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STROLL-PDX Presents Arts By Tarts, the Annual Sex Workers’ Art Show

Portland, November 1, 2018 -- Sex workers are undeniably what make Portland cool, yet historically their contributions have gone unnoticed. Which is why, on November 1st, 7PM, at The Sanctuary, outreach organization STROLL-PDX will be presenting Art By Tarts, its annual sex workers’ art show. This year’s show will be highlighting the art of sex workers of color. Their work, through thankless appropriation, has quietly shaped pop culture.

Additionally, the recent passage of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) has further driven the voices of sex workers underground. “With the advent of SESTA  and the Trump administration's hostility to the very groups who rely on sex work for survival, it is more important than ever to support and hear the experiences of our most vulnerable communities,” says STROLL-PDX director and show curator Matilda Bickers.

Some highlights of this year’s show include:

  • Juicebox’s video essay, Diary of a Pretty Black Booty - an autobiographical look at the way one worker chose to capitalize on system racism

  • Djesikabel’s ink line drawings exploring the experience of being a second generation sex worker

  • Mia Bonilla’s vibrant portrait of black women fully inhabiting their bodies and sexualities.

Art by Tarts has become a yearly event, bringing together work from sex workers around the world.  Every year features new, exciting and boundary-pushing art, creating a space for a very marginalised group that is often spoken over or outright ignored.

The opening night party kicks off November 1st, 7PM, at The Sanctuary 33 NW 9th Ave. The Sanctuary is located on the corner of NW 9th and Couch. There will be art, drinks, and copies of Working It, the sex worker zine, will be available.

STROLL-PDX is a local outreach organization that was founded by sex workers. It focuses on feeding and offering harm reduction supplies to Portland’s houseless community, coordinating a bi-weekly sex worker support group, facilitating quarterly letter writing workshops for incarcerated sex workers and offering safety and legal rights trainings to the sex worker community of Portland.

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If you would like more information, please contact Matilda Bickers by phone: 503-621-6409 or by email: director@strollpdx.org. Go to https://tinyurl.com/artsbytarts to view the press kit.

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Some of the artists featured in this years’ show:

Adrie Fells

Bio: Adrie is a student, cat enthusiast, aspiring champagne socialist, tentative photographer, and former sex worker. She values art, expression, and subjective interpretations of objective truths.

What motivates your art? Mainly people. People can be absolute trash sometimes, but people are largely fascinating and beautiful and inspiring.

What is the relationship between creating and surviving/or thriving for you? I don't know that there's any delineation between the two for me. Therapy is helpful, but nothing really cuts through the crap quite like grabbing a pencil or my camera and making something. Creating is therapy.

Where can people find your art and what payment methods do you take?

Redbubble: https://www.redbubble.com/people/tsarcams

Instagram: @pplofpgh

$$$: Cash App - $dzbornak; Paypal - paypal.me/htk3815; or through redbubble (paypal, credit/debit card)

Agostin Sala

What motivates your art?

My art is motivated by the beauty I see in the universe, and my desire to express the internal experiences it gives me. I'm inspired by life, death, sexuality and gender as scientific subjects and as themes.

How essential does the doing of your art feel to your overall well being and survival? What is the relationship between creating and surviving/or thriving for you?

Art is absolutely necessary to my survival. I have been struggling with hand and wrist pain more and more the past year which has made me realize that the thought of no longer being able to create makes me not want to exist. Creating is all that keeps me sane sometimes. Having the use of my hands no longer a given, I've been forced to contend with the idea that making art is not a guarantee for me and that has painfully made me appreciate it more.


Finally but not least important: where can people find your art and what payment methods do you take?

IG: @Slimybugslut


Lady Dee:

What motivates your art?

Honestly lately what has influenced my art is my partner, Sam. He's been so amazing and he encourages me and praises me. He finds all my work immaculate and that really pushes me to make more so that I can wow him.

Does sex work influence your art?

Sex work absolutely influences my art. From things that id like to try to when I'm not feeling my sexiest self. It's a freedom and it wholly makes it easier to express that part of me while doing things I love.. Being sex work and art!

How essential does the doing of your art feel to your overall wellbeing and survival? What is the relationship between creating and surviving/or thriving for you?

My art has always been such a huge part of my life. I'd never thought I'd make money off it just like I never thought I'd make money off of my body. I always was so... Flippant about my art and my sexuallity and to love myself and stay sane I embraced both. Even if it pains me. So I'd say very.

Finally, but not least important: Where can people find your art and what payment methods do you take?

I do most of my art and sales on Tumblr and I love to create so you can find me at deebott.tumblr.com. I usually use cash app for donations and commissions so I love having new people come so I can... Make them cum or just draw em it's really fun for me lol!

Mia Bonilla

What motivates your art: to envision a better world where the people I love and I can live more honest lives. My art is motivated by the need to see sex, sexuality, gender, and race through different lenses, where they aren’t negative or detrimental identity markers.


How essential does the doing of your art feel to your overall well being and survival?  What is the relationship between creating and surviving/or thriving for you? : I can tell I’m not doing well when I’ve stopped creating. For me, making art is a way to keep track of my mental and emotional health. Art makes me feel like I can do anything because I am capable of creating forms, scenes, and characters out of nothing. That feeling is incomparable when you’re like me, and don’t have a significant amount of control in the real world because of a lack of systemic privileges.


Finally but not least important: where can people find your art and what payment methods do you take?: my art can be found on my instagram: @miamonchichi and I accept Venmo, PayPal, and cash.



Ottie:

What motivates your art:

Mostly a lifetime of struggle. I cut my teeth in the gutters of this city. I grew up quick and hard
and mostly had to raise myself. I can find beauty in anything though! That might be a gemini trait. I find beauty in abandoned places and people. I can see the rainbow in the spilled oil.

How essential does the doing of your art feel to your overall well being and survival?  What is the relationship between creating and surviving/or thriving for you? :

It is CRUCIAL. I would die if i could not create. Even if no one ever saw any of it which has usually been the case for me. I'm a very private persyn and I consider my art rare. u only catch it in the right place/right time and it's not for everyone.

Finally but not least important:

You can find my art out on the streets worldwide but u can also find it online on insta @holyb4sil if you are looking to collab or @columbine.th3.doll my public profile.
You can also find me on tumblr on my cemetery/haunted blog  @Muerte-cru.
As for payment I take cold hard cash and am a firm believer in the barter system <3




Bio:

Portland local living on diaspora from hawaii since the 90's.Street punk,hard femme, raver, model, veteran swer, tech witch, traveller, graff artist, gemini sun, taurus moon and aquarius rising.

Mediums: performance art, graff/stickys, collage,installations,fashion,ink,magick,photography of cemeteries, industrial landscapes + cityscapes, portraits, film, poetry, songs.


Ahh Sweet Death


My art is motivated by the beauty of the process of life as well as the process of death. The rituals that take place from birth to the grave, and the importance of appreciating all that terrifies us as well as what we hold dear.

I create because I live. If I can no longer live, I can no longer create. Life is precious. Every day that we wake and take a breath, we are fortunate. Making art is my drug.

I consider my relationship with art, a relationship with a lifelong partner. Some days I feel good about it, some days I do not want to go on. Every time I finish a piece, I am thankful that I was here to see it through.

You can find me and my art on Facebook and Instagram under Ahhsweetdeath

I accept Paypal and Venmo.

 


Kathleen Boudwin (LEVI)

Levi is a North West weirdo who specializes in painting vibrant depictions of sexuality. She colors our world with fluorescent spectrums that drape over intimate moments. She pairs what is deemed graphic sexual imagery with an inviting color palette to create a dilemma within the viewer. She is always excited for the opportunity to team up with STROLL. Being a part of this community has brought her a sense of purpose within her art and a chance to change the dialogue around sex.


What motivates your art?

The exploration around my purpose and the human existence. The fantastical notion that we are only a crumb of reality and to celebrate this life. Im very inspired by the colorful queer culture around me and the opportunity to add to the melting pot of unique artists in this community.


How essential does the doing of your art feel to your overall wellbeing and survival? What is the relationship between creating and surviving/or thriving for you?

It is my only purpose. I am very privileged to have had support in my venture to be an artist. It is all I’ve ever been about and the only way I know how to communicate with the world and function in this roller coaster of a life.


Finally but not least important: where can people find your art and what payment methods do you take?

Boudwin art.com

@boudwinart on IG and Venmo


 


MONA SUPERHERO

Portland, Oregon based Mona Superhero is a self-taught artist whose work is comprised entirely of duct tape and masking tape. Inspired by vibrant color and mixing patterns, Superhero creates appealing pop art with eye-catching color and attitude.

Each piece of duct tape art is crafted from layers of duct tape and masking tape, hand carved to reveal exciting, often provocative images.

Superhero spends her days creating new art for gallery shows, client work and for her line of prints and post cards. Her work has been featured on album covers, the cover of the Willamette Week and she is the In-House Muralist for Voodoo Doughnut.

Monasuperhero.com





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