I have been thinking a lot about gender lately and it brings to mind one of the most beautiful humans I have ever met, Maya Vivas.
Maya opened my eyes to the presence of Cis-privilege, they were gentle and kind with me in my naivety. I am generally sweet, kind and open hearted, but I am naive.
We exhibited Maya’s work three times at the ANX Gallery. Below is the poster from their solo exhibition, Beauty in Fragility.
With the good intentions, we hosted an all women’s makers exhibition, Fabrique, and invited Maya to exhibit.
I, a privileged cis-gendered white woman, made the assumption that Maya identified as a woman. They gently corrected me upon the gallery opening though was glad to have been a part of the show because it had created a safe space.
However, I was confused, why would they not tell me from the beginning upon making my mistake when I invited them to show? Well, there are so many reasons, and I won’t begin to explain them to you as it is not my place.
I was determined to correct my mistake and returned with an offer of a solo exhibition. They blew me away with their grace and accepted. It was an incredible experience.
In another attempt to show my love for Maya and the good work that they do, I made a few custom signs for Ori. A gallery that Maya and Leila Haile opened, focusing on featuring work by queer folk of color. Click here for more.
About 6 months later I had the honor of exhibiting Maya’s work again in one of my favorite shows, a group exhibition by the 2018 Prequel Program - "i'm glad i came" - which also included Ali Balter, Winnie Black, Marcelo Fontana, Emily Wise, Kevin Holden, Alan Page, Pace Taylor.
It was a pleasure to be able to present Maya's work, they are incredibly hard working, kind and open about their art. I am incredibly humbled and grateful for the opportunity to work with Maya and all of the amazing artists I had the honor of working with while curating at the ANX Gallery.
Thank you Maya, for your patience and kindness, and for bringing beauty into our world every day.