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The UMass Stonewall Center and the Student Union Art Gallery welcome you to Queer & Trans Visions, an LGBTQ+ visual art showcase. 


The title of this show is intended to capture a variety of art pieces that center the lives, voices, experiences and perspectives of LGBTQIA+ people. We welcomed all interpretations of this concept from our contributing artists and curated a show that conveys a deep diversity of subjects and ideas that capture and consume our community’s attention. 


Visitors may scroll down through the exhibit and click on the images to open them in detailed view. We invite all visitors to engage with the show by signing our guest book and leaving comments about the exhibit or comments for our contributing artists at


Important Content Notices:

Please be advised that some art pieces included in this show depict imagery of, or allude to, the following sensitive topics: anxiety and emotional distress; OCD and delusional states; trauma; misgendering; outing; body horror and dysphoria; blood, gore, or disturbing imagery; mensuration; religious references; homophobia, racism, transphobia, and xenophobia; stalking; sexual references and sensuality; drug and alcohol references; death and grieving; death and violence; gun violence; threats of violence to others; use of the N word and F word; and may contain the use of profanity and/or other explicit language.


Benefit Show info:


Stonewall and SUAG are honored to have partnered with the Trans Asylum Seeker Support Network (TASSN) in the creation of this exhibit. Visitors will notice a number of pieces submitted by TASSN affiliates and pieces intentionally created to call attention to the border crisis, refugees, and the memory and honor of those who journey seeking a better life. 


This collaborative project serves as a benefit show to raise funds for the Trans Asylum Seeker Support Network. Funds raised through this show will help fund their support services and mutual-aid projects. 


We welcome our visitors to learn more about their important work and make a contribution to TASSN at


Learn more about TASSN's work here:


Stonewall Virtual Community info:

This semester the Stonewall Center is operating virtually. Those seeking to connect with the center or the greater LGBTQ+ community at UMass are welcome to join our virtual community on the Discord platform here:

Alice Erickson

Student, UMass Amherst

​​I am an artist, advocate, mom, survivor, currently living in Western Massachusetts. My performance art, installation, and mixed-media work explore private worlds of feminine trauma and resilience. I create narratives that interrogate traditional womanhood, body/beauty obsession, compulsory heterosexuality, the cultural reverence of women's suffering, and the denigration of the divine feminine.

Rupture, return.

Digitally altered collage (magazine clippings, beads, metal grommets on wood).

This image is of a mixed media art piece that was digitally altered. The image is layered with a background rectangle shape of greyish, tan, white, and teal swirl pattern upon which is another rectangular background shape of horizontal mixed blue/white wisps. In this frame there are two large figures of fair skinned people with short bluish grey hair, standing shoulder to shoulder looking opposite of each other both wearing black dresses. Each figure has one half of a set of wings protruding from their outer shoulder and different designs on their chests. Across their lower legs is a rainbow pattern, with two smaller figures in tan also standing side-by-side. There are 6 metal grommets scattered across the lower half of the painting in an arch shape.
This is a mixed media piece of art made on a square shaped wood surface with wood grain visible throughout. The background is painted a deep red tone with tiled drawings in pencil in the background of different female presenting figures sketched in pencil. These little tiled sketches fill the background frame.   In front of the background image is a large pencil sketch of a female figure in white-wash to the right and a large image to the left of the English alphabet summary page of an antique style book. The image includes cursive upper and lower case, and print serifed font  in upper and lower case of each letter in the alphabet.


Watercolor, ink, gesso, graphite, gender performativity, social construction theory, antique textbook cover on wood.

A.L.R. Keaton

UMass Amherst Alumni (MFA), Community Member
Support this artist:

The first in a series of self-portraits exploring the theme of restraint as imposed from both within and without.

This image is a square shaped portrait made of graphite pencil and colored pencil on paper. The image centers a sketched and colored self-portrait of the artist. The portrait is of a person with angular masculine face structure, light peach to warm pink toned skin, short reddish orange toned hair, and green/blue eyes with rectangular glasses. The artist is wearing a red toned crew neck t-shirt. The piece is well shaded out using light and color to show direction of lighting from the right of the image.  Over laid on this portrait is pencil sketchings of hands grasping around the forehead, covering the mouth, and cradling the chin and cheeks. These are layered creating a multidimensional emotional effect and story  to the portrait.

 Self-Restraint #1

Colored pencil and graphite on paper


Student, UMass Amherst

Digital image. A large dog is in a curled position, sleeping next to a large Squishmallow stuffed animal.



Sleepy dog cuddles with squishmallow.

Bex Deck

Student, UMass Amherst

The piece features a colorful flower floating in water. The flower and its colors are meant to represent the uniqueness of every person and emphasize that queer is beautiful. As each person grows into themselves they blossom and are reborn, represented by the flower blooming in life-giving waters.

In Full Bloom

Drawing - Colored Pencils

A square shaped drawing using colored pencils. The image centers a five leafed flower in the center with shaded and mixed green, yellow, tan, and red tones and well defined veins throughout each leaf. There is a center point in the flower with wavy structures protruding upward. The flower is situated in water shaded with ripple effects moving outward from the flower in all directions. The water is darker blue/grey nearer the flower and lightens quickly with shading technique as it moves further away.

Crystal Nieves

Staff, UMass Amherst

Queer Visions

Hand crushed pastel powder and marker on canvas. Finished in water-based poly. Acrylic paints sponge layered onto the surface.

An all-seeing eye in a cosmos of rainbow energy with its iris focused on the Earth and natural world. Seen through a forest canopy. Brings up notions of queer spirituality; a contradiction of vastness and possibility against a feeling of smallness; and a queer lens or queer point of view about our purpose and Earthly on-goings.

This image contains a central focal point of a large eye with the image of the earth as its iris. The eye is set within a soft rainbow colored background with the pattern of colors moving around the eye.  The periphery of the painting is layered dark and light colors around the eye and rainbow background to create the illusion of looking up through something to the eye.

Grit & Anxious Breaths

Rough crushed pastels blown onto canvas prepared with clear medium. Finished in water-based poly.

This image is a large vertical rectangular piece with sweeps of rainbow coloring moving across the canvas in layers in an air brush looking style. In closer view the colors are all individual grains of crushed pigments that look like colored sand particles.

This piece was created to represent anxiety, anxious breathing, and a concept of grit and reliance in queer lives, coalescing in a wider view into a pattern of peace and purpose. The piece explores earth and air as a medium. It is made with breath as its brush, and the crushed pastels are blown onto a prepared surface to land where breath takes them, creating a haphazard but elegant pattern. The piece when dried was sealed in water-based poly allowing for an intentionally tactile piece of art. Meant to be touched, sharp and rough edges felt. The close-up isolation and chaos in a retracted view becomes something survivable, beautiful, and whole.

This image is a large vertical rectangular piece with sweeps of rainbow coloring moving across the canvas in layers in an air brush looking style. In closer view the colors are all individual grains of crushed pigments that look like colored sand particles.


Fine crushed pastels on water saturated canvas, dried and splashed with rain drops. Finished in water-based poly.

This is a large rectangular piece of art with the colors of the rainbow moving across it swished from the upper left to downward right, starting with red in the upper right corner and moving to grey black in the lower left.  The colors are vibrant and non-uniform in design, they mix, bleed,and blur at boundaries because they were applied onto a wet surface. The image as a whole is also pock-marked with water droplets for textural design.

In contradiction to the piece Grit & Anxious Breath this piece is meant to explore the element of water as a medium, representing peace and healing, and the pain and celebration of queer existence. The watered canvas creates a diffusion effect. It pulls and mixes the pieces of us represented in the rainbow pigments. It dries to a rested state in a familiar pattern of pride. Raindrops scattered on the canvas remind us of our personal and collective struggle, a storm not yet passed.

Oreo - Last Night

Lead pencil on paper.

This piece is a deeply intimate hand sketching of Oreo made while keeping her company on one of her last nights. Every hair, every fold of skin, and every gesture of her resting seemed so defined in that silence. Light and time was still creating a moment meant to be seen more deeply and wholly, meant to be experienced with profound presence and awareness of life. Her essence waiting to be intimately captured for memory.

This image is of a grey pencil drawing on white paper in still life style. The image is the upper neck and face of a small sleeping rat terrier dog. The multi-colored dog’s coat and fur pattern is displayed by use of different light grey to dark grey shading techniques. The angles and contours of its ears and face are also shaded.


Crushed pastel powder on canvas, marker, and printed image sealed onto canvas. Finished in water-based poly.

This image is of a poem written in non-uniform print handwriting across a canvas. It fills most of the canvas. The poem envelopes a picture set on the middle upper right of the canvas. The image is washed out in yellow tones and shows a man on his stomach with a small child on his back wrapped in  highlighted in a bright yellow color centering this picture, which fades out onto darker greys and back as it moves away from the picture to the opposite end of the canvas.

This piece began as a poem written in guttural response to the news and images of a young man and his 2-year-old daughter found together drowned on the shores of the Rio Grande while attempting to cross into America. The pain, heartbreak, and sorrow this image creates is personal, but it’s also a cry for us to end this suffering and do better as a human race, to give shelter and give hope to those who make the journey, desperately seeking a chance at life. It’s a memory for the global refugees in crisis around the world and those still walking, still seeking safety and home. The piece visually centers this tragedy in a spotlight emerging from the darkness of apathy, the place where its too tempting and easy to look away. The piece and poem is crafted to force us to look, head on, directly, at what we’ve created and what we’ve done as a people to our kin. It is a study on our collective and individual responsibility for these deaths and stolen lives. In memory of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez & Valeria.

This image is a painted scenery of the Americas southwest desert landscape. The landscape is of shaded hues of clay colored browns and tans with greyish and clay boulders, scattered bushes, and far hills set to a vanishing point from which the center focus of the sun appears between the hillscape. The piece uses shading to show the light path of the sun on the landscape. On both sides of the sun blurred color patterns emerge. on its left the rainbow flag pattern sits on the horizon and to its right the trans flag color pattern. These are blurred to create a mirage effect symbolizing the illusion of freedom and liberation on the horizon. The sunlight in the upper section of the painting fades into pink and then purple tones in the sky.

Mirage (Espejismo)

Acrylic paint on canvas

This piece represents the journey north to hopes of freedom, liberation, acceptance, and the great (and sometimes false) promises of the El Norte.


UMass Amherst Alumni, Community Member


Photograph, paint, drawing, wax

Question even dna and surgery.

Image is of a series of beige rectangles that are pieced and sewn together. In the top left corner of the image is a red paint circle with a smaller white circle inside of it, and a smaller black/gray circle inside of the white one. Directly underneath the red circle are the letters xyxy in faded gray pencil. Near the bottom right of the red circle, a light pink penis extends about ⅔ of the way down the image. The tip of the penis is pointed down and slightly to the right. There are 3 dark red drops and 2 black drops, one of which has been slightly smeared, directly underneath the tip of the penis. Underneath the xyxy and to the left of the penis is half of a picture of someone’s face who is having surgery. The image is of a white person with eyes closed, nostrils frailed and mouth semi-open so that you can see the top row on their face. There is a slightly faded dark red curved line that runs from the bottom right corner of the surgical image, behind the tip of the penis.

 Open, language

Drawing, photograph

Language makes everything mutable.

Image is a light peach square with pencil sketches of two different pencil, one the top-left corner with the tip pointing down to the left, one in the top-right corner with the tip pointing down to the right. Between the pencils in the top middle of the peach square the a drawing of an open mouth. The mouth is detailed with red lips and white teether. You can see the ridges in the top of the mouth, as well as some lines on the tongue. There are two pieces of white, lined notebook paper, one that is flush with the left edge of the image and one that is almost in the center of the image. Below the notebook paper of the left edge of the image is an oblong blob that looks like a coffee stain. Between the two pieces of notebook paper is a rectangle that has been shaded by black colored pencil. There is a light peach rectangle that is the same color as the background of the image across the notebook paper flush with the left edge of the image and the black rectangle. There is a narrow pencil


Photograph, drawing

The spaces in between as Derrida states about language

Roughly painted light peach rectangle with gray smudges, white smudges and pencil markings throughout. In the upper left corner of the rectangle, there is a white patch with a black nail displayed vertically so the head and sharp part are visible. Just below the nail is a peach/pink piece of a book page. The text is not readable and there are cracks across the top. Below the ripped book page is a pencil drawing of a human leg with red and black paint markings behind it. There are two white arrows in the black paint pointing to the right with the word “interstice” between them in black writing. In the top middle portion of the peach rectangle is an image of a human skull with a black background. In the top right corner of the peach rectangle are three black lines that look like a square without the bottom line. There is a red squiggly line below these lines. Between and slightly below the skull and the square is a gold patch with black markings in the middle.

Levi Enzie

Student, UMass Amherst

The Voices In My Head


My drawing represents how I feel when I hear my delusions created by my OCD. The words are all things people have said to me and when I have high anxiety I will hear people speak to me. The boy is how I look internally when I listen to the words they say.

Black pencil drawing on white paper. Vignette filter. In the middle of the work is someone with spikey black hair crouched over with their hands on their forehead. Large words written in all capital letters surround this person. Useless, victim, immature, crazy, fat, annoying, Greedy, ugly, pushy, terrorist, needy, hated, worthless, picky, boring, dumb, waste, rude, bitch, anxious, fake, lazy, deppressed, idiot, anorexic, freak.
A painting on paper. Pastel pink and blue rain is coming from a black cloud. The silhouette of a man (correct me if i'm wrong please), with an umbrella reaching out and covering a smaller girl in the rain. The area under the umbrella is shaded purple.

A Journey To Find Myself


The painting shows how I feel about being trans. I used to believe that I had to erase my past self as a girl but I've learned that together that girl and the man I will be create me. I exist in the middle under the umbrella, a combination of my past and future selves.

The Monster That Is Me


Sometimes I feel like there is a monster living inside me. It isn't an evil monster, but it is scary because all it wants is love. Sometimes wanting something so badly can tear you apart.

Black pencil drawing over white paper. The entire page is shaded lightly. A person with short hair and glasses is split into two, a sad looking dark charcoal monster with four arms, a round mouth and spikey teeth is crawling out.

Nichol McCarter

Graduate Student/ Staff Member, UMass Amherst

The Act of Queering


Acrylic on canvas

Acrylic on canvas

These two pieces were created as part of a series, this is human/non-human nature segmented, categorized, and fragmented with the illusion of connectedness. This piece was made in the winter of 2017. 

This image is an acrylic painting on canvas in landscape orientation.The upper left has a green background with three dark green arches. The center of the upper left is a leaf with lime green coloring and dark green outline. There is one stem and two veins from the stem. The lower left has a light blue background with three dark blue arches. In the center of the lower left is a raindrop shape with dark blue coloring and dark blue outline. The raindrop intersects with the second arch. The upper right has a light purple background with seven dark purple wavy lines in the center. The outer dark purple wavy lines are smaller, and the middle lines are more extensive. The lower right has a light burnt orange background with three dark orange arches. In the middle of the lower right is a flame-shaped raindrop, with light orange coloring and dark orange outline. There are three of the flames layered on top of one another, gradually increasing in size.
This image is an acrylic painting on canvas in landscape orientation. There is a dark blue corner in the upper left, gradually fading into a darker line of blue. This fades to a light blue line. In the lower-left, there are shades of green layered on top of one another. The lower-left center is light green, and the outer parts fade from dark green to lime green. In the upper-right, there is a mixture of purples and reds. There are no definitive lines. Light purple is underneath the darker purple. A spot of red is in the center of the upper left corner. There is a background of light burnt orange in the lower-left, with the edges fading in color to darker shades of orange. The orange is separated by a blue line, splitting the orange into two distinct parts with a leaf’s shape.  In the center a leaf shape merges into the other colors of the painting with shades of dark blue as the outline and hues of purple in the shape’s center. All colors blend into one another with a grainy texture.

See Me

Charcoal and ink on paper

This piece was ripped from a notebook in 2015 after connecting with a piece of coal from a fire. The artist built the fire herself and was told that ‘You couldn’t have done that.”

This image is of a charcoal abstract figure on solid white non-lined notebook paper. At the center there is an uneven circle from the charcoal with two very dark circle eyes in the center drawn from ink. There are waves of charcoal shading that spread outward toward the edges of the paper from center point. Below are more waves of charcoal fade downward into light strokes. The effect is of a flowing shadow type of figure staring directly at the viewer.

Subversion and Resistance

Watercolor and ink on canvas

Made in 2021, this watercolor piece was created to show how institutions and surroundings can be subversive and the radiance of rebellion. Watercolor is explicitly chosen to put both in conversation with one another, without telling the viewer whether one overpowers the other.

A painting made from metallic rainbow watercolors and ink on a white canvas in landscape orientation.  At the center is a curvy tree shape drawn in a thick deep black ink with swirl patterns rising as its branches. It is set on top of a background of shiny bright metallic watercolors in rainbow colors and highlights the tree in a strong contrast of dark and light. The rainbow watercolor around the tree follows the shape tightly like a glow. The remaining canvas is painted with a light purple greyish tone watercolor. The water color paint strokes are swirls with no definitive edges.

N. Nabiz

Student, UMASS Amherst
Support this artist: @nabizadeh

The Dream

Acrylic painting

Elements of dreams, history, and color interpreted through the lens of the great master Bob Thompson.

 This image is of a landscape oriented painting. The painting has use of vibrant bright colors throughout. It is of a scenery image with a river running through the center point to the lower left side of the piece. The river is made of different shades of large blue dots overlapping and opens into a lake or the sea in the upper center of the piece. There is a meadow and hillsides to the right of the river.  Small figures sit atop the hills in the distance. In the grassy meadow in lower right there are three skeleton figures painted light blue who are staring at the water in the distance. There is another more abstract figure to the right of them in light purple in a sitting position with red detailing to indicate body hair, and a red and yellow globe shaped head emerging from the body. The left of the river there are trees on the river bank with blue shaded trunks and green and yellow toned leaves. There is a figure kneeling beneath one of the trees in a dark blue and gold dress.
Same image with a close up on the green figure kneeling by the river.

Sam Jesner

Student, University of Maryland Global Campus;

Affiliated with the Trans Asylum Seeker Support Network
Support this Artist:

Two Sides of a Coin


Nonbinary is a vast term that includes so many expressions and experiences. The beauty of my nonbinary experience is enjoying the fluidity of everything I can and want to be.

Two images of a fat white nonbinary person sitting in the same chair in front of the same white wall and wood floor. In the first image they are leaning towards the camera with their elbows on their knees. They look angry and are wearing a sleeveless red shirt with a Dr. Pepper logo and black ripped jeans. Their hair is styled back and is half orange.
In the second image they are sitting up straight and smiling. They are wearing a white dress with red roses, a gold leaf bracelet and headband, large gold earrings, and make up. Their ankles are crossed and their hands are folded in their lap.

Red Balloon

Watercolor and Acrylic Painting

Mensuration is a difficult experience for many trans people and often a large source of gender dysphoria. Red Balloon was created out of processing my own dysphoria with my period.

Image is an outline of the torso and legs of a fat person. The outline is a thick black line and shows just the torso and legs with no arms or additional features. The background of the image is light pink and light blue watercolor overlapping and blending into each other. There is a large red balloon in the center of the torso. The balloon opening is where the legs come together/where genitals might be.


Linoleum cut and acrylic paint on canvas

"Pronouns" was created as a response to the pain of spending months being misgendered at work despite wearing a pronoun button.

Image is of the word “they” written over and over again. “They” is written in different color chunks 8 times horizontally across the page in 4 different color sets of 5 rows each. The first 5 rows are yellow, the next 5 rows are light peach, the next 5 rows are fuschia and the last 5 rows are gray. “They” is carved out of the negative space of the entire image with the letters spanning all four of the different color sets.

Go Long


Ready, Set, Hike


Gender exploration is incredibly important for kids. Modeling breaking gender roles and stereotypes creates a safer space for people to explore their gender and feel safe coming out as trans.

Go Long_Sjesner - Sam Jesner.jpg
Alt text for images: Image is of a white person with short brown hair, their arms fully extended (like wings), in a grassy outside. The image is black and white except the person and the blooms on a bush behind them. The person’s eyes are cast down, they are smiling and wearing red lipstick. They are barefoot and wearing a white sleeveless dress with fuschia flowers and a black belt just under their chest. The dress is spread out and moving like the person is spinning in a circle. The bush behind them looks like a lilac bush - it is tall with big light pink clusters of flowers . Behind the bush is a house made of old bricks that look similar to cobblestones. There is a picket fence around the grassy area where the person is spinning.
Image is of a white person in the grass outdoors hunched over and hiking a football. They are wearing a red football helmet, white dress with fuschia roses, a silver necklace, a brown leather cuff bracelet on their right arm, a silver bracelet on their left arm. They are staring into the camera with a furrowed brow. There is an old brick house, picket fence and large bush with flowers on it behind them. The image is black and white except for the person and pink flowers on the bush and the person.

Sophia VanHelene

Student, UMass Amherst
Support this artist: Venmo: @SVanHelene or  Instagram: @until_death_do_we_art

A series of digital paintings


Incandescence_SVanHelene - Sophia VanHel
Judgement_SVanHelene - Sophia VanHelene.
Doldrum_SVanHelene - Sophia



Portrait Practice 6

Portrait Practice 6_SVanHelene - Sophia


Severance_SVanHelene - Sophia VanHelene.


Inquisition_SVanHelene - Sophia VanHelen



Covert_SVanHelene - Sophia VanHelene.jpg
Vigilance_SVanHelene - Sophia VanHelene.


Jorge Luis Biaggi

Student, UMass Amherst

Support this Artist: VENMO @Jorge-Biaggi

"You Know I Fucking Love You (Originally Titled Biting Dynamite)": This piece was written with the prompt "Write a letter to your past self" in mind. It's very much a personal congratulations for the personal progress and changes that have followed me throughout my life, specifically, in having survived 2020. I consider it a love-filled and exciting look back on my New Adult life as well as a personal encouragement to welcome whatever the future can throw at me with open arms.

"Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico": Brief and descriptive, I wrote this piece as a mental snapshot of my grandmother's home in Puerto Rico, a place I've always felt holds a remarkably loving grip on my heart, soul, and memories.

"La Balada Ruidosa de Santa Cecilia": A loud and cacophonous piece, this Ballad is the culmination of writing to fulfill a class prompt of "Invoking the voice of a prominent religious figure". I had been listening to some Caribbean Hip-Hop when the idea struck to combine the bombastic passion and energy that often accompanies most Boricuan rap motifs with the religious zealotry and compassion that one might find in a sermon from Saint Cecilia herself, the patron saint of music.

"I oft be a cowboy": Written as my own personal love letter to all things indicative of the Wild, Wild West, this ballad highlights some of my own personal grievances with escapism and identity, my own fantasies of someday becoming some mythical western legend greatly inspiring the emotionally desperate narrative that this piece follows. Yippee-Ki-Yay.

"A Nightingale Sang": Short Fiction. This short story serves as a brief but poignant look into my own experiences with public queerness, workplace stress, and emotional isolation through the lens of an unnamed narrator trying to survive the midsummer heat.

"Hedonist; The Beautiful; Radiator or Aural Pareidolia": A lengthy, intense, and chaotic piece, this massive poem chronicles my attempts to describe the varying states and sensations that come with a long night's worth of inebriation, loud music, and an insatiable lust for life.

Zach Steward

Student, UMass Amherst
Support this artist: CashApp: $ZStewMoney22;

Venmo: ZStewie2219; PayPal:

"Freedom": I came out to someone my freshmen year. This poem describes that experience, more specifically my feelings after I found out she went behind my back and told mutual friends. She's never apologized, and probably never will; I find solace in knowing my friends defended me from it at the time, recognizing it wasn't their business to know without my say-so.

"Nigger Rhymez": In the aftermath of the rash of hate crimes on campus in 2018, I turned to poetry to find a constructive outlet to deal with my emotions. These two poems were the first of many that I wrote, with both of them focusing on different feelings I had at the time about the hate crimes and the university's response. They inspire me to continue fighting for what's right, no matter what.

"Nigger Rhymez II"

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