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About the Exhibition

This exhibition is open to the public at MOWA | DTN, the museum’s satellite location inside Saint Kate—The Arts Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. Learn more

Exhibition Party June 1 | 6:00–8:00

MOWA | DTN inside Saint Kate—The Arts Hotel

Anna: Photography by Lidia Sharapova challenges concepts of femininity and self-presentation. Anna, a black transgender model who initiated what turned into an ongoing series of portraits taken over three years, is an active participant in the construction of her personal and public identity.

Images produced within a fluid relationship between the sitter and the photographer, Lidia Sharapova, variously explore conventions and options concerning identity, femininity, and the many facets of public and private personas. Far from an object at the whim of a voyeur, Anna levels an unyielding gaze directly back at the photographer and, by extension, the viewer.  She asserts her authority and ownership of her body and herself. Carefully staged, thoughtfully posed, and theatrically lit, the colorful images convey a conviction that identity can be intentionally constructed.

Like Anna, Lidia Sharapova has actively engineered her own place in the world. She grew up in Siberia and moved alone to the United States in 2013. Today, based in Milwaukee, she works as a photographer and videographer. Her focus is on documenting issues of social identity, gender, race, and the complexity of small communities to reveal our common humanity. This is Sharapova’s first museum exhibition.

Watch Artist Video


(Top) Lidia Sharapova, Transit, 2021 (detail)
(Side) Lidia Sharapova, Green Light, 2021

“Our community is facing a challenge to our fundamental right of expression,”

said Quadracci

“It is through exhibitions like this that the public can learn more about us and see us not as a letter in an acronym, but as fellow human beings and an important part of the great mosaic of American life.”

“Vivent Health is proud to sponsor this exhibition as the arts are such a transformative force within the LGBTQ+ community, fostering self-expression, promoting understanding, challenging societal norms, building community, and advocating for social change,”

said Margaret Grebe Lidstone, Chief Development Officer of Vivent Health

“By amplifying LGBTQ+ voices and experiences, the arts contribute to a more inclusive and accepting world.”

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Exhibition Sponsor

Special Community Partner