Opening night for Queer, gender expression art exhibition

Queer expression exhibition open to the public through the month of April

Secretary+Nick+Vyas+gives+an+opening+speech+at+the+Queer+Joy+and+Expression+Exhibition%2C+March+29

KHOI VU

Secretary Nick Vyas gives an opening speech at the Queer Joy and Expression Exhibition, March 29

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Life editor

The Gender Sexuality Alliance held the opening night for their Queer Joy and Expression Exhibition Tuesday evening.

The exhibition was held at the WSU Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center, and the artists’ work was set up around the room for people to look at.

Mozi Jones, First-year Master of Fine Arts student, submitted some photography she has been working on.

Jones worked at a drag club for a while and decided to implement her photographic passion into her drag work and started documenting the behind-the-scenes of her drag experience.

“There were multiple viewpoints coming together, like people I’ve met either through serving there or through my [photography] career or just being a drag queen,” she said.

Jones is hoping to take the pieces she submitted for the exhibit and turn them into a set people can walk into.

She wants to set up the costumes surrounding the art so there is something to interact with rather than only looking at pictures, she said.

“But, I’ve been waiting for a place to show those [photos],” Jones said. “I’m really excited to be involved in this.”

Jones randomly met Nick Vyas, senior genetics and cell biology major and GSA secretary, who helped put on the exhibit, when she was doing an open mic night at The Land, she said.

Vyas, along with a few other GSA members, encouraged her to submit her work, she said.

At first, she was skeptical because she had another gallery going on at the time and did not know what pieces to submit.

She eventually found some art that did not work with her initial gallery and decided to submit those, she said.

“Now that I’m plugged in, I’m hoping to start performing in drag again and getting involved in the shows and with GSA a little bit more,” Jones said. “It’s so nice to be here.”

Before the opening exhibit, Jones invited the photography class she TAs for to accompany her to the show.

She was able to share her work with the students and she said it was an interesting way to show them different opportunities available to them.

“I think that was probably the most rewarding thing for me, is being able to take my students with me,” she said. “This is more personal work that I don’t get to show very often.”

One of the artists recited a poem they wrote for the exhibit about what queer joy means to them, which is knowing and owning who you are as well as going through the discovery process.

Along with the poem, paintings and photos are set up around the room and will be available to look at for the month of April at GIESORC in the Compton Union Building Room 401.

Vyas said he is happy with how the event came together because GSA has been working on it for a couple of months.

The exhibit was meant to be built around the Trans Day of Awareness on March 31, which usually holds some trauma for certain people, Vyas said.

“We wanted to turn that around and focus on the joy,” Vyas said. “To ask people to bring in their art that they found during their life where they felt joyful with their identities.”

Vyas entered a piece that does not express joy, he said. That piece shows a negative emotion but expresses the joy the artist felt by creating it; being able to express themselves in one way or another.

“Even if it’s not joyful for me, being able to express myself is,” he said.

Multiple students had the opportunity to show what queer joy means to them, and many involved with GSA voiced their excitement about the attendance, especially since the exhibition was set up to express who each of them really are.