ART + SOCIAL JUSTICE

weBelong

Mission

Art Projects

Community-centered, sociological art projects designed to bridge the gap between harmful societal systems and marginalized experiences to create positive social impact.

Community Care

Community-centered resources to create greater equity for artists by supporting and amplifying access to exhibition opportunities and funding.

Art Projects

“If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice, have recognition for difference without attaching difference to privilege.”

BELL HOOKS

Community Calendar

Visit the Community page to see the full calendar of art events and opportunities. Events by weBelong or in collaboration with weBelong are in Coral.

february 2024

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Judy Lee (she/her)

Portrait Artist & Storyteller

Artist Statement

How can the art of portraiture illuminate our understanding of ourselves and, in turn, contribute to collective liberation? Through the medium of photography, I see portraiture as a powerful tool for self-reflection and an agent of social change, inviting us to look beyond the surface, challenging us to sit in discomfort, and teaching us to appreciate the complex and difficult beauty inherent in our shared humanity.

I’ve always hated pictures of myself, evading the camera's gaze and reacting with visceral criticism to any pictures of myself. This all changed when I discovered the art of portrait photography which led to an intuitive journey of self-exploration, facing what I was too afraid to see as I worked through the discomfort and pain of the self-reflection process. I’ve learned to integrate this approach in my work by providing female subjects, who are afraid of being seen, with a nonjudgmental, expansive space to feel seen, resulting in portraits that capture the complexity of emotions that encapsulate their life experiences. These portraits, when coupled with my gently guided therapeutic process, serve as powerful tools for self-reflection and liberation.

My work focuses on community-centered art projects that create social impact. My intention is to connect the experiences of marginalized individuals, who exist at the intersection of gender and race, to systems of oppressions in order to foster empathy and understanding by both the subjects and the audience. Through portraits and narrative told in their own words, the subject is given a space to feel worthy of being seen. By enabling the audience to immerse themselves in another’s story, along with prompts to facilitate self-reflection, the audience is invited to bear witness and to recognize the shared threads of our humanity. For both subject and audience, my hope is that this work can bring to light our unconscious beliefs about who matters and is worthy of being seen, thereby challenging harmful narratives that prevent us from seeing ourselves and each other as whole human beings.

Contact

Hello! weBelong is based out of Seattle, WA, on the traditional land of the Duwamish People and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe. Consider making a monthly contribution to Real Rent Duwamish to justly compensate the tribe for their land.

Please complete the form below or you can email Judy directly at webelong@gmail.com to get in touch.