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Mon, Oct 23



State of Being

An Altered Portrait Art Group for Trans, Non-Binary, and Genderqueer Teens

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State of Being
State of Being

Time & Location

Oct 23, 2023, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Durham, 3326 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd suite a230, Durham, NC 27707, USA

About the event

Portrait photography, mixed media, and art therapy combine to offer a creative space for teens to reflect on and express their current lived realities. Joy, pain, excitement, anger, and all other aspects of experience are welcome here. 

This group is for trans, non-binary, and genderqueer teens. This is an art-based group, and participants will use photography and mixed media to create large-scale self-portraits. Participants will work together to create self-portrait photographs. Each participant will receive a 36x48 print. The second half of the group will focus on altering these portraits using mixed media materials. The group is designed to offer creative expression and self-reflection in a safe and supportive environment. 

In addition to art-making, the group will host  guest artists and photographers in three of the groups. More details on this will be available as these artists and photographers are confirmed. 

The group is facilitated by Meg Hamilton, LCMHC, ATR. Meg (she/her) is an artist and photographer, and has facilitated several collaborative, social action oriented art projects. These groups are designed to allow the participants and group to determine their unique needs and goals for the art process and completed art pieces. Meg holds the structure, and supports participants with achieving their vision. 

While each group can be registered for individually it is recommended that participants attend all groups in order to successfully complete the project. Materials and the cost of the 36x48 print are included in group fees. Participants will have access to portrait backdrops and speedlights (portable, battery powered flashes). 

Please note that while Meg is a therapist this is not specifically a therapy group. The group may have therapeutic value but is not designed to address specific clinical needs or goals. Participants are not considered clients of Birch Counseling, PLLC. 

Full and Partial Scholarships may be available for this group. Please email for additional information.

The group will follow the following outline: 

Group 1: Introductions 

We will spend time building safety in the group, getting to know each other, and introducing the project. Participants will have time to begin experimenting with portrait photos and equipment.

Group 2: Making Portraits

We will look at the work of several important portrait photographers who used their work for social change. Participants will begin to create their own portraits and a digital contact sheet. 

Group 3: Making Portraits, continued

We will focus on completing portaits and digital contact sheets. We will spend time processing the experience of making portraits. 

Group 4: Editing and Image Selection

We will use our digital contact sheets to select an image to edit and print. We will review basic editing strategies and complete edits on images. Prints will be made after this group. 

Group 5: Altering Images

We will examine the work of social action artists and study the ways use of various media contribute to the overall message of the art piece. Participants will be provided mixed media materials to begin altering their portraits. 

Group 6: Altering Images, Continued

We will continue working to alter images using various materials. 

Group 7: Altering Images, Continued

We will complete our images and begin to prepare for our final group. 

Group 8: Closing

Participants will share their portraits. The group will process their experience in the group. 

Equipment and Materials Needed: 

1. Participants will need a device or camera they can use to make digital images. This can be a phone, tablet with a camera, or digital camera. If someone is interested in using film or polaroid for this, please reach out to Meg directly to discuss logistics as this may be possible to accommodate. 

2. Participants will need a device they can use to complete basic photo edits. This can be a phone, tablet, or laptop. If this is not available, it may be possible to use editing software on a device Meg provides. 

3. Mixed media materials will be provided by Meg, however if there are specific materials a participant would like to use they are welcome to bring these. 


  • Participant Registration

    Fee includes materials and 36x48 print.

    +$2.38 service fee
  • Registration- All Groups

    As an art-based group, it is recommended that all groups are attended in order to complete the project. Please use this ticket to register for all group meetings. If it is not possible to attend all groups, please register individually for each group date that can be attended. Fees include material costs as well as a 36x48 print.

    +$19.00 service fee



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