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Friday, October 20, 2017
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Center on Halsted


A Special LQBTQ Artists Gallery Opening Exhibit launches on Friday, October 20th, from 6:00-8:00 pm. The opening night event is the official premiere of the work by renowned artists Jess T. Dugan & Catherine Forester. Opening night reception will include a cash bar.

Jess T. Dugan - 2nd Floor Gallery
(b. 1986, Biloxi, MS) Lives and works in St. Louis, MO 

Jess T. Dugan is interested in representations of identity, particularly as they apply to LGBTQ communities. Commenced in 2013, To Survive on this Shore started from the recognition that, in representations of transgender and gender-nonconforming people in the media and the arts, older people feature very rarely in comparison with younger individuals. Dugan seeks to remedy this absence by photographing trans people aged fifty or older. She has produced over eighty works for the series in collaboration with Dr. Vanessa Fabbre, assistant professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, who conducted interviews of Dugan’s subjects. The paths of their subjects range widely and reveal the complexities of living a gender that doesn’t suit one’s identity. Dugan and Fabbre’s project underlines the fact that these older individuals paved the way for today’s greater tolerance toward transgender people, as well as those who identify outside the male/female binary. Jess T. Dugan’s work will also be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Photography as part of Disruptive Perspectives (October 12 – December 22).

Catherine Forester - 3rd Floor Gallery

The drawing series is an ongoing endeavor. The images evoke my struggle to understand the essence of womanhood, both as a female and a parent. As two daughters enter puberty, one for the second time, I question what it mean to be female, beyond the biological. How will my transgender daughter ever make up for the socialization she has missed? The subtle innuendoes that condition speech patterns, facial reactions, and hand movements, may determine her ability to “pass”, even more than the hormones she's taking to transform her appearance. How can she possibly catch-up, or should she? I worry about my 13 year old, what will she leave behind, or embrace, as she forgoes her childhood and becomes a young woman? What societal pressures will she succumb to? Can she hold on to her identity, cultivate her aspirations, or is she predestined to be a construct of her environs? These are questions I pondered daily.

The drawing series is installed along with the video "Me Not", which documents a woman attempting to remove the needles of a cactus. The piece references the childhood ritual of plucking flower petals while reciting “he loves me, he loves me not”, but “Me Not” is not playful. The video references gender non-conformity, violence against women (cis and trans), and resistance to cultural constructs of womanhood.

$5 Suggested Donation

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