An Iris Stands Tall: a mother’s journey, a daughter’s transition, started as an internal dialogue regarding my child’s transition from a young boy to an adult female. It evolved over three years into the present exhibit and was completed in 2017. The original exhibit was 46 pieces of art and has since been scaled back to 42 with the option of smaller exhibit formats. The art pieces range in size from 12.5X16.5 inches to 22X31 inches unframed and are rendered in oil pastel, graphite, charcoal, or combination on paper. A narrative of my experience, research, and observations during my journey to acceptance forms an essential complement to the art pieces. This is shared within these themes: Gender Identity, Cultural Expectation, Early Years, Alone, Sadness, Two Spirit Culture, Judgments, Facing the Fear, Transition, Acceptance, Legal Processes, and Joy of Existence.
An Iris Stands Tall received 2017 grant support both from the Regional Arts & Culture Council in Portland, Oregon, and the Puffin Foundation in Teaneck, New Jersey. Its first exhibit was at Cerimon House, Portland, Oregon, in April 2017 followed by Multnomah Arts Center, Portland, Oregon, in 2018 and The Arts Center, Corvallis, Oregon in 2019.