I'm Kenney Mencher. I'm an artist who left a tenured professorship in 2016 to pursue making art full time. This blog is about art, art history, with a emphasis on human rights. I make homoerotic art featuring bears, otters & other gay wildlife.
Thanks to a number of very generous supporters, all donations made to Queer|Art between now and the end of 2019 will be matched up to $36,000!
This means, between now and New Year’s, your donations will make twice the impact on the work we do to support and empower a diverse community of LGBTQ+ artists.
Why $36,000? With your support, last year’s matching donor campaign exceeded our $30k fundraising goal by six thousand dollars. This year's campaign will match that, and, with any luck, raise the bar even more. We can do this!
It has been a particularly momentous and joyful year for Queer|Art:
Travis Chamberlain was promoted to become Queer|Art’s first full-time Executive Director, coinciding with Ira Sachs transitioning into a new role as Founding Director.
This Pride season, we welcomed more than 600 visitors at the launch of the Queer|Art|Pride Book & Print Fair at Abrons Arts Center, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting participating artists.
We partnered with the Robert Giard Foundation to launch the Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photographers, with a new $10,000 award, which brings our total amount of annual awards for LGBTQ+ artists up to $46,000.
We received a record number of applications for the upcoming cycle of our cornerstone program Queer|Art|Mentorship, up by 50% (!), with twice as many artists of color applying to be in the program as last year. This has resulted in the most diverse cohort in QAM’s history.
We were recognized by the country of Finland, whose consulate awarded us with the Hän Honour, for our work promoting equality and justice for LGBTQ+ people in NYC and being a beacon for others around the world.
These are exciting developments for us - and it would all be impossible without your support. Together, we are empowering and connecting generations of LGBTQ+ artists, helping to ensure a more diverse and vibrant future for all.
We invite you to stand with us now as we embark on the next chapter, leaping into 2020, celebrating a decade of Queer|Art|Mentorship. Every donation helps to provide creative and professional mentorship for artists, production funds for artists’ projects, and presentation funs for artist programs.
Donate now. Make your dollars count twice.
With appreciation, in advance, of your care and support,
Travis Chamberlain, Executive Director
Pictured: 2019-2020 QAM Mentor Lola Flash and 2019-2020 QAM Fellow Felicita "Felli" Maynard, for the 2019 Community Portrait Project. Photo: Lola Flash
Throughout our year-end appeal we will be featuring a different artists from the recent years of Queer|Art|Mentorship, as captured through the lens of photographer Lola Flash for the 2019 Queer|Art Community Portrait Project (on view at The Center through Jan 9).
Lola Flash and Felicita “Felli” Maynard worked together as Mentor and Fellow for the first time to produce the 2019 Queer|Art|Mentorship Community Portrait Project in October. During a day-long shoot at Christopher Street Pier, Felli assisted Lola in shooting over 40 portraits of Fellows and Mentors from years past and those just entering Queer|Art’s Mentorship program. The portraits celebrate this diverse and vibrant community and indicate the unique relationship emerging already between Felli and Lola through their mentorship together.
"Working with Felli on the Community Portrait Project has really validated my choice to mentor them this year with Queer|Art. A year is not a lot of time to get the work done, so to be able to hit the ground running, it made me feel like we’ve got this and I’m going to be able to help them a lot and we’re going to get the work done. They’re like a new comrade; we’re both in it for similar reasons. I can’t write a book about Felli right now, but I’m sure I will be able to by the end of the year because I’m so excited for our new relationship.”
—2019-2020 QAM Mentor Lola Flash
ABOUT THE 2019 QUEER|ART COMMUNITY PORTRAIT PROJECT For the Queer|Art Community Portrait Project, artists from across different disciplines and generations gather once a year to participate in a marathon photoshoot event, sitting for their portraits as representatives of the Queer|Art community. Over time, the project will chart nuances of generational and personal growth within the community—as many artists return and new artists are welcomed into the mix—all seen through the lens of a different photographer each year.
The commission for the 2019 Queer|Art Community Portrait Project was awarded to Lola Flash, whose vivid, shimmering portraits capture Queer|Art’s diverse and vibrant artist community against the backdrop of the new Christopher Street Pier. Shot over the course of several hours on a beautiful sunny day in October, this year’s portrait project balances a celebratory resilience and youthful exuberance with deeply felt reflection as it connects us to the queer history of the pier. Learn more here
ABOUT QUEER|ART Queer|Art is a non-profit arts organization based in New York City. Since its founding in 2009, Queer|Art has actively cultivated a network of support to address the absence of creative mentors who would have emerged from the generation most strongly affected by the ongoing AIDS crisis. By fostering the confident expression of LGBTQ+ artists' perspectives, stories, and identities across disciplines and generations, Queer|Art supports and empowers a population that has been historically suppressed, disenfranchised, and often overlooked by traditional institutional and economic support systems.
CREDITS The 2018-2019 Queer|Art|Mentorship Annual Exhibition is made possible with lead support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The 2019 Queer|Art Community Portrait Project is made possible with lead support from HBO. Additional support for Queer|Art|Mentorship is provided by New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council for the Arts.