Art collective affirms trans students’ creativity, legacy – The Temple News – Google Alerts

(Left) Osimiri Sprowal, a senior Africology major and executive director of deadname.arts, and K.V. Brown, a freshman psychology major and a member of deadname.arts, stand in front of the Tyler School of Art and Architecture on Feb. 3. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

To Osimiri Sprowal, transgender people are “walking art.”

Sprowal is the founder and executive director of deadname.arts, an art collective for transgender and nonbinary individuals. It is “the only non-cis artist collective” in Philadelphia, according to deadname.arts’ Instagram page.

“We are art, period, because art is to create something that did not exist,” said Sprowal, a senior Africology major. “My entire life is creating myself as someone who did not exist yesterday and might not exist tomorrow depending on how I feel or what’s going on in my body.”

The collective was founded in 2019, and focuses on giving gender non-conforming artists a space to express themselves through art showcases, visual displays, poetry and events “catered to people who aren’t cis,” Sprowal said.

“I think that deadname is a vital space for trans artists because in a lot of cisgender spaces, I find that trans artistry is not seen, it is not advocated for and it is not affirmed and protected in the ways that it should be,” said Ronnie Nocella, a senior political science major and the collective’s executive producer. “As an all-trans and gender variant organization … we want to create the space to give trans artists the compensation and the reward that they deserve.”

According to a 2015 report by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 48 percent of transgender individuals have reported “being denied equal treatment, verbally harassed, and/or physically attacked in the past year because of being transgender.”

“I experience violence 24/7,” Sprowal said. “Everyone in my collective experiences violence 24/7. The point of making a house is so you get…

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