On Tuesday Mar. 20, the Stonewall Center of the University of Massachusetts Amherst hosted a LGBTQIA+ Art Showcase and Open Mic night. Held in Bartlett Hall, the event was broken up into two parts.
The night started off with snacks and a gallery walk. The gallery featured over 15 artists with art pieces ranging from paintings, embroidery, photography, knitting, and more. People were able to walk through and admire the work that artists created as a rotation of chill music, like Solange’s latest album When I Get Home, played in the background.
#1 Lately, presently feeling surreal Something I am doing, or not? How can I fix it, or not? Is it the flower? Is it the sleep? Is it the isolation? Are these explanations or the solution? Interrogating myself, my care, my love How do I relate Or not? Feeling my eyes lowering tingling forcing my body to relax, ease the tense of the day or prepare for it Take in the fatigue, the euphoria all at once know that whatever you may call it it is something felt and that may be enough for now.
#2 Stop trying to write the universe. Let the universe speak in all the ways even the mundane can open up galaxies.
#3 The things we do not know are mysteries quite literally If and only if one is in pursuit of Truth If not, Ignorance may very well be bliss but it will never fix the pain of tomorrow’s unknown Or enjoy its beauty I live to seek and I will surely find Truth through the mysteries and Unfortunate events of life.
Juana Valdes, printmaking professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, acknowledges that students and faculty of color deserve a platform and a community that makes them comfortable and creates a space where students can get together to share ideas and beliefs.
“Often times, there is not enough importance put to these situations and these issues are not addressed as quickly as they need to be addressed,” Valdes said.
Valdes recalls gravitating towards making art as a junior in high school, when she was put in various creative classes. She now sees it as an opportunity to express her perception of the world.
“As a woman, as a woman of color and as an immigrant, I feel that I’m at an intersection of a lot of discriminations and push-backs of my ideas and beliefs, so I have decided to use my work as a vehicle to communicate what it’s likes to be in my position.”
Reflect/Respond: A Limón Dance Legacy Concert, which fused dance and spoken word, was held in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Fine Arts Center Concert Hall on Friday, Jan. 25.
The event captivated audience members with the dancers’ leaps, turns, and intricate dance moves. Not only did the dancing impact the viewers but a powerful message on love being love no matter who it is, took over the latter half of the performance.