Marley Wisby '22
I get to the front of the line and, “what would you like, ma’am?”, I wince, stand up straight, raise
my voice, and order.
Art is the communication I wish I could do in life. It is easier to grin and bear it and then
return home to make it into art.
The server comes up and starts with me, “sir, what can I get you to drink.” My mom’s eyes
widen, my dad starts “she’s not...”, I cut him off, “just water.”
Painting is always in need of further reclamation, it must filled out to fit the now.
I imagine if I were to die. My clueless disconsolate parents would weep, “she was so young...” My
obituary would read, “her life was cut short...”
Embroidery is painting queered. It is mark making with a history equally deep and rich
yet has been shoved down and disrespected.
The employee asks, “Did you find everything okay sir?” I hunch, lower my voice, “yes.”
Home and body are synonymous only when you make them be so. Cut parts off, sew
parts on, change your mind. Redecorate until you walk in and don’t want to leave.
We introduce ourselves and shake hands. As they let go they ask, “and what are your pronouns?”
I smile in spite of myself, “they/them.”
I make to multiply that breath of relief.
Rubie Loman '21
This acrylic self portrait is a reimagining of Jenny Saville’s painting Reflective Flesh. I yearned to emulate the luxurious nature in which Saville depicts flesh while also reflecting my own body and psyche onto her imagery. My own nude body appears boldly on the canvas, confronting the viewers gaze. The vagina is exposed directly and mirrored in a bloody form below. One of my breasts is wrenched to the side by a child who suckles it while the other feels the gravity of a breast pump to which it is suctioned. This piece simultaneously confronts what I felt was my only function in this world and what I hate most about myself. The piece is both soft and aggressive as it navigates the very fine line between the beauty of the feminine form and the toxicity of viewing my own body as an object of fertility and nothing else.
Chloe Christion '22
This mini-documentary acts as an ode to Black queer friendship cultivated within predominately white spaces. Preliminary research for the short film included consulting scholarly articles concerning the creation of Black space and identity in PWIs, and the ways that these spaces can often inhibit the social, emotional, mental, and academic performances of people of color. Black women are often praised for being resilient and strong, but that strength has its limits. The support that Black women desperately need but typically do not receive from professors or administration they must provide for themselves through creating close friendships and bonds within or outside of an institution. This film aims to provide a glimpse of what it looks like for queer Black women to disrupt their environments simply through existing and thriving despite structures set up against them. Using the city of Memphis as its backdrop and a soundtrack featuring musical selections from queer Black artists, the film also touches on the intersections between race, gender, class, and sexuality from the perspective of a native Memphian. This film relies on friendship, familiar intimate conversation, and joy in an effort to provide representation in a world in which black queer voices are often silenced and ignored.