Art means something different to everyone who creates and interacts with it. Over the last year for KT Simmons-Uvin, it has been both therapeutic and expressive.

Simmons-Uvin started to use knitting as a way to process in January of this year. It at first was a purposeful artistic escape with a medium that was passed down through generations in their family. It then became a serendipitous addition to their research into childhood trauma and the intersection of fiber and queerness.

This week it became an installment in the UW Art Lofts labeled ‘Personal Meme.’ The installment included eight sweaters made by Simmons-Uvin this year, each with different text embroidered on the front.

Simmons-Uvin says each message is purposeful, and each has power for those who relate. 

“Each sweater, as you were talking about, represents like a certain person, or certain situation, or something that really causes a lot of stress to me. And putting it on a sweater and putting it on display for other people with these, with this text that. You know, a lot of this text came from Tik Tok. So I’d be on mental health Tik Tok and suddenly somebody would say something that I would be like ‘oh that’s totally me.’ And realizing there’s a community out there of people that are going ‘oh yes that’s totally me.”

‘Personal Meme’ is their first solo installment as a graduate student, and it will not be the last. The Masters of Fine Art candidate is proud of the powerful connection their art can instigate, and plans to go a lot bigger next time around. For the Badger Report, I’m Ben Kenney