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Exhibit Celebrates Trans Artists With Self Portraits And Poetry

"Mi Familia" by Monix Villamar - DeVillan

An art exhibit opening Tuesday at the Price Hill Library highlights self portraits by transgender artists paired with responsive poems by local poets. It's titled InsideOut: An Affirming Epiphany.

The exhibit is curated by Saad Ghosn and grew out of a workshop created by artist Jay DeFazio. His project "Inside Out" is a community-based art initiative "celebrating the strength, beauty, and resiliency of transgender individuals." He helps workshop participants conceive and create mixed-media self portraits.

?"It can be abstract; it can be literal," DeFazio explains. "It can be metaphorical; it can be words. This doesn't have to be representative of your entire life, this could be one aspect of who your are. Any part of your identity."

Credit Provided
Untitled self portrait by Ashton Michael Lee.

Twenty-eight artists contributed portraits for the exhibit. Each is paired with a description provided by the artist and a poem from a Greater Cincinnati poet reflecting on an individual piece.

"For everyone, I think it was really a journey of learning and understanding," Ghosn says. "I think this dialog and this collaboration and the book that resulted from it, and the exhibit, open horizons for our own reality and put us more in touch with who we are and also with the other - with the complexity, the diversity and richness of who we are as humans."

Ghosn says he thinks everyone can learn something from the exhibit. We're all different, he says, but we all add beauty to this world.

Credit Provided
Artist Statement by Eeny Meeny Miny Moni: Caterpillars don't have genders, they simply show up looking fabulous... And so do I!

InsideOut: An Affirming Epiphany runs June 1 through July 3 at the Price Hill library. It's open during library hours.

Two events will accompany the exhibit. They are:

  • Saturday, June 12, 2-5 p.m.: A book launch, poetry reading and opportunity to meet participating visual artists and poets
  • Saturday, June 26, 2-5 p.m.: A panel discussion on LGBTQA+ personal, social and legal considerations, with panelists: Ashton Michael, Lee, Phebe Beiser and Scott Knox; followed by a poetry reading
Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.