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'Never stop creating': Earthtones hosts launch party for 'metamorphosis' zine

earthtones zine party 09102023-3.jpg

Students chatted and checked out art during Earthtones' zine launch party at Peel Gallery in Carrboro on Sept. 10.

The music was on, and the room was filled with enthusiastic chatter. 

At 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10, UNC student organization Earthtones began their zine launch party at the Peel Gallery in Carrboro. 

Earthtones is an art collective made up entirely of artists of color who share similar interests in creative expression. The collective's LinkedIn describes Earthtones as a platform where students of color can build connections and express themselves through art. 

Since last year, the organization has hosted annual parties to celebrate the launch of their zine, a digital or physical booklet consisting of various forms of art.

According to Lokumo Eteni, a senior at UNC and co-creative director of the organization, the zine this year is based around the theme of "metamorphosis," showcasing changes within the artists through their work. 

Eteni shared that the purpose of this event is to promote art and artists of their community.

“It’s all about people coming here, and seeing through their art how they’ve changed and how they’re seen within themselves, how they're expressing their change within themselves through art,” Eteni said.

The theme for the zine was the idea of Julio Boileve, a junior majoring in environmental studies and American Indian and indigenous studies. 

Boileve was inspired by his transition experience. He has been socially transitioned for about a year, but has been on hormone replacement therapy for four months.

"It's just become a big part of my life because of how much it's impacted me," he said.

Inside the zine, there is a digital collage titled “La marca de Reyna a Maradona," which was created by Boileve and includes references to soccer, including Argentinian soccer player Diego Maradona.

For the piece, Boileve said he took inspiration from his grandfather, who played soccer throughout his life and who he said affected how he thinks about masculinity.

"Soccer has been important to me since I was little," he said. "And it means even more to me once I found out that my grandfather really enjoyed that I played it.”  

Peruvian culture also influenced the way Boileve thinks of masculinity, and his piece reflects his growth into manhood.

"I think a lot of trans representation, especially for trans men, has been very focused on white trans men, and a lot of these things don't apply to brown trans men and Black trans men," he said.

Another creator, Mariah McCann, is a senior majoring in African, African American, and diaspora studies. Their piece is a poem inspired by Adrienne Maree Brown, a writer, activist and facilitator who promotes healing ideas across multimedia platforms. 

McCann's poems are meant to be a means of checking in with one's self and making sure one is okay, she said.

Standing beside McCann was Melissa Luna, a junior and an editor of the zine, who said that art is a good form of self-expression.

"It's a nice outlet sometimes to get out emotions that you aren't comfortable sharing with people inside of words," she said.

The launch party was open to everyone who is interested in supporting artists of color and the art they create. 

Storm Kimble, a first-year attendee at the party, said that she wanted to be able to find a community that appreciates art like she does because she had not previously noticed a lot of representation of Black art in Chapel Hill.

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McCann said that people interested in Earthtones can keep up with the organization on Instagram

@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com