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listening within

An artwork completed for inclusion in the exhibition Resonantly Me: A Queer Artist's Invitational at the Bakersfield Museum of Art.  The artwork was also selected as the cover image for the LA Department of Cultural Affairs and City of Los Angeles Heritage Month Celebrations Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Heritage Month (LGBT HM): June 2024.

A young me listens to the earth, hearing the mysterious heartbeat of queerness approaching...both fascinating and frightening. As I was growing up, I was aware something lingered beneath the surface inside my psyche that I didn't quite understand, but I knew there was something different about me. It felt simultaneously wonderful and frightening inside. I sensed a danger with its desire to emerge. I learned to hide it, to keep it buried, but there was actually no hiding it. There was little talk about what queerness was when I was a child, other than a deep fear of AIDS, the idea of being ostracized from family and society, and the dread of loneliness and confusion.  The struggle of growing up queer eventually gave way to amazing discoveries in adulthood. Oh yes, there were plenty of deep, dark challenges, but a rainbow of dazzling delights came along with them, making the journey worth it. I am proud to be and wholeheartedly embrace the concept of being queer. 


I included real roots, lots of textural elements, and even earthworms made out of glue and paint in the artwork. I was fascinated by earthworms as a child and continue to be as an adult and avid gardener. Earthworms are hermaphrodites and as Charles Darwin wrote in his final manuscript "It may be doubted if there are any other animals which have played such an important part in the history of the world as these lowly organized creatures." Their queer power makes flourishing life possible.

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