“If you, yourself, are not of trans experience, understanding isn’t necessarily a possibility. That’s not the end goal, The end goal is more of how do you make space for that which you can never understand.” - Acey Mercer, Training Institute for Gender, Relationships, Identity & Sexuality
With my printmaking work, I highlight the changes and experiences that aren’t inherently visible from transitioning from one gender to another. Quite often transgender individuals are seen in society more so as a before and after photo, showcasing our bodies rather than our minds. Using processes such as screen and woodblock printing to explain my journey I show that every trans person’s journey is different, and I stress the importance of starting conversations that may be difficult about mental health, maintaining relationships, and personal growth.
Through my work I let these conversations serve as moments of education for those who may be unfamiliar with the trans experience. Quite often my work deals with personal trauma, as creating helps me process these traumatic events that I have experienced in my life thus far. These may not always stem directly from the fact that I identify as transgender, but they all have shaped the way in which I carry myself through difficult times.
When viewing my work makes people question their comfort levels, I feel as if I have succeeded with my intention to make space for difficult conversations to be had. Much like Jenny Holzer’s work in the early ’80s, you are forced to confront your own held opinions and beliefs, while opening yourself up to hearing others.
What is your most memorable
experience at KCAD?
I don't believe I have one specific moment that I can pinpoint as my most memorable at KCAD. I think every moment shared with the friends that I have made throughout my five years is what made my college experience memorable. To me, the best part of KCAD was being able to share space with other amazing artists, students, and professors alike. That's what made it worth it.
What are your most
I would say my most notable accomplishment would be applying what I learned at KCAD to form my own small business, Transfigure Print Co. TFPC is an LGBTQIA+ inclusive screen printing studio that caters to other small businesses by printing for them. We also donate a large portion of our funds to trans centered non-profits and organizations. Immediately after taking Intro to Printmaking, I knew I wanted to make apparel, so I started to do so by printing with woodblocks. Soon after I took a screen printing class that focused on paper prints and I taught myself how to transfer that knowledge to printing on fabric.
The rest is history.