I wept the morning I learned of Shade Schuler’s death. I’d never met her, hadn’t seen her picture until that morning, but I’d just finished the portraits of Lamia Beard, Ty Underwood, Jazmin Vash Payne, Taja de Jesus, Penny Proud, Bri Golec, Kristina Gomez Reinwald, London Chanel, Mercedes Williamson and India Clarke. The quick succession of new portraits to paint brought only sadness; death lingers heavily on the United States. In just weeks, more names were added to the list of those destroyed through violence: K.C. Haggard, Amber Monroe, Elisha Walker, Kandis Capri, Ashton O’Hara, Tamara Dominguez, Jasmine Collins, and Keyshia Blige.
Transgender women face a one in twelve chance of being murdered in the United States; Transgender women have a one in eight chance.
#SayHerName is currently a 19 piece set of 18 x 24 watercolor and ink portraits of Trans Women killed in the Untied States during 2015. Each piece is painted in reds and blues with negative white space as a dramatic contrasting element. This red, white and blue color scheme reflects the citizenship of the women and the culture which produced their deaths. Paint is splattered across the pristine white of each page, representing the violence each woman faced. The backgrounds are listed in the number that their death was reported (not necessarily the order that they occurred).