Amanda Pickler is an interdisciplinary artist based primarily in painting and printmaking where she is investigating the spectrum of queer intimacy within public and private spaces. Pickler was born in Washington state just outside of Seattle where she discovered a deep connection to the outdoors. She received her BA with Honors from the University of Washington, Seattle and is a Mary Gates Leadership Scholar recipient. Pickler currently lives in Boston, MA, where she is an MFA candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University.
Visibility within the queer community is increasing, but without any protection being put in place so are anti-trans and homophobic legislation. In the summer of 2022, I received a Dean’s Research Award to visit the Henrietta Hudson, the first historical lesbian bar in the country, to document and engage within the space. Most of my work depicts queer intimacy through my own experiences, or through the experiences of my community. I have been reaching out to my queer community here in Boston, and in New York and Seattle, to document and have conversations around queer joy, safe spaces, and intimacy by visiting historical lesbian bars and queer spaces. I am investigating the dichotomy between the pleasure we get in looking and the discomfort some might feel when consuming queer intimacy. When, specifically, lesbian relationships are shown, it is generally for the cishet male gaze. It is through this gaze that scopophilia plays a major role in the consumption of mass media and fine art. I am depicting queer intimacy and the traces left behind as we love for one another. In my work, I hope to create a moment where newfound empathy can be felt by any viewers who might be uncomfortable, while also allowing visibility and shared joy to be felt by those who are family.
Headshot by Naail Ali, BFA '23