Shendel Rogers

I’m an artist in every sense of the word. If I haven’t learned a specific discipline yet, it’s only a matter of time. My background in technical theatre has made me no stranger to sewing machines, power tools, paintbrushes, or electronic components which has become invaluable to me as someone with ever-changing eclectic taste. My precious time on this earth is limited and I use every moment of it to learn as much as I can. I’m all about making mistakes and exploring and then sharing that knowledge with others. It is undeniably my responsibility to create work that honours the artists who taught me and educate the next generation. 

I am deeply driven by the idea of sharing knowledge and thoughts with anyone willing to listen but I also value opportunities to have the tables turned and listen to the stories and voices of those in my community. I hear stories of struggles, heartaches, and injustices, but sometimes we need to be kind and remind ourselves of our accomplishments, to be proud of the work we did to achieve them. We need to acknowledge and thank our chosen family ancestors and continue their work, lest we forget where we came from. 

Effective art relies on the audience to feel something personal, and what is more personal than our own history? It is within our nature to seek out things we identify with. Many of us who underestimate our privilege also take for granted how little representation exists in our documented history. We have always existed and our stories occur no less than any other community’s stories, but there’s something to be said about why these voices feel unheard. Who tells our stories? Where are we welcome to tell them? Where and when have our stories been erased? I feel a responsibility to preserve what our chosen family ancestors and community gave us, honour it, and document what their work has gifted us today. I wish I could see the faces and hear the unfiltered stories of the people who fought to protect me. I can’t change the past but I can begin to write it now for the next generation with the same desires as me.