"The beauty of art is that these conversations that are abstractions for some, or painfully lived experiences for others become accessible and visceral. It’s an opportunity to build empathy. What inspired this gallery was a moving photo series from the Pulse Night Club survivors. There’s a degree of vulnerability in being us, being queer, being brown, or being a part of any marginalized identity. We’re automatically exposed due to breaking up society’s dominant paradigm of who we’re “supposed” to be.
I wanted to capture this nakedness of identity, while allowing each model’s distinct personality to shine. Each model was given the task to pick a quote that means something to them. It’s in this place of vulnerability we’re emancipated. It’s here where we’re most able to express ourselves authentically.
I hope this gallery inspires you to let your message shine and resonate throughout your entire being."- Narissa Jimenez-Petchumrus
(2019 Loud & Queer committee member)
"I've got a song to sing and a love to protect..
"and a promise to keep even in death."
"Why are the first responders to our oppression so often bullets?"- Kaiden Wilde
"You take it all in. You let the pain of the world touch your heart, and you turn it into compassion."- Pema Chödrön
"I hear you. I just choose to be selective of who I listen to."
"You are not lucky to be here. The world needs your perspective. They are lucky to have you."- Antonio Tijerino
"Pride. Equality for all."
Vanessa Wallace Gonzales
"If I didn't define myself, for myself, I would be crunched into other peoples fantasies for me and eaten alive."- Audre Lorde
"We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."- Elie Wiesel
Narissa Jimenez- Petchumrus
"You don't get it. Brown is the source of my strength, not my fragility. Put us in the sun, we will grow."
LOUD & QUEER
YOUNG VOICES: EXPRESSION THROUGH ADVOCACY
WHY WE LOVE SPELUNK MAG!
Founded by Mel McElhose, Spelunk Mag is a quarterly publication dedicated to promoting visual art and creative writing as well as featuring authentic lifestyle and expression of true individuals—not brands. The overall aim of Spelunk is to inspire and encourge creativity across all walks of life while positively impacting local communities and creatives through the magic of print!