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April Art Walk: Shanley Narens & Kat Varela


  Photograph by Kat Varela (left), Drawing by Shanley Narens (right)

Photograph by Kat Varela (left), Drawing by Shanley Narens (right)

For the month of April, Make.Shift Gallery will be hosting two evocative exhibits from two unique Pacific Northwest Artists. Our entrance gallery will showcase "I Can’t Kill Myself Because…", a series of photographs by Bellingham artist, Kat Varela. The main gallery will house "Trash" with multimedia works from Portland-based visual artist, Shanley Narens. Join us for the opening of both exhibits on First Friday Art Walk. 

Shanley Narens’ vibrant graphic art is based on her experiences as a queer mother and stripper/sex worker. "Trash" will feature works in multiple mediums, including illustration and sculpture, that are based heavily on the experiences of the artist from her career to personal
relationships.

Kat Varela is a queer artist who studied at Western Washington University. Their work is used as an art therapy for themselves but with resonating sentimental undertones creating a relatable narrative focusing on and celebrating humxn nature. The series of photographs in "I Can’t Kill Myself Because…" act as a reminder to the self while serving as the physical manifestation of a handwritten list that psychologists refer to as the “safety plan.” Ranging from chore-like tasks to cherished memories, these images were created as a form of distraction to remind both the artist and viewer of what and who we have to live for. In the words of the artist, “despite what people say about themselves, they do matter.” The month of April has been chosen by the artist due to the high suicide rates during this particular time of year.

Make.Shift Art Space recognizes the sensitivity around issues of suicide and depression. Throughout the month of April, the gallery will be providing free resource packets for individuals who are seeking help or more information on these topics.