reflect / project is an ongoing exhibition series featuring socially engaged video work by artists who identify as LGBTQIA+, Black, Indigenous, and/or persons of color.
The reflect / project exhibition series originated in fall 2020. This series grew from the racial reckoning, shifting policy regarding LGBTQIA+ people, and the global pandemic that cracked open a vision of long-standing inequity. reflect / project serves to amplify underrepresented artists while creating a public space for viewers to consider their position in our rapidly changing world. Artists have responded to violence and discrimination throughout history and the creative works that emerged have endured over time. They become the artifacts that society measures us by, how we are remembered, and a guide to the future.
Works are projected on the street-facing gallery wall of the subCulture Lab at Mid-America Arts Alliance for one month, with new content premiering on the first Friday of each month. Additionally, selected artists will be asked to choose two artists (of any discipline) whose work will be hosted online as a complement to the work displayed in the subCulture Lab.
July 2–July 31
Sav Rodgers is a filmmaker and writer from Kansas City. His work often centers on the queer experience through a comedic or personal lens. He is the director of CHASING CHASING AMY, a feature documentary about the cultural impact of Chasing Amy (1997) on the greater LGBTQ+ community and the profound, lasting impression on his own life. Sav also delivered a TED Talk on the subject titled “The rom-com that saved my life.”
Please be advised. This work references acts of violence and contains adult language
Sav Rodgers, No Reason for Celebration, 2020; Archival footage documentary, Time: 10:30; Courtesy of the artist.
Madeline Holland (they/them or she/her) is a queer, non-binary, neurodivergent programmer and immersive media artist interested in educational and empathy-building applications of virtual reality, specifically its use by marginalized and underrepresented communities to share their own life experiences.
Feeling Green can be viewed as-is on a desktop computer, but it can be experienced more fully as an immersive animation with a VR headset or by using the Youtube mobile app for Apple or Android in conjunction with a smartphone headset such as Google Cardboard or something more DIY.
Madeline Holland (3-D art and 3-D animation) with Kay Holland (2-D animation) and CUTE ERROR (music), Feeling Green, 2020; Immersive music video, Time: 5:27; Courtesy of the artists
Working primarily in the realm of self-portraiture and narrative, Hannah McBroom depicts the transgender body as something familiar while exploring the politics of trans and cis culture. Her recent work deals with identities and themes found in trans pornography, specifically the way that bodies are depicted within the industry.
Hannah McBroom (b. 1993, Columbus, MS) graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with an emphasis in Painting, which she followed up with a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Arkansas in 2019. She has attended residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Chautauqua School of Art, and has exhibited nationally and internationally including The Red Clay Survey (Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL), Tapped (Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH), and International Painting Annual #6 and #9. She was also the recipient of an Artists 360 grant through the Mid-America Arts Alliance in 2018.
Hannah McBroom, Fixate, 2019; oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches; Courtesy of the artist.
Hannah McBroom, Ghost, 2018-19; oil on sewn canvas, 84 x 74 inches; Courtesy of the artist.
Hannah McBroom, Holy, 2018-19; oil on canvas, 72 x 72 inches; Courtesy of the artist.
Hannah McBroom, Slip Away, 2018-19; oil on canvas, 60 x 72 inches; Courtesy of the artist.
Hannah McBroom, What You Came For, 2019; oil on canvas, 40 x 48 inches; Courtesy of the artist.
To view Rodriguez’s April exhibition, visit this page.
April’s exhibition is from El Paso, Texas artist Xochitl Rodriguez. Grown Without Water is a collective video/oral history project that explores how the US/México border between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez marks and defines perseverance on a twenty-first-century border. Confronting tragedy and magic at once, the film, documenting and translating the stories of real women who are between the ages of twenty-eight and thirty-eight, provides an alternate lens through which to view border crossing, tragedy, and brown-skinned women.
Xochitl Rodriguez was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. In 2009, she accepted an invitation from Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck as Bhutan’s first artist in residence. In 2011, Rodriguez moved to the middle of America to participate in the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project. She returned home to initiate the Caldo Collective, a non-profit organization. In 2016, she organized Boundless Across Borders—a womxn’s march on the border and Braiding Borders | Trenzando Fronteras. In 2018, Rodriguez and her daughter served as ambassadors for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s We Will Not Be Tamed Campaign. The artist also was awarded an Interchange grant, M-AAA’s program that supports artists working as change agents and connectors in the region.
To view Ellison’s May exhibition, visit this page.
May’s exhibition is from Houston, Texas artist Brian Ellison. UnMASKunlinity, which explores the complexity of African American masculinity by documenting the daily lives of the Black experience and same-gender loving comradery, simultaneously creating safe spaces for Black men to engage in this dialogue. By dismantling the stigma associated with Black masculinity and speaking about subjects that are traditionally taboo in the Black community, the film impacts viewers and participants by allowing them to gain perspective on how the emotional boundaries that were created centuries ago, beginning with American slavery, have been passed down—reflected in how today’s Black men understand and experience their emotions.
Brian Ellison is a self-taught photographer, cinematographer, and conceptual visual artist. He is the director and producer of the film UnMASKulinity and the founder of The Black Man Project. Ellison believes there is no limit to self-expression and that art is a universal language that can be the catalyst for healing. Through his lens, Ellison documents the everyday Black experience such as gentrification’s impact on historical communities, under-publicized Black love and comradery, parenthood, and the persistent courage of Black women and men.
To view Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective June exhibition, visit this page
Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective piece WADE is a work from the multi-year project titled, The WHY of MY City. The WHY of MY City captures and documents black history through written word and art and gives audiences insight into neighbors’ lives. The WHY of MY City and WADE were presented in 2020 with support from Mid-America Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Humanities Council, a state agency, National Endowment for the Humanities, Missouri Foundation for Health, and Kranzberg Arts Foundation. Story Stitchers published an album titled The WHY of MY City which contains WADE and a podcast series, StitchCast Studio Special Edition: The WHY of MY City in spring 2021.
Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective was founded in 2013 to combat gun violence. Incorporated as a charity in 2014, Story Stitchers creates a platform for community engagement through an artistic lens to shift perceptions and inspire hope for the Saint Louis community. Through a unique form of “urban storytelling,” Story Stitchers promote peace, understanding, and civic pride.
reflect / project is an extension of Mid-America Arts Alliance’s Interchange program in collaboration with its Arts and Humanities Programming Division. It is supported in part by the City of Kansas City, Missouri Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund.