Art Exhibits, Feminism, Launches, and a tiny bit of Thurston Moore

Photo on 2013-04-03 at 4.49 PM


I am tired.

After many months of writing, painting, preparing, drawing, and oh heavens, winter weather, I have a bit of time to relax. Last month I participated in the Feminist Art Conference, read my first conceptual piece at an event, released my new chapbook The Octopus Complex, and opened my first solo art exhibit.

1. The Feminist Art Conference

The two pieces I had displayed are part of a series I’ve been working on for a while. The series is entitled “SLUT” and although I’ve been painting them out of therapy, at their core, they’re a way of expressing an empowerment.

I’m not usually keen on describing what an art work is; my joy in art is to explore a piece with my own experience and interpretation. I post up two of the works that were selected for the conference:

“SLUT” water color and ink on yupo paper. 9 x 12

SLUT by Jacqueline Valencia

“Claudia” acrylic on canvas 24 x 30

Claudia by Jacqueline Valencia

I also had the pleasure to be on a panel called “Creating Our Own Narrative: Responding To Gendered Violence.” It really opened my eyes to how privileged we are in Toronto to hold an event like this. Bangladesh-writer Aliya Khan spoke on how academic women in her country are pressured into submitting to pre-arranged marriage regardless of their choice or their education. It’s something we take for granted here, especially if someone says,  “Just leave. Marry whoever you want. Or don’t get married.”

Aliya says it’s just not that easy. You are exiled and cast aside by your entire family and culture if you attempt to make your own choices. There exists very little support for the independent woman.

Another one of the panelists Danielle Nicole Smith (click on her name for her work), data mines MRA (men’s right activists) comments on feminist blogs for her artwork. When asked how she felt about the backlash to her work, she said in her young life she was already tired of explaining Feminism 101 to folks. She didn’t feel she needed to apologize for wanting to be respected, for fighting for equal rights, or for simply existing.

And it’s all true.

I did speak as well, but my memory of what I said is a blur. I got to converse with poet Andrea Thompson about our own experiences being of mixed race. It’s one thing when we talk about feminism, and it’s another when we talk about feminism as a black person, but it’s also quite another when “this is what I talk about when I talk about feminism as a mixed race person.” I haven’t talked about these issues in a long time and I was glad to be in a space where I could.

Photos and more on the conference at their tumblr and website:

2. The Octopus Complex

The launch for my new chapbook was at Q Space and it’s my first chapbook with a publisher: LyricalMyrical Press.

I’m very excited about it and the launch for it was splendid fun. Here’s a few photos that my friend Tanya took that day.



The Octopus Complex can be purchased from my backpack bookstore and soon at Q Space bookstore. As usual, all hardcovers will be for sale while a pdf version is free. Still working on digitizing it with a Creative Commons License so y’all can read it and remix it if you’d like (just send me your works so I can see them!).


3. Charlie And Crush Are Here the Art Exhibit at Playful Grounds.

Here are some pieces I did for it :

“Emily” acrylic on cardstock with acrylic on frame 7 x 12 SOLD


“Crush Letters” ink on paper with frame SOLD


“Charlie Scream” acrylic on canvas 12 x 16 ($400)


“The Kiss” acrylic on canvas 12 x 16 ($400)


To see the rest of them you’ll have to go to Playful Grounds this whole month of April to check them out!

I will have prints made and originals up for sale at an online store (and the online portfolio  I will be setting up soon.

Photos from opening night:

Salt Circle performed. It was an amazing set! Check them out here:


My reading.


The art crowd.


And a clip of one of my readings that night. Thanks to Henry Martinuk

P.S. I finally saw Thurston Moore in concert with Chelsea Light Moving this weekend.

PhotoGrid_1364781417083There are NO WORDS, man. No words.

I went absolutely nuts when they played “Burroughs.” NUTS, I say!

At the beginning of this post, I said it was tired and I had a bit of time to relax. By time I meant a few hours. I’m painting a more realism based work at the moment and working on a few submissions. Look for “Charlie and Crush Are Here” the graphic novel the exhibit is based on in Summer 2013. And guess who qualifies now to be a full member of the League of Canadian Poets?

And of course, Getting Inside James Joyce’s Head is still continuing.

There’s no stopping now.

Onward and forward, my friends.

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