“Gender Treason: The bravest act of defying culturally imposed stereotypes surrounding sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The Gender Treason project seeks to provide vulnerable insight into the queer populous of Kansas City through visual and literary documentation. The project is currently underway. In total, 12 people across the spectrum of queer identity will be interviewed, photographed and painted by Ryan Wilks on  48” x 56” (or larger) canvases. The final exhibition will be held in June 2016 with the paintings displayed alongside transcriptions of interviews with the subjects. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the final artwork will be donated to support the following LGBTQIA organizations in Kansas City: LIKEME Lighthouse, Passages, Kansas City Anti-Violence project.

GenderTreasonLogoThere is a cultural shift happening in the United States. I, Kansas City-based painter and author, Ryan Wilks of Wilks Painting, believe that the nation is awakening to the shared human experience and beginning to seek the perspective of those who live differently than the previously defined “social norms.”

I see shift happening in instances such as the Supreme Court ruling on the legalization of gay marriage in June 2015; in the media explosion and public acceptance of Caitlyn Jenner; in the celebration and celebrity status of our sisters in drag; in the nationwide mourning of the senseless losses of our LGBTQIA brothers and sisters; and in the ongoing conversation and legislation surrounding gender identity and sexual orientation. I am compelled to commemorate this historical awakening in collective consciousness and to cultivate a platform for queer persons within Kansas City to share their largely unheard stories, one at a time, while people are more receptive than ever.

The world is also suffering from a misinformation overload. Opinions are wildly toted as facts– which result in the loss of equality, safety, and peace of mind for those whom live their truths. Discrimination and ignorance are rampant and I feel a social responsibility to bring light to the human experience of queer people. I’ve asked myself, “What can I do? Is the problem merely a lack of perspective? And if so, how can I use my art to shed light on the queer perspective?”

For more information please contact Ryan Wilks and/or visit the following links:



www.facebook.com/gendertreason V

Via Press Release