Fort St. John artist Samantha Wigglesworth says the body of artworks for her Spectrum series is finally complete.
The exhibit, which debuted last year at Peace Gallery North, examines what people of different genders and sexualities can look like. The show has since moved south to the Dawson Creek Art Gallery, with two new pieces.
Wigglesworth says Spectrum was created with a vision to create conversation around how the LGBTQ community is presented and represented, a goal which she feels has been achieved.
"At the first show, I had a lady reach out to me and she said her and her daughters had been looking at 'Bold', which is the black person on the bright yellow background," said Wigglesworth. "They were having this discussion about whether it was a man or a woman, and they came to the conclusion that it didn't matter. There is no need to put a label on this person, we can just agree that they are a beautiful person and leave it at that."
More importantly, Wigglesworth feels the exhibit provided some much needed visibility and representation for Northern B.C.’s LGBTQ community, something which didn’t really exist when she was growing up in Fort St. John.
"To me, it's not about selling the artwork either. None them have sold and I don't anticipate any of them selling. It's not about that for me, it's about making a statement," Wigglesworth said. “It's about being the influence that I never saw growing up, the representation I never saw growing up.”
Wigglesworth says while she’s enjoyed working on the project over the past year, it’s time for the finished art to speak for itself, which she says has been positively received by the community, with few exceptions.
"I know for the first show we did have a little bit of not really backlash, a few unhappy people. Mainly it was just kind of silent protest, they'd come in and look around, and then immediately leave," Wigglesworth said. "There's been maybe one outspoken person, but mostly it's been very very positive."
Despite Spectrum coming to a close, Wigglesworth is far from finished in her creative pursuits, and currently completing courses on towards a Bachelors’ of Fine Arts at Simon Fraser University, with only a year and a half to go.
Spectrum is on display at the Dawson Creek Art Gallery at until Feb. 25.
Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative. Email Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org