Catherine Graffam is an accomplished artist and educator, currently based in Boston. She received her BFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2015, and has since made a name for herself as a talented artist both domestically and internationally, with exhibitions featured in numerous museums and galleries. In 2017, Graffam was recognized as one of “Remarkable Women” by NH Magazine, a distinction she holds with pride.
Graffam’s work has garnered attention from multiple sources, including a profile in The Jealous Curator’s book, A Big Important Art Book (Now With Women!), and an interview in TIME magazine on issues related to the transgender community. Her art has been accepted into the permanent collection of the Library of Congress, a testament to the quality and cultural significance of her work.
Currently, Graffam works as an exhibition manager at Gallery 263 in Cambridge, MA, and is a faculty member at Lasell University. She is also an InterACT Youth Member and an executive committee member for the Boston LGBT+ Artist Alliance, demonstrating her commitment to using her art and platform to empower marginalized communities.
Graffam’s work is deeply personal, with self-portraiture serving as a means of cathartic emotional processing and reflecting on life experiences. As a trans woman, she uses herself as a vehicle for storytelling, reclaiming agency over her body through art. Her use of abstraction in her work serves as a coping mechanism for confronting her own image, manifesting discomfort through the language of brushstrokes.
In engaging with oil painting, a medium that has historically objectified and exploited women, Graffam’s work simultaneously confronts and subverts that history. Her paintings challenge the viewer to confront their own biases and preconceptions, while humanizing and individualizing her existence through the process of painting. Catherine Graffam is an artist to watch, with a powerful and meaningful body of work that speaks to the complexity of the human experience.