Art and identity in queer America

1 minute read
'Rosie the Riveter' by Amy Martin. (Image courtesy of William Way LGBT Center.)
'Rosie the Riveter' by Amy Martin. (Image courtesy of William Way LGBT Center.)

Since 1974, the organization now known as the William Way LGBT Community Center has offered a wealth of resources to Philadelphians: a library, archives, classes, support groups, and a small performance space. Today, the Center’s programs have expanded to include meditation groups, social gatherings, a Pride run, resources for people who are trans and gender-nonconforming, and more. In July and August, the center will host the exhibition Queer Americans: Who We Are, featuring artwork from Amy Martin, alkotó, and Kelly McQuain.

The work of these three artists assert queer American cultural identification, coming together in an exhibition which both recognizes and celebrates its challenges, joys, and diversity. It is a fitting theme in a momentous year that marks the 45th anniversary of the William Way LGBT Community Center and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising that ignited the movement for LGBT rights.

Each exhibiting artist highlights the unique and varied experiences of queer Americans. alkotó creates multilayered abstract paintings arising out of an inclusive process of discovery and invention. Amy Martin creates art that conveys a queer femme vision through unapologetic paintings and drawings. Kelly McQuain, a resident of Bella Vista, paints narratives which address hopes and despair about human relationships with technology, nature, and each other. All three artists were awarded the July exhibition. Each artist also received a $500 jury prize in the William Way LGBT Community Center’s 2018 fall community show.

There will be an opening reception for Queer Americans: Who We Are on Friday, July 12, 2019, from 6 to 8pm at the William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia. The show runs through August 30. Admission is free. For more information, visit online or call 215-732-2220.

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