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The Donna Personna Portraits Project

Opening Reception
June 13, 2019

(On display June 13-July 7)

The Donna Personna Portraits Project is a collaboration between Donna Personna, fine arts painter Thomasina DeMaio, and photographers Billie Douglas and Steven Pomeroy.

Using photography and portraiture as sites for exploring transgender and gender nonconforming identity, this project aims to bring wider visibility and validation to trans lives, and to showcase the wide spectrum of the transgender experience.
Artist Biographies
Donna Personna is an artist and activist for transgender rights, who got her start with the Cockettes. She has served on the boards of Trans March and Transgender Day of Remembrance, and on the committees to name streets after Vicki Marlene and Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco’s Transgender Cultural District. In 2018, she raised San Francisco’s first transgender flag at City Hall with Mayor London Breed. Donna was the subject of the Iris Prize-winning 2013 short film My Mother and featured in the film Beautiful by Night. Donna has been covered in publications such as Out, The Advocate, SF Chronicle, and the Daily Beast. The immersive play she co-wrote, The Compton’s Cafeteria Riot (produced by the Tenderloin Museum) recreates SF transgender history and received many accolades, including SF Weekly’s Best of 2018. Donna was recently selected by the SF Pride Board of Directors as the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Grand Marshal.

Thomasina DeMaio’s artistic practice focuses on portraits and mural work. Specialties include painting, photography, and sculpture. DeMaio contributes time and art to benefit multiple community organizations and individuals, such as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and SF Fire FIghters, among others.

Billy Douglas works with alternative film processing, Polaroid transfer images and other pre-digital photographic techniques in his fine art work. Digital technology brought sweeping changes and fundamentally changed the idea of image creation. In his new work, he use everything he has learned to further define his art. Photography has enabled him to see parts of the world he could only imagine. He knows he has done his best when the images have the ring of truth. Sometimes joyful, sometimes tragic…it goes on and on.

Steven Pomeroy was born in Denver, Colorado and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He received a fine arts degree in Conceptual Design from San Francisco State University. His higher education includes studies at the Sorbonne University in Paris and Printmaking at Atelier du Safranier in Antibes France. His artistic pursuits include photography, drawing, multi-media, clay work and sculpture. He spent several years working with clay both in sculpture and wheel work, and enjoys experimenting with art and technology. Steven captures images of the world around us that are sometimes missed when we view our surroundings. He appreciates a visual aesthetic in photography and mixing technologies. He does not consider himself a photographic purist--he is more interested in the visual results rather than the process.

*Originally conceived of and sponsored by ARTSAVESLIVES foundation. This exhibition represents a small portion of a larger collection.