Protect Trans Dreams: A Portrait Project
by Noah Grigni
Protect Trans Dreams: A Portrait Project, features a series of large-scale acrylic portraits by artist Noah Grigni (they/them).These portraits, displayed alongside Grigni’s original watercolor illustrations from the children’s book It Feels Good To Be Yourself by Theresa Thorn, celebrate transgender (trans) kids and their visions for the future.
The paintings portray each child on their own terms, in the fantasies they imagined. Some are silly and playful, others earnest and serious. To create these portraits, Grigni connected with 7 trans kids across New England, ranging in ages from 6 to 12 and interviewed them about their dreams. The paintings illustrate the ideas they described, including visions that range from making music and writing stories, to intricate scenes of fallen angels crying tears of joy, and celestial wolves circling in the sky. The scenes depicted in these portraits, painted using soft and vibrant jewel tones, are connected by motifs of stars and flowers, and by simple circles reminiscent of halos framing each child’s head. The halos serve as a reminder that the dreams of trans children—just like the dreams of all children—are sacred, and deserve to be nurtured and celebrated.
The portraits are displayed alongside watercolor illustrations by Noah from the book It Feels Good To Be Yourself by Theresa Thorn. The book was created to introduce and celebrate the concept of gender identity for young readers. The exhibition also features a cozy book nook with drawing prompts focusing on identity and dreams, inviting museum visitors to read, write, and create their own masterpieces highlighting their dreams.