Trans Boxing

Engaging Artists Projects

Trans Boxing

Trans Boxing is a collaborative art project centered around a boxing club for trans and gender variant individuals. It offers community-building, education, and mentorship through training and workshops. The project has conducted classes in NYC and workshops across the U.S., partnering with various organizations. In collaboration with More Art, Nolan Hanson and Hill Donnell partnered with the James Baldwin School to teach boxing skills and cultural context to students.
Artist
Nolan Hanson
Active dates

Ongoing project that received support from More Art in 2020.

Nolan Hanson, Trans Boxing, 2020. Photo by Kija Lucas
  • Project description
  • About the artist
Nolan Hanson, Trans Boxing, 2020. Photo by Kija Lucas

Trans Boxing is an ongoing co-authored art project in the form of a boxing club that centers the participation of trans and gender variant people. The project provides a platform for community-building, education, and mentorship amongst participants from a diversity of backgrounds through training, workshops, and conversation. Trans Boxing has held weekly classes in New York City, facilitated workshops in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Cincinnati, and New Orleans, and facilitated projects in partnership with various community organizations, gyms, arts institutions, and schools across the country. Trans Boxing is experimental, and the project shifts in response to context, continuously re-imagining possibilities for social engagement.

During the Engaging Artist residency program, Nolan Hanson and collaborator Hill Donnell partnered with the James Baldwin School– a DOE transfer high school on West 18th Street in Chelsea– to initiate a project in the form of a Physical Education class designed to teach youth participants the fundamental skills of boxing, while also exploring relevant theoretical, cultural, and artistic context. Over the course of the 2020-2021 school year the class facilitated boxing training alongside various participatory workshops by guest-instructors which included writing, filmmaking and editing, graphic design, visual media literacy, and boxing film analysis. The partnership between the James Baldwin School and Trans Boxing is ongoing. Visit transboxing.org for full details.

Trans Boxing was commissioned by More Art through the Engaging Artists Residency program (now called the Engaging Artists Commission). The program provided 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 program carried a $8000 award to realize the project.

Nolan Hanson

Nolan Hanson is a trans artist whose practice centers the role of embodiment in contemporary social systems. Nolan 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. Nolan’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.

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