Artist Statements

Misha Milchenko

This Body – A series of five paintings which explores the trans experience. It conveys the growth and change of the body through hormones and surgery. The change comes with loss, but this is where the flowers bloom.

thom vernon

thom vernon is a multidisciplinary artist. His work integrates materialities that attempt to poeticize the unspeakable: living with HIV and trauma since 1987. His primary materials include copper, steel, paper, found text, wood, stone, polymer and plastic. Having saved every anti-retroviral pill bottle since he began medication more than a decade ago, most of his pieces, like his life, are built upon these plastic companions. Each burnt match signals an, at least, 15-minute “sitting practice” session in which thom practices staying present. The “brut” quality of much of his visual work testifies to the paradoxical tension of thriving with HIV in conditions of stigma, shame, guilt, and terror. In spite of their seeming static state, these works employ performance and compositional techniques such as tempo, repetition, shape, architecture, and spatiality. Although titled, they are purposefully ambiguous, asking only to be witnessed. thom has a long career as a film/TV/theatre actor, novelist, educator, and social justice advocate. Learn more at thomvernon.com

Amy Ash

Amy Ash is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice incorporates curatorial projects, teaching and learning, installation, collage, illustration and other forms of making. Originally from New Brunswick, Canada, Ash holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Mount Allison University (CA) and a Bachelor of Education from the University of New Brunswick (CA). Her work understands personal and cultural cosmologies and lore as notions formed by the connectivity of memory, object, value, place, experience and their respective truths and fictions. She has exhibited and curated programmes in Canada, Japan and the UK. Amy Ash’s practice moves between curatorial projects, teaching and learning, installation, and other forms of making. Ash’s work aims to reveal the staging behind the construction and regeneration of personal and cultural cosmologies, through explorations of contiguity and situated knowledge.

Craig Budovitch

I am a born and raised Frederictonian with a Major in Painting and a Minor in Art History from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) University. I have travelled and lived in many places around the world while perfecting my art style and am thrilled to be putting down roots in my home city of Fredericton once again. As a gay artist, I am excited to be showcasing three works in the show, “Persistence/ Perspective”. Through my work I celebrate the visibility, political and emotional progress achieved in the LGBTQ2+ community, locally and worldwide. Inspired by Endeavours Pride Heros exhibit, these works spotlight, honour and are a thank you to Fredericton’s own Drag Queens, Freeda Whales(sold), Hinky Dinky, Heather Silk and Barb Wire for breaking down barriers and bridging the gap between traditionally straight and queer spaces. This body of work coincides and respects the fact that 2020 marks the 51st anniversary of decriminalization of homosexuality, the 51st anniversary of the Stone Wall Riots in New York and Fredericton’s 11th anniversary of Pride. Drag Queens have been a major source of inspiration in my life and have given me permission to break free from toxic masculinity norms and be my true, out and gay, fabulous self. Through this show I wish to extend the invitation to everyone to celebrate who YOU are. In the famous words of Ru Paul, A producer and host of the hit reality show, Rupaul’s Drag Race, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”. A percentage of any sale of my original work will be donated to Imprint Youth Association Inc.

Ryan Alward

A 2SLGBTQ+ photographer, architect, graphic designer, and more, my training is in civil engineering (UNBSJ), visual arts (NBCCD), and architecture (Dalhousie). Drawing on the theory of defamiliarization (ostranenie), Gestalt psychology, and Cubism, my work – across all media – aims to show the usual in unusual ways, to elevate the ordinary to extraordinary, and to demonstrate that beauty is everywhere in everything – it’s simply a matter of perspective. With COVID-19 forcing society to examine itself under the microscope of lockdown and the heightened focus on the systemic racial injustices throughout our culture, my return to Fredericton earlier this year coincided with own my call to action. No longer content to be a proud but quiet member of a marginalized community, I recognize it’s my duty to speak loudly, clearly, and passionately for myself, my 2SLGBTQ+ family, and all those who are oppressed, harassed, and persecuted. We are valuable. I am valuable. So I share my photographic perspective in hopes others will find the beauty that is everywhere in everything.