Jackson and his phrase have always seemed to us perfectly matched. We met Jackson when we were photographing for DISCARDED, another artwork with local roots. We photographed Jackson and three of his friends on a discarded sofa not far from UK, where he is now finishing his degree. Then we became friends. In time, we ended up filming him when he shaved his beard for the first time (a story in itself!) and telling him about the Lexington Tattoo Project way before it became public. Thanks to Jackson’s long involvement with WRFL, we were able to reach out to the radio station and have it as a sponsor of this artwork.
Jackson got his “out with friends” just minutes before we got our “deep roots” and “The Wishbone.” This is yet another way in which we feel deeply connected to him. Jackson, we will miss you when you leave Lexington later this month! But we are confident that you will make many great friends in your new city and your new new community.
Here is the story of Jackson’s tattoo:
“When it came down to choosing which phrase I wanted on my body, I was drawn to two in particular. The first was ‘a dance party’—it spoke specifically to my nature of community engagement. I organize an annual dance party, which takes place during Boomslang and serves as a visible and safe space for LGBTIQQA Lexingtonians, and as a way to educate everyone about independent music.
The second was ‘out with friends.’ It was fitting that ‘a dance party’ was taken and that Kremena and Kurt offered me my other choice. Months before this project was underway, my fiancé left me after five years, in a way that was cruel and very public. The Friday it happened, I found myself at Al’s Bar, forcing myself to get off the floor of my friend’s house and stop crying. It was as though the universe, and yea, the universe of Lexington, knew what I needed and placed every person in my town I could possibly want to run into, in that bar on that night. People I had seen that afternoon, people I hadn’t seen in months, co-workers, colleagues, classmates: a perfect backdrop of my life in this town and everyone was kind, offering me drinks and smiles and words of encouragement without trying to talk shit about my ex. One person in particular to share her warmth and guidance with me was Kremena.
So, unbeknownst to Kremena, when she and Kurt suggested ‘out with friends,’ I knew it was the perfect phrase for me because it was pointed out by a friend who was with me at ground zero and reminded me of the importance of getting up off the floor of my friend’s house and reconnecting with my Lexington family.”