Artist Statement: Growing up I often felt alone because of the lack of representation and support for young queer people of color. As a queer Indigenous Xicanx person, I struggled to find others like me who were out, proud and celebrating their culture dressed in vibrant queerness. I used to paint and write poetry as a means to escape the pain, fear, depression, and frustration from the lack of community and family I had but today, I paint my community and culture from a place of joy. The political climate during the Trump administration further marginalized vulnerable communities that this country has historically has taken action against. My current body of work which centers on communities of color aims to disrupt the narrative that this country and political system have enacted on people of color. It is the counter-narrative to the anti-immigrant, anti-women, anti-BIPOC, anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment that marginalized communities face daily. In an effort to combat the way that people of color are portrayed in the media, by law enforcement, and in popular culture, I paint portraits of people from these communities, in power poses that honor their existence and that celebrates, uplifts, and empowers them. I want to show other queer people of color and people in general that they are not alone, so I paint portraits of people who are making a positive difference in our community. I use the juxtaposition of realism and whimsical elements to tell stories that invoke emotions, memories, and dreams. I challenge myself and others to be unafraid of life by allowing themselves to be consumed by the vivid colors in my work which represent growth, love, and life. My work is a symbol of who I am and the unwillingness to compromise the elements which make me, me -- my culture, my queerness, my brownness, my indigeneity, all of me. Artist Bio:Edgar-Arturo Camacho-González is a queer Indigenous Xicanx community activist, artist, and poet living on occupied Ohlone land in Vallejo, CA. He is committed to making the communities he is part of safe, vibrant and welcoming for all by creating work that celebrates who he is without compromising his identity. His work is a celebratory ode of representation to queer people and people of color. Edgar-Arturo’s work has been published in several anthologies, and he has exhibited throughout the West Coast and is currently the artist-in-residence with the ACLU, NorCal. Edgar-Arturo is a co-founder of El Comalito Collective Cultural Arts Center in Vallejo, CA, and was awarded the “Artists and Cultural Practitioners Grant, 2020” from the California Arts Council.