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.
2013-2014 QAM Fellow Goodw.y.n, "Ain't I a Woman (?/!)" – Three performances in August: Bronx, Bed Stuy, Trump Tower (photo courtesy of the artist)
QUEER|ART EVENTS: AUGUST 2020
This month, applications are due for Queer|Art's newly announced grant, The Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists. We're also proud to announce the winners of The Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photograhers. Finally, we continue our partnered support with GLITS of the family of Merci Mack with the Merci Mack Memorial Fund, with a newly extended goal of $100,000 to secure new housing for her family.
More on these, accessible work and August events below!
APPLICATIONS DUE AUGUST 30TH! THE ILLUMINATIONS GRANT FOR BLACK TRANS WOMEN VISUAL ARTISTS
Judges for the 2020 grant, clockwise from top left: Thelma Golden, image by Patrick T. Fallon; Juliana Huxtable, image by Nathan Bajar; Texas Isaiah, self portrait; Kiyan Williams, image by William Jess Laird
Apply now for the new $10k Grant to be judged by Thelma Golden, Juliana Huxtable, Texas Isaiah, and Kiyan Williams in its first year.
Queer|Art is pleased to introduce The Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists. Developed and named in partnership with Mariette Pathy Allen, Aaryn Lang, and Serena Jara, this new annual $10,000 grant, awarded to draw attention to an existing body of work, sheds light on the under-recognized contributions of Black trans women visual artists and provides critical support to their continuing work. Winning artists will receive additional professional development resources and further guidance to bolster their creative development in the field.
The Illuminations Grant is administered through Queer|Art with a rotating panel of judges, each of whom will conduct a studio visit with the winning artist as part of the award’s focus on supporting creative and professional development. Judges for the 2020 grant cycle include Thelma Golden, Juliana Huxtable, Texas Isaiah, and Kiyan Williams. Queer|Art staff will also provide the winning artist with consultations and further access to many of the tools they have developed in conjunction with the organization’s cornerstone creative and professional development program, Queer|Art|Mentorship.
Applications are open through August 30th; the grant will be awarded in November 2020. Questions? Email Illuminations Grant Manager ray ferreira at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WINNERS ANNOUNCED! THE ROBERT GIARD GRANT FOR EMERGING LGBTQ+ PHOTOGRAPHERS
From left; "Alabama," 2018, Annie Flanagan; "Just The Two of Us," 2019. Clifford Price King.
Queer|Art, in partnership with The Robert Giard Foundation, is pleased to announce the winner of The 2020 Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photographers,Annie Flanagan, and runner-up Clifford Prince King. As of this year, the award for the grant winner has increased from $7,500 to $10,000, and also now includes a special award of $5,000 for a first-runner up.
Annie Flanagan will receive a $10,000 cash grant to support the development of a project which combines their experience as a professional photographer covering news stories in rural America and their lived experience as a queer person and artist exploring rural communities. Clifford Prince King will receive a $5,000 cash grant to support the development of his work celebrating gay Black male domestic life.
The Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photographers supports and promotes self-taught, early career or otherwise emerging LGBTQ+ artists, awarded on a yearly basis. This support is vital for emerging artists, who may lack the financial resources or institutional support available to more established artists. 187 applications were received for the inaugural award cycle. The 2020 judges included Kimberly Drew, Guadalupe Rosales, Elle Peréz, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Efrem Zelony-Mindell.
ACCEPTING DONATIONS NOW: THE MERCI MACK MEMORIAL FUND
On June 30th, 2020, Merci Mack, a 22-year-old Black transgender woman was killed in Dallas, Texas. Merci was adored by her friends and had a loving and supportive family—they are deeply heartbroken by this tragedy and are asking for support from the community during this difficult time. Queer|Art has partnered with GLITS to launch this campaign to support Merci's family and fundraise for the long road ahead towards their recovery.
We are incredibly grateful for the immense support we've already experienced; this campaign has already fulfilled its initial goal of $50K! Unfortunately, Merci’s family is still living less than 1,000 feet from where her life was taken, which has made their healing process tremendously painful. So we are stretching our goal to $100K, in the hopes we can secure safe housing and a better living situation for Merci’s family, free from unnecessary reminders of such a traumatic loss. Help us reach this new goal– all donations will receive a special edition artwork from artist Keijaun Thomas, with additional access for donations of $100 or more.
This fund aims to cover funeral expenses, mental health needs and grief counseling, rent assistance, the costs of moving, and to support Merci's family as they continue to seek justice for Merci. All funds collected through this fundraiser will be withdrawn to Merci's sister.
THIS MONTH'S EVENTS, AND ACCESSIBLE ARTWORKS BY QUEER|ART ARTISTS
Anthony Rosado August 1st-22nd: Somatic Sessions Dance Workshop Current QAM Fellow Anthony Rosado continues their Legacy Learning series with a Somatic Sessions open-level dance workshop. Somatic Sessions investigate fundamental movement principles, theories, and methods. Movement praxes explored are composed of space, time, effort, flow, improvisation, composition, variation, and choreography. Verbal and written reflections encourage multidisciplinary self-examination. Saturdays, August 1st - 22nd, 12-1pm ET. RSVP here
Goodw.y.n August 3rd, 10th, 17th: Ain't I a Woman (?/!) 2013-2014 QAM Fellow Goodw.y.n will perform Ain't I a Woman (?/): Black August, a three-part series of all-day durational performances throughout New York City. The artist will be using their topless body by way of street-intervention, as a vehicle to portray the existence and presence of Blackness to its fullest in the face of and anti-black, racist American reality. August 3rd: Harlem (W 125th and Adam Clayton); August 10th: Bed Stuy (1368 Fulton St.); August 17th: Trump Tower. Follow Goodw.y.n on Instagram or Facebook for more.
Sasha Wortzel August 5th & 11th: In Conversation Through September 27th: Idioms and Taxonomies 2012-2013 QAM Fellow Sasha Wortzel can be seen in two live-streamed events in August. On August 5th at 6:30pm ET, Wortzel will present on recent work and have a discussion with Stonewall Museum's Hunter O’Hanian. More here. On August 11th at 12pm ET, Wortzel and the Reverend Houston Cypress will lead a nature walk and discussion through the everglades for Wave Hill's Eco-Urgency series. More here.
Wortzel's work can also be seen in Idioms and Taxonomies, a group exhibition in Miami by Oolite artists-in-residence whose practices investigate the dual roles of personal and cultural histories. Through Sept 27th, more here.
Sarah Sanders August 12th, 8pm ET: In My Name Current QAM Fellow Sarah Sanders will perform a Zoom work-in-progress showing for the mostly-solo theatre piece In My Name, as part of Dixon Place's residency. The work uses ritual, personal narrative, original music, and emails to the press secretary to grapple with the ways that whiteness and American Jewish identity intersect— and to ask (where) does spirituality fit into all this?! Streaming August 12th, 8pm ET on Dixon Place TV here
Melissa Li August 13th, 6pm ET: May Day Zoom Reading NewYorkRep will present a Zoom reading of May Day, a new 10-minute musical by 2012-2013 QAM Fellow Melissa Li and Kit Yan, co-creators of Interstate. Inspired by real events that took place in 2018, May Day follows Wind, a non-binary nerd, who has just reconnected with an old high school friend when they receive a terrifying alert: a missile will strike Honolulu in 10 minutes. The presentation will take place August 13th at 6 PM ET; read more here and email email@example.com to RSVP in advance.
Catherine Opie Through Sept. 26th: Rhetorical Landscapes Lehmann Maupin presents a solo exhibition of recent work by 2017 QA Prize Winner Catherine Opie, Rhetorical Landscapes, which includes a series of 2019 political collages and photographs of swamp landscapes. Through September 26th (more here), and in Los Angeles at Regen Projects through August 28th (more here). And see a collection of recent snapshots by Opie in the New York Times here
Harrison David Rivers Through August 16th: Broadbend, Arkansas Transport Group is thrilled to bring viewers a performance of their world-premiere musical from Fall 2019, Broadbend, Arkansas. Starring Justin Cunningham and Danyel Fulton with a libretto by Ellen Fitzhugh and 2011-2012 QAM Fellow Harrison David Rivers, and music and additional lyrics by Ted Shen, a Black family grapples with decades of inequality, violence, and suppression in the South. Watch it free through August 16th here
QUEER|ART|FILM: Nayland Blake / "THE THING" August 17th, 8-9pm ET This season of our screening series— "Alone Together"— has been reformatted like a digital book club! Viewers watch films on their own before joining presenters online for an interactive talk.
Acclaimed non-binary artist Nayland Blake first saw John Carpenter’s gory masterpiece as an AIDS analogy, then later as a metaphor for fears of homosexuality. “The body eruptions, mutating orifices, and emotional standoffs between the male characters speak to straight fears of queerness as a disease in itself,” Nayland writes. “The Thing told a horror story at the beginning of the decade that the rest of the world would catch up to over the ensuing years.” RSVP and find streaming links to the film here
Raja Feather Kelly August 20th-24th: 48Hours in... Harlem Current QAM Fellow Raja Feather Kelly is one of six playwrights, six directors, and 18 actors chosen to participate in Harlem9's "48Hours in...Harlem" theatre festival. Kelly will direct one piece, which was rehearsed and recorded over 48 hours in July.
The performances will be streamed August 20th-24th, at 7pm ET each night here