Scholarship winner creates pop-up exhibition

By Emily Salvatori, Editor
On March 27, the pop-up exhibition, “FTM POV: Exploration of a Transgender Perspective,” by Lucas Shaver opened in Room 100 of the Media Arts Center. Shaver is the first recipient of the Robert Villamagna Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Shaver said, “Being the first recipient of the scholarship feels incredible, especially as someone who’s never had great luck with applying for scholarships in the past. I really didn’t think I’d get it, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least give it a shot. When Martyna emailed me and told me I had been chosen, it really took me by surprise!”
Shaver is a visual communication major at West Liberty University. The Robert Villamagna Jr. Memorial Scholarship is available for students in art education or visual communication design. A requirement for the scholarship included giving back to the community with art, and this pop-up exhibition is how Shaver chose to do this.
He said, “I’ve always enjoyed creating artwork about my gender identity, seeing as how both art and being transgender are incredibly important to me and are huge parts of who I am as a person. Not only that, trans lives are becoming more and more talked about, but many people still don’t quite understand some of the nuances and realities that transgender people experience. When the application for the scholarship explained that part of the requirement for acceptance was to ‘give back’ via your art in some capacity, I saw my opportunity there. The idea of creating an open, educational, artistic experience about my perspective as a transgender man was something that really appealed to me.”
His exhibition is titled “FTM POV: Exploration of a Transgender Perspective” or simply referred to as “FTM POV.” Shaver said, “The acronym FTM stands for the adjective ‘female-to-male,’ as in the type of transition I am in the process of, and POV (you can probably guess) stands for ‘point of view.’” 
“This exhibition is all about seeing, through my eyes, both the good and the bad about being transgender. Many people tend to carry these false ideas that being transgender is just this constant, agonizing struggle that keeps me awake at night and can never be positive. They can also incorrectly look at it like I get by so easily, that being a transgender man is one of the easiest things to do in comparison to many other LGBT+ identities,” said Shaver. “The reality that I want to express through this exhibition is this: some days are great, some are awful, and many are just okay. There are good and bad sides to nearly every aspect of my transition, and I do my best to make the best of all of them.”
The pop-up exhibition will be open until April 20.
Photo Credit: Emily Salvatori