Exhibit Page Two

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Artists included on this page: Karen Miranda Augustine, Rory Midhani, Marlon Tobias, and NM Flores.

Lorena Escalera Xtravaganza by Karen Miranda Augustine (Canada)

Lorena Escalera Xtravaganza was a Brooklyn-based, transgender performer with the House of Xtravaganza. She was murdered in 2012. Although this crime received some media attention, the murder of Black trans people usually doesn't even though they are targeted and killed at an alarmingly high rate. And it's not just in the mainstream but within the Black community as well. I included her in Painted Love: Requiems for Salacious Sex Queens — my series of mixed-media portraits on deceased, sex industry-involved women. From Plasmatics frontwoman Wendy O. Williams to acclaimed writer Maya Angelou, the series celebrates the humanity of these women to defy simplistic, polarizing understandings of the ways in which they participated in the industry and the broad trajectory their lives had reached. It was a way to show respect for their dignity and visibility of their presence — a way to offer reverence.

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Karen Miranda Augustine is a Canadian mixed-media artist whose works have exhibited in Canada, the US, Scotland, and Haiti. She has been published and cited in various books and publications, including Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, Caribbean InTransit Arts Journal, The Queer Encyclopedia of the Visual Arts (Cleis Press), and The Art of Reflection: Women Artists’ Self-Portraiture in the Twentieth Century (Columbia University Press). Her creative projects ride on the confluence of sex, pop culture, spirituality, and loss in relation to the broader life experiences of women and girls. She is an emerging death doula and holds an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from York University.

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Trans People Cuddling In Bed by Rory Midhani (Germany)

My submitted painting is part of an ongoing series of paintings I am working on all about what it means to inhabit a trans body. All too often when trans bodies are discussed or depicted from a cis perspective the focus is either on the trans body as a sexual object or the trans body as a site of trauma. This is a tragic reduction. Everybody has a body - cis and trans people alike, and bodies are capable of an infinite number of things. Bodies host and perform a myriad of different functions, movements, sensations, and appearances. Trans bodies eat and dance and sleep and hold each other just like cis ones do and I believe it is important to make images that celebrate that.

[Update 4/2/22: For more information and to view a larger version of this piece, contact the artist.]

Rory Midhani is a visual artist making paintings, murals, and assembled cardboard scenes. He makes work about queer & trans people living their lives and loving it. His self-directed artworks have been featured in publications and exhibitions across Europe and North America, and he has worked as an illustrator for a wide-reaching international client base. Past clients include Buzzfeed, Transgender Europe, the AIDs Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, Autostraddle, Planned Parenthood, Flow Magazine and medium.com. Rory lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

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FISH! by Marlon Tobias (USA)

'Fish' is used as a term of endearment in the trans community. A deconstructed toy fish bowl kit is reconstructed to bring awareness to the trans community and pay homage to their transformative ingenuity. The small fish bowl is cut in half and made into a skirt adorning a bold and bodacious trans woman in all her glory. The drawing is rendered in the style of a fashion sketch to connote the fashion industry's impact on the gay Ball scene, a space crafted and cultivated by Black trans women for all LGBTQ, non-binary people. Her belt buckle with the number 35 signifies the average lifespan of a black trans woman and different pieces in the toy kit serve as accents for the piece.

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Marlon Tobias is a figurative artist who approaches his work with the eye of an archivist and the heart of an empath. As a New York native born from a mother of southern roots and a father of Jamaican descent, he is informed by the African diaspora's history and multifaceted spirit.

He has shown in numerous galleries, including the Caroyln M. Wilson Gallery, The Centre Gallery, and the Carrollwood Cultural Center. Marlon Tobias received his Bachelor's degree in Communications and Design at Florida A&M University and is completing his Master's degree in Studio Art at the University of South Florida.

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Pink Balloonz by NM Flores (USA)

Pink Balloonz is a memoir zine inspired by artist and author Cristy C. Road, that I created to explain my own personal journey of understanding my gender identity. Using an autobiographical approach mixed with abstract mixed media art, I collected photos from my childhood to present time to showcase my lived experiences chronologically. I chose to edit the photographs of the first seven panels in black and white, with pops of pink to symbolize how I felt limited by my gender identity as a woman before understanding myself as non-binary. The final two panels feature photographs in full color as I came into my own understanding. My choice to have varying background art through each of the panels represents my anxious desire to fill dead space, both artistically and literally, as this desire is one that keeps me pushing forward in self-understanding and creation.

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Nina-Marie (NM) Flores is in their last semester of undergrad at the University of South Florida. Majoring in Women's and Gender studies, their research interests include gender creative parenting, children’s literature, and synthesizing academia with mixed media art. NM was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and currently resides in Seminole Heights with their husband, Alex and a thirteen year old manx kitty named Mazie.

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