MEMBER SPOTLIGHT – PARKER SILVER
Parker began their artistic journey as a Creative Media student, in their senior year working as an assistant curator, under Chris Thompson, Generator founder and former Executive Director. As assistant curator for Champlain College’s CCM Gallery, Parker assisted with over twenty-five exhibitions and curated five of their own, this experience informed their views on the power of compelling yet accessible curation: “Curated exhibitions should be accessible to everyone, so if there is a deeper meaning people can reach that but also people can just enjoy art as it is, without the pressure to experience it in a certain way”
After graduation, Parker continued in arts administration, becoming an event coordinator for the BCA, and later the artist service coordinator for the Flynn in 2018, experiences bolstered by a Master’s in Museum and Gallery Studies from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland from 2017-2018. In 2020, after an isolating but reflection-filled pandemic start, Parker founded Hi Ho Silver Works, their personal brand of gothic art, apparel, and stickers.
Parker’s style, as they describe it, is a mix of Courage the Cowardly Dog and Dragon Age, where natural elements, textures and darkness bring movement into static material. “I’m like the granny goth who sits with you while you look at the abyss, holding your hand while it stares back at you. My work is playful and funny but also emotional.”
This intersection bleeds into Parker’s performance. As a Burlesque dancer who performs under the title Grimm Noir, Parker leans into the illusory power of costume and tease, playing with natural elements to discover the magic of the world around us.
As a business owner, artist and performer, Parker is often pulled in many directions. But their strategy is simple: “I don’t do anything I don’t want to do. Being black and being queer, there is so much power and joy in rest, something that has historically been denied. I prioritize what fulfills me and gives me value, and construct my life based on work that feels joyful.”
Having access to tools and space at Generator has been critical to Parker’s development as an artist, where both speed and the material possibilities have amplified their artistic world. As a Chris Thompson mentee, Parker has long known of Generator, but has been truly embedded in the community over the last months: “Generator’s access has been super helpful for me to hit the ground running with my business.” They have mastered the laser cutter and are excited to discover the possibilities of acrylic and resin down the road.
As for what lies ahead, Parker is stepping into a development associate role with JAG Productions, a black theater company based in White River Junction, focused on bringing black playwrights and theater productions to the Upper Valley. Parker has performed for JAG before, but will be behind the curtain in this new role, helping forge a sustainable growth path and build a thriving community for the organization. Parker will also be pursuing a doctorate program in visual arts with international residencies starting in September, focused on arts philosophy and topographical studies to build a global art perspective.
As Parker preps for grad school, a new part-time role at JAG, holiday production around the corner, and an event at Mainstreet Landing to plan, it seems there is little they aren’t doing. When we asked Parker what they are most looking forward to, they made sure to remind us that they love all their children equally. As Parker put it: “I’m proud but never satisfied. All I really need is to have a nice garden, spend time with friends, organize events, make art and help the world.”