Artist Reception: Grayson Colbert

[Image description: A rectangular graphic with colorful banners at the top and bottom. The upper banner has white text with a black background that reads "Fine Art Galleries" with the Fine Art Galleries at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center logo in white. Under this reads, ”Translations" in black text. Black text below reads “Artwork by Grayson Colbert (they/them)” . Black text underneath has the dates the exhibit is open. The venue name and address are in the lower left corner. To the right is the logo for PA Humanities. The right side of the graphic has an image of a trans body with kink-wear referenced in this art exhibit.] 

We are so excited to present our latest exhibition "Translations" by Grayson Colbert (they/them). The exhibit will be in both of our Fine Art Galleries at the center from June 27th through August 26th. Mark your calendars for July 7th from 6-8pm to meet the artist personally and celebrate Pride! There will be food, music, and wonderful conversation. Read more about this exhibit below. For any questions about this exhibit, please reach out to [email protected]

Artist Bio:

Grayson Izekiel Colbert is a young Black, trans & nonbinary queer artist and tattoo artist, born and raised near Chicago in Evanston, IL , and currently lives and works in NYC. They are in their final year studying Fine Art and Printmaking at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan. Their work focuses on identity, advocacy, and representation. Their artistic practice has an emphasis on community-building and mutual aid, especially for Black trans folks. Their work is cross-disciplinary, and ranges from colorful digital art, to textile work to tattoos.

Artist Statement:

Translations is a culmination of Grayson Izekiel Colbert’s  works created in the past five years.

The complex intersections of marginalized identity heavily inspire Grayson Izekiel Colbert’s art-making process. Their work functions in the same way that the melting pot of the communities that they place themself within do, separate entities living in unity. Most of their work deals with transness, the body, community, and relationships. Colbert’s multimedia works employ a variety of materials and ways of working that come together into a cohesive whole for a shared common interest: forming their personal experiences, thoughts, joys, and struggles as a Black, trans, queer person into something very public. 

Some of the mediums they use include drawing, painting, sculpture, and textile work. Their textile pieces incorporate drawing, text, hand-sewing, personal objects, and printmaking such as cyanotype and linocut. These pieces harp on the relationship of fabric and textile to the body through their shared vulnerability and ability to be cut and stitched, transformed, and molded into something new, much like the ways that they have changed throughout their physical transition. These same sentiments are brought up again in the literal permanent body alterations that Colbert performs on members of their community as an act of love and connection. Their 2D drawings and paintings exist in a world full of color, from rainbows to the trans pride flag colors. This world of color celebrates transness and queerness, embraces what makes us different, and places marginalized bodies and experiences in a space that not only normalizes, but also uplifts. Just as it is difficult for them to place themself within a box of specific identity labels, they choose not to confine themself to specific materials and processes, as they are constantly exploring new ways of working and making.

As a person on the margins, creating raw, honest, and open art is important for the sake of both Colbert themself as an individual, as well as their communities. With these works they aim to create a visual representation of singular moments and lapses of time within their body and lived experience. Although this work tends to be extremely personal, it is also in a way universal. Imagine showing the whole world your personal diary. Through text, imagery, and self-portraits, this is what Colbert’s work is. Documenting and sharing these intimate parts of themself connects them to many other people with similar lived experiences, and allows these people to see a true representation of a reflection of themselves, which is something that holds great value in a world that is built against us.

July 07, 2022 at 6:00pm - 8pm
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center
522 W Maple St
at Bayard Rustin Way
Allentown, PA 18101
United States
Google map and directions
Gabby Hochfeld · · (610) 347-9988 x 200

Will you come?