ROCHESTER TEN
BRITTANY REID
 

Age: 37
Occupation: Visual artist, full-time content manager, creative consultant, freelance writer
Current residence: West Henrietta, NY
Hometown: Rochester, NY

Everything about Brittany M. Reid and the art they produce is vibrant. On a given day, they can be found wearing a floral number, hair streaked in purple, a lavender Telfar bag strung over their shoulder. This color theory extends even to their manicured nails: a rainbow of pastels that blend as if the colors excitedly jumped over.

“I’m going to do my part to infuse my art, and the art that you buy from me and put into your homes, with color,” they said. “You won’t catch me without some richly saturated hue.”

The art medium is collage, which Reid discovered in 2019 after life happened in the form of a daughter, buying a house, and working full-time in tech. They didn’t have time for art. That was until Rochester Community Collage, an arts collective that meets every Sunday, came into the picture. In Reid’s words, they lost their mind. Suddenly, their creativity was reinvigorated.

Around that same time, Reid co-founded and launched #BlackCollagesMatter to encourage Black subjects through collage. They hosted an open call, and to this day, the hashtag has over 5,000 posts on Instagram. Those pieces were compiled and sold or published as a book, with $3,000 in proceeds going to the Black Art Futures Fund and Black Trans Femmes in the Arts (BTFA) Collective.

Reid’s art shows what they’re passionate about. Rich, luxe colors, Black subjects taking center stage, and feminine figures that are sensual, yet disrupted. Reid often searches to understand their genderqueer identity through collage; the missing heads or limbs of femme bodies suspended in space, but regal and respected.

“I’m always trying to venerate,” Reid said. “That’s always my goal, to venerate that feminine form but also communicate the pain behind it.”

click to enlarge RAFAEL RODRIGUEZ
  • RAFAEL RODRIGUEZ
One of their pieces, “When We Take it All Off,” can be seen on display in the Memorial Art Gallery’s 68th Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition. For Reid, who grew up visiting the MAG with their mother, having their work on display there is a full circle moment. “I got very emotional,” they said. “My piece features a Black feminine subject, and there’s not a lot of other ones like it in that space. I know I am making my family proud by having that in there.”

Reid makes their art in the taffy pink hue of their studio, surrounded by bookcases about to burst. But it’s not the only thing they do: Reid is also making sure less artists feel like they have no time or space to create by offering consulting on digital tooling, social media audits, content creation, and online courses to organize their time more efficiently.

“My goal is to share my experiences in a more practical and concrete way to help other artists protect their time and live creatively balanced lives,” they said.

Lydia Boddie-Rice, local visual artist and art therapist, needed help becoming self-reliant in digital tools to expand her outreach, and it’s Reid’s identity as an artist and business owner that drew Boddie-Rice’s to hire them.

“If you’re not a practitioner of the art form, of the art discipline, there are certain things you won’t understand about its needs,” said Boddie-Rice. “They meet you where you are.”

Speaking of Rochester Ten 2023

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