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.
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.
I’ve always romanticized the idea of space, and the escapism that tends to come with depression. I remember reading an article a while ago about a new planet in our solar system. Quite possibly, my own lack of stability with stress from my first semester of college is the result of some astral changes happening right now in this galaxy, and I’m not just talking about the usual Mercury retrograde. There are infinite ways to measure the ambiguity of growing up and constantly feeling like you’re floating in a liminal space, and for me, collaging was the perfect medium.