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Vo Vo, Krista Cibis, Matt Perez, Mo Murshed, Payton Barronian, and Taylor Leigh,

Payton Barronian explores and recontextualizes his isolated adolescence as a closeted gay child in a conservative Christian environment in an attempt to understand and relate to more universal queer experiences. He studies, questions, and deconstructs the past to imagine a future present that challenges the restrictions of cis-heternormative time. Payton investigates themes and aesthetics like camp, kitsch, and glamour to build fantasies where himself and his extended community are highly visible, important, and empowered. He isolates and dissects dominant structures and symbols to better understand how they function as systems of oppression and to reconfigure them as spaces for empowerment.

Krista Anara Cibis is an artist/writer based in Portland, OR. She recently started a Pintuck, a textile design and artwear company. Her work is centered on observation of communication and culture. Materials and techniques are important aspects of her work, the materials often carry the meaning of the pieces. She primarily uses found materials and deconstructed textiles. Her works tend to be inquiry-led projects exploring layers of meaning. She chooses to use traditionally “feminine”materials and techniques (such as cloth and mending) in the world of contemporary art where the line between what is called craft and what is called fine art can be as thin as a needle and thread. Her work has been exhibited both nationally an
internationally and was the featured artist for the International Sculpture Conference in 2019. Her textile work will also be the imagery for conference materials for the upcoming national conference on Critical Care.

Taylor Leigh is a queer white cis-female artist originally from Portland, OR. Her work comes from a place of recognizing, honoring, and accounting for how these identities inform what she creates. She believes textiles carry a uniquely rich potential to both honor techniques past down through generations of multicultural practice and explore new methods of combining and interacting with these versatile soft materials. Her art practice operates from a queer framework by striving to continuously shift, reconsider and question the norms of the community she was raised in with an effort to promote an ever-expansive outlook. She does not intend to act as a representative of queer artists, as each of artist contains unique life histories that guide their artistic inquiries, but she is proud to offer her voice within her work. She finds that community involvement and participation is essential to generating contemplative artwork that provokes conversations and points of collaboration with other artists to form an ever-evolving and rich assemblage of narratives. She seeks to challenge the notion that artists must compete in order to achieve success, and instead finds the most hope in an art world that is inclusive – holding up an endless supply of artists each speaking from their own unique truths.

Mo is a Yemeni American Visual Artist that investigates colonialism, imperialism, sexism, and racism. He uses textiles as a fundamental subject to explore his past and offer a comprehensive, experiential understanding of culture and gender inequality in Yemen.
Textiles are essential; they have been a primary part of our life since the start of civilization. Utilizing textiles as a medium to synthesize the ideology and use fabrics to construct the meaning of the object within the culture.

Matt Perez is a Mexican American figurative sculptor who deals with issues concerning the hypervisibilty minorities experience in places that lack diversity. His sculptures range from textile creatures six inches tall to towering 11 foot figures Perez calls his companions. Perez is a recent graduate of Pacific Northwest College of Art, and was a panelist during the 2019 International Sculpture Conference discussion on Sculpture in the Classroom.

Vo is a radical educator of 11 years in over 20 countries in inclusion, racial justice, intercultural communication, Trauma-Informed Care, De-escalation and Restorative Justice. They have trained staff and Board from over 200 organizations in OR and WA. Editor of an internationally renowned publication, speaker, curator, artist and musician who has exhibited and toured in Australia, Germany, Indonesia, The Netherlands, Singapore, Croatia, Mexico, Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Vietnam, Sweden, Malaysia, and the States. Local festival organizer. One of the festivals they curate is IntersectFest: A Festival For and By People Of Color – now in it’s sixth year. It has featured over 200 Black, Indigenous, and POC artists, including dancers, poets, filmmakers, curators, visual artists and more. It also creates space to discuss radical political approaches to community organizing and artistic practice. Their recently initiated career as a visual artist has seen them primarily work in textiles, embroidery, weaving, and furniture building. Their installations seek to interrogate power dynamics, structural oppression, challenge histories and realities of imperialism, white supremacy and colonization.

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