Over the past several months, I’ve joined artists Alexander Nowik, Billy Douglas, and Steven Pomeroy under the leadership of Thomasina DeMaio and with the help of trans activist Donna Persona. Well over 100 portraits of local trans community members on display, including photographs, paintings, digital drawings and graphite.
As each person sat for their portraits, they told us of incredible stories of survival in the face of widespread bigotry and transphobia. Here’s what Thomasina DeMaio had to say about the project:
“It has been a joy working with my fellow artists on this Donna Personna project..she has put her heart and soul into bringing to studio not only leaders in this community of transgenders but individuals with stories and histories that changed and educated me as to who and what its all about.It has been enlightening and I feel privileged to be able to participate in documenting this incredible community. Our intention is to leave behind a comprehensive series seen through 6 different artists eyes for the public to view ,eventually in a book( fund raising for trans issues) and for the public to embrace and understand what has been in front of them for years and is not going away. Two spirit individuals are powerful, special and simply a force to be reckoned with. I will always treasure this experience and I thank each and everyone of our subjects for taking the time to come and sit for us…you made it happen!”