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My name is Paige Baldwinson and I graduated from The University of California, Santa Barbara in 2022 as a double major in Fine Art and Sociology. 


Entering college, I experienced both the pleasures and challenges of being a young woman. On one hand, I felt as if I was coming into myself as both a painter and an individual, but at the same time I was forced to abandon any naive tendencies about navigating the world as a woman. I finally felt free to explore my sexuality and clothing styles which were restricted from me in high school, but I was quickly met with double standards. I was very aware of how my self expression was being perceived. After several of my closest friends were taken advantage of during my freshman year of college, my own experience involving sexual assault became fresh in my mind and I have been reignited with passion and rage at the apparent helplessness of the situation around me and the idea that certain burdens are automatically bestowed on me as a woman. I have no control over the fact that women are being objectified and disrespected in my own community and all around the country—it’s to the point that sexual assault has become a common experience for women everywhere. My paintings directly confront the viewer and question their position in a society that has allowed sexual assault to become normalized.

Since the completion of my painting series, ‘Someone’s Mother, Daughter, Sister, and Friend’, I have taken a more introspective approach in my paintings; My work depicts the ways my image has changed after taking on the topic of sexual assault, such as challenges I have faced pursuing romantic relationships, the ways my identity has changed online, and my qualms with being boxed into the identity of a survivor. Although I haven’t settled on the reason I continue to focus my work on interpersonal violence, I find that the painful aspects of recollecting traumatic experiences can also become therapeutic as I spend months planning and executing my experiences. Regardless of my status as a survivor of sexual assault, I am interested in addressing topics of sexuality. As I continue my work, I have questioned if my paintings are reinforcing or critiquing the culture that I am a part of; I want to be able to embrace my sexuality without having that narrative revolve around pleasing men.


My ultimate goal is to apply to display these paintings in a public setting, whenever that is possible. I feel it is very important for this work to have the largest audience as possible in order to have the greatest impact.



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