Destiny of Pride echoes the theme of 2018’s Tacoma Pride Festival. Matamatanonofo designed a temporary mural made up of different people, of a variety of cultures and sexes collated into a single face. Spaceworks invited the community to participate in this art wall installed at the festival for one day only. Visitors used paint markers to add their own art and messages. Over 450 people participated.
Matamatononofo Porter / Destiny of Pride Community Mural
S 9th & Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402
July 14, 2018, 12 PM – 6 PM
Matamatanonofo Porter is a 27-year-old abstract painter and illustrator from Tacoma, Washington. Her Samoan heritage, love for street art, and love for Sci-Fi Fantasy novels are huge influences on her work as a visual artist. Porter balances her work with public art accessible to all, and studio art created solely as a gift for family and friends. We asked her about celebrating Pride:
Do you identify as a queer artist?
Yes, I identify as a queer Samoan female artist. Existing at that intersection today is truly a unique and fabulous experience. Like most people, however, I have come a long and painful way towards finding self-acceptance. From family disagreements over my sexuality, Samoan culture norms that can constrict the individual, to the fearful inadequacy that haunts many artists. It has taken too long to understand my place in the world. Now I am finally confident that I belong here, I have great value, and no part of myself needs to give way to another; and (word not needed) the same is true for all of us.
As far as Tacoma goes, Tacoma is just where it’s at. Anyone who wants to be supported by a diverse, culture-driven community could be served better by no other city.
Why do you celebrate Pride?
Truthfully, I am a homebody and introspect. When it comes to parading in the streets I drag my feet and beg to be left behind at a bar or bookstore. But, because that form of celebration calls to so many people I love, and only comes a few times a year, I always Pride 😊. I go with friends, I go with family. I feel the love and I enjoy the sunshine. I hold their wallets and phones because I always sport a backpack, and during Pride I experience what it truly means to be out.
What helps you thrive as an artist in Tacoma? What kind of support do you need?
What helps me thrive as an artist in Tacoma is, ironically, a piece of advice given by RuPaul in countless TV interviews: Never burn your bridges. Sometimes a project comes undone. Sometimes a partner, individual, or organization mistakenly offends you. Be kind in your relationship with others and if you must sever ties do it gracefully. By following this rule of decency, I have basically been sustained by a community of artists who cares for its people, and I pride myself on being a contributing member. What kind of support do I need? More barbeques! Summertime fun with my people!