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Multidimensional Portraits Spark Conversations on Societal Expectations

Posted on April 04, 2019 in Art

3 Faces
TraNisha Herrington’s portraits highlight the way women are changing narratives.
2 Faces
Triggy With Exhibition
Triggy with part of her exhibition, The Smile Series.

The Smile Series, a new exhibition at St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) by St. Louis artist TraNisha Herrington, also known as Triggy, uses multidimensional portraits to comment on societal norms. The exhibition is composed of five portraits, Ophelia, Angee, Earline, Winnie, and Amber, each made from paper pulp, acrylic, dye, and wood that together create the multidimensional faces of women of color throughout the St. Louis area.

This selection of The Smile Series was created by Triggy to display at STL and as a way to spark conversation and challenge traditional societal views of women, particularly the need for women to smile despite what they may be enduring in their personal lives. All five women in the exhibition are featured without smiling. The absence of a smile helps convey the message that women are not just for show, but have an important role in changing the narrative of many social settings.

Each individual in the series are part of a progressive change for the city’s narrative, active in leading the communities and striving to make a difference. Triggy focuses on the strengths and actions of her subjects and brings them to life through her conversations with them. As the women modeled for their portrait, Triggy conversed with them to understand how their daily life reflected their triumphs and struggles, highlights from these conversations are featured alongside the artwork. Through her work, Triggy hopes to challenge every day assumptions and shift the conversation of women’s roles.

With intricate detail, St. Louis native Triggy uses art as a healing mechanism, both individually and societally. Turning to art during a transitional time, she found a new layer of purpose. Having a creative eye, her initial canvas was wardrobe. However, creating life size portraits using the stippling technique led her to a new level of self-expressions. Her multidimensional pieces are centered around conversations regarding a variety of societal issues.

The Smile Series is now on display through April 3, 2020 in Terminal 2 between gates E33 and E34 and is part of the Lambert Art & Culture Program’s temporary exhibitions program. The program is supported by the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis.

Triggy was chosen to exhibit in the Lambert Art & Culture Program through the Airport’s seven-member Airport Art Advisory Committee. Current members are Lisa Cakmak, Associate Curator of Ancient Art at Saint Louis Art Museum; Ellen Gale, Executive Director Clayton Chamber of Commerce; Shelley Hagan; Leslie Markle, Curator of Public Art, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; Kiku Obata, Founding Principal of Kiku Obata & Co.; Roseann Weiss, consultant with ART+; and design artist and illustrator Carlos Zamora.  

The Lambert Art and Culture Program builds upon the culturally rich legacy of St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Our mission is to elevate the visitor experience and uplift regional pride through the presentation of artwork created by local, national, and international artists. Currently, there are 29 works of art (temporary, permanent or on-loan) on view at the Airport. For more information, visit