The university’s Pride Alliance yesterday opened the first art gallery exclusively dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community as part of its Pride Week programming.
The Queer and Trans Art Show is outside the Union Art Gallery wall until April 15. The gallery shines a light on queer and trans students, which is an important step for those involved, said Kristen Baxter, Pride Alliance social media and studio arts coordinator. Senior.
“The art world, for the most part, throughout history has been extremely inaccessible to most types of people,” Baxter said. “There are tons of very famous and infamous queer artists in art history, but even so there is only a limited palette – white and male. The important thing here is to give a voice to queer and trans students on campus.
Another goal of the gallery is to give students the experience of having their work displayed in a gallery, Baxter said. To help give students exposure, QR codes linking to artists’ portfolios will be next to works in the gallery.
A sophomore in art education, Olguita Marble is a multidisciplinary artist who began creating in high school. His piece at the gallery specializes in elegant violence, which Marble says is a fusion of horror and beauty. Marble’s artwork, known as ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, is a diptych, meaning it has two artworks side by side and was created with oil paints and acrylic. One portrait was done in a conventional style and the other takes on more monstrous features.
The piece carries themes of religious trauma, coming out and hiding parts of oneself, Marble said.
“A lot of it is about the overall general emotions that I felt other people can relate to,” Marble said. “I want people to be able to say, ‘Oh yeah, I felt that too. “”
Julia Box, senior in biology, is another featured artist. Box’s artwork, ‘Traumatically Yours, Clever Gworl’, is a collage featuring a Li’l Miss doll, a Valentine’s Day card with a cat on it, a clear phone with the words ‘I vibe with him a price sticker and various shapes on an orange and black swirl background. The words “I always think of the goat in ‘Jurassic Park'” are written on the coin.
Box said the piece is a hodgepodge of nostalgic pieces that come together to symbolize growing up too fast and childhood fears and how these affect a person’s development into adulthood. The collage reflects Box’s art style, which draws inspiration from old technology and other vintage objects to reflect their current emotions and the color palette uses neon and bright colors. They said the room contrasts a bright and cheerful mood with dark undertones.
“I found my own answers about what it means, but I want viewers to watch it, come up with their own stories, and just feel joy,” Box said.
The Queer and Trans Art Show is a collection of queer and trans artists showcasing what they believe to be their best work, Baxter said. In the future, the pride alliance seeks to create themed galleries that focus on different aspects of the queer experience.
The featured image: A student looks at the Pride Alliance’s Queer and Trans art exhibition on display in the Union on April 1, 2022. Photo by John Anderson