about the project.

Trans Boxing is an experimental, artist-run boxing club founded by Nola Hanson in 2017. For over two years the project has facilitated weekly boxing classes exclusively for trans and gender variant people in New York City. Through the Engaging Artists Fellowship, Nola’s research– largely done in collaboration with Hill Donnell, a member Trans Boxing– has investigated applications of the sport in performance, pedagogy, and restorative practices. Their workshops are held at The Door, a youth services organization in Lower Manhattan, and at Overthrow New York. During the Covid-19 pandemic, their weekly Saturday classes are being offered virtually through Zoom. Visit transboxing.org for full details.

In response to the current global pandemic and nationwide shutdown, Trans Boxing has adapted their work in exploratory ways. In addition to moving their weekly classes to a virtual platform, lead artist Nola Hanson is developing an offshoot project, titled Trans Boxing Conceptual Exercises. The project invites participants to follow instructions and submit documentation of completed exercises which formalize the rituals of boxing training. The parameters of the work re-claim the day-to-experiences of the boxer and position them as conceptual artworks in and of themselves.

Trans Boxing is commissioned by More Art through the Engaging Artists Residency program. The nine-month Residency provides an opportunity for NYC-based early career and underrepresented artists to gain a deeper understanding of the history of the field of public art, and is focused on the incubation and commissioning of a public art project. The Residency carries a $8000 award to realize the project.

about the artists.

Nola Hanson (Lead artist) is a trans artist whose practice centers the role of embodiment in contemporary social systems. Nola received their BFA in Painting and Art Criticism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2014. In 2015, they started boxing at the New Bed Stuy Boxing Center, a community-run gym in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, where they continue to train. Nola’s practice includes independent work and collaborative socially engaged projects. Their work has been shown in New York, Chicago, Portland, and Milwaukee. Nola is currently an MFA candidate in the Art and Social Practice program at Portland State University. 

Hill Donnell (Collaborator) is an athlete, organizer and educator born in Torino, Italy and raised on the US Gulf Coast. Their pedagogical and creative practice seeks to engage critical perspectives on technological change, embodiment and the promise of participatory governance. Hill serves as Policy and Programs Manager at Athlete Ally, a NYC based non-profit working to end homophobia and transphobia in sport. Hill began boxing in 2016 and started organizing with Trans Boxing in 2017, shortly after moving to New York.

Liv Adler (Collaborator) is a native New Yorker, amateur boxer, and renowned trainer with over 10 years of competitive boxing experience. Liv has worked at various boxing gyms and programs throughout the city, including Everybody Fights, RISE by WE, She Fights, and Church Street Boxing Gym. Liv started working as a trainer with Trans Boxing in 2017 and provides sliding scale private training for a number of trans/gnc/nb adults and youth. Liv is passionate about breaking down the barriers to access that queer and trans people experience and increasing accessibility to high level training and competition.