I first met Taylor while she was serving as a volunteer for our annual gala, Making Visible. She was welcoming everyone with such joy & warmth and I was struck by her ability to identify needs before they arise. Her ability to do so is so clearly tied to her commitment to supporting the people in our space & our mission. She is attuned to the needs of those around her and has always gone above and beyond to support our work in every aspect of our programming and organization. She does it all by pouring light and energy into every room I’ve ever seen her in. As an artist herself, I am consistently inspired by her work within our organization to provide for other artists. We are so fortunate to have her!
Question: What are your mediums of artistic expression?
Answer: Performance Art/ Theatre/ Music/ Poetry/ Visual Art.
How has art impacted your healing journey?
A: Art is the journey for me. The privilege of being exposed/involved in the arts as a child has created a seemingly involuntary desire to create, perhaps in order to make sense of the complexities of life itself. We all have healing to do, and for me, healing looks like transformation- taking one thing and turning it into something else. That’s the art I’m trying to make; art that is rooted in the truth of life itself.
Q: What is your connection to art & art-making?
A: My entire connection to art and its creation began with my mother, who, as an artist herself, encouraged me to engage with creativity as an outlet with endless possibility. Subsequently, I am an artist because of the adoration of creation fostered within me from an early age never seems to stop growing. Art always surprises me, and that keeps me coming back for more.
Q: What do you hope people who see or experience your art walk away with?
A: I hope people walk away with a sense of feeling understood.
Q: What has your connection to/relationship with Awakenings been like?
A: Awakenings has been a space I’ve frequented and shared with many in my life, in order to spread the incredibly powerful and necessary work done by the featured artists and survivors. And I’ve been volunteering with Awakenings going on 5 years now! It has moved through many formative changes in that time and that has been so exciting to witness.
Q: Why do you think the mission of Awakenings is important? How does making visible the artistic expression of survivors impact our community at large?
A: The mission of Awakenings is important because bringing subjects such as trauma and assault to the light refuses to perpetuate the violence of attaching shame to a survivor’s experience. Lived experience, in all of its juxtapositions, deserves to be highlighted in its entirety- that way we progress in our understanding of others and of how we move throughout the world. It’s all about empathy- I think art is about empathy, when done correctly- but Awakenings mobilizes that empathy not only in the subject matter of works that are featured, but in how those works are presented to the public.
Taylor is a performance artist, writer, and musician native to Chicago.
Taylor working her magic as a volunteer for Making Visible.