert the time-honored craft tradition of banner-making in the American church. Church banners have historically been used to commemorate moments of jubilee. It is this same commitment to reveling in joy that fuels their work. Often times queer and trans life is reduced to struggle and oppression. Prescott’s banners assert that while these are essential aspects of our lives, it cannot be the only narrative we tell, to ourselves or each other.

About the Curators

Mannat Malik (She/Her) is a PhD student at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health and former Research Program Coordinator at the Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has a background in community-engaged health equity research and spent 5 years coordinating studies with transgender and non-binary Baltimoreans. She cares deeply about using research for community-led advocacy and coupling research and arts to tell complicated stories about community strengths.

Rahne Alexander (She/Her) is an intermedia artist and writer from Baltimore. She is a 2021 graduate of the Intermedia+Digital Arts MFA at UMBC and a 2021 Baker Artist Prize Awardee. More info at rahne.com

About the LITE & ENCORE studies

The LITE study was one of the largest and longest-running studies for transfeminine people in the U.S. Over 1,300 transfeminine people from the Eastern and Southern U.S. participated between 2018 and 2021. The research team collected data on a wide range of health and social topics, with a focus on sexual health and HIV prevention and treatment needs. This month, it will continue under the new name ENCORE and expand nationwide. The research team is committed to using study data to support and empower transfeminine communities. More info at https://www.litestudy.org/

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