Friday the 13th was the 2011 Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Student Colloquium at PSU. I've always been skeptical that Friday the 13th could be unlucky, but after dragging my friend around on a wild goose chase around campus for at least a half hour or two, looking for the building where the social justice art show was and just not finding it... I was rethinking my stance on superstition.
I did end up making it to one of the events, though, and it was a pretty rockin' one too, so the day wasn't all disappointment. The keynote speaker, Molly Landreth, was presenting/discussing her photography on the same floor that I had my french class, so I managed to stumble into that just by sheer dumb luck. She's a local(ish) artist (I consider Seattle fairly local) whose current project is called "Embodiment," which is a series a portraits that document and attempt to un-marginalize the queer community. After watching her presentation, I was struck by the way she captures her subjects... it just feels so honest. I also love her ability to evoke different moods, which range from quirky/fun to serious to sweet/intimate/tender. If you look through the photographs on her website, you'll see what I mean. Do it. Now. http://mollylandreth.com/
Her discussion about her work was, dare I say, equally as interesting as her work itself. In telling her story she said something that stuck with me. She said that she had to allow herself to take herself seriously. She had to believe that her voice and work were important. She said that it took guts at first, but was also really empowering. And that's how she made it. I think that's a really inspiring and important idea... as an aspiring artist myself, I often don't consider my work worthy of seriousness, because I'm just starting/not good enough yet/too young/ect. I have a lot of artist friends who are similar. And I think this is holding us back. Maybe this is something we all need to remember. So I'm telling you, my adored and valued reader, that your voice is important. And I believe you have an obligation to yourself to let it be heard. So whether that be art, writing, activism, or whatever else it is you're doing... do it loud and apologetically. Allow yourself to take your work seriously. Don't lose your sense of humour, but never hold yourself back.