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Printmaker Erica Lewis (EVPL) and writer Theo Barthes collaborated on a series of letterpress prints to investigate the intersections between their respective nonbinary and transmasc identities. This paralleled exploration gleaned fresher realization and actualization of self-as-peers. Their conversations started with a patchwork sense of self-discovery, particularly outside of what others planned for their lives, moving into the social navigation of that patchwork, its external perception, and the consequential mourning of lost relationships.

Figuring oneself out can be lonely and alienating when diverging from the traditional script, but queerness fosters a space to hear one another and to see one another within their truth. Without expectation. In their conversations, Lewis and Barthes found community in one another—seeing the relatable intersections of familial frustrations and a nationwide privileging of bigots’ fragilities over the protection of LGBTQ+ wellbeing.

Erica Lewis-EVPL (They/Them

Lewis, making art under their initials EVPL, earned their B.F.A. in Art and B.A. in English from the University of Montevallo and their M.F.A. in Art & Design from the University of Louisville. Lewis is currently a second-year Ph.D. student in UofL’s Comparative Humanities Program researching the intersections of Public Humanities, Aesthetics, and Studio Art in order to address oppressive systems and promote social justice.

Theo Barthes (He/Him)

Theo earned his English B.A. and M.A. degrees at the University of Louisville where he focused on Creative Writing, Philosophy, and Literary Theory, particularly in relation to the genre of Southern Gothic. He is currently pursuing his Humanities Ph.D. at UofL where he is focusing on addiction, Assemblage Theory, transmasculinities, and the intersections of Narratology, Creative Writing, and the Medical Humanities.