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.
Work by 2012-13 QAM Fellow Sasha Wortzel, featured in "Dreams of Unknown Islands," opening January 20th at Oolite Arts
QUEER|ART EVENTS: JANUARY 2021
The last week to experience ARCANUM, the interactive, otherworldly Queer|Art Annual Exhibition, AND MORE...
First of all, all of us here at Queer|Art wish to extend a huuuuuge THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to our 2020 end-of-year fundraising efforts. During our initial Matching campaign throughout October and November, you helped us raise $66,167, and then in the last two weeks of December you pushed us over the top to not only meet but exceed our Rush Goal of $20,000 by almost nine thousand dollars - ultimately helping us bring in $95,076 in end-of-year donations. Add the $30,000 matching gift to that, and together with your support we raised a grand total of $125,100, making this our most successful end-of-year campaign to date!
It's difficult to express how grateful we are for this generous outpouring of support. The success of these campaigns has helped set us up for an exciting new year ahead and will ensure that we are here for our community as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times together.
And now, the moment we've all been waiting for...
2021. A new year propels us to look forward. And while much remains challenging and uncertain, we keep moving ahead. New work by artists in the Queer|Art community can inspire us to see the possibilities of new ways of looking at/existing in the world. So, we're virtually raising a glass of champagne or sparkling grape juice to them this month.
There's still one week to seeARCANUM (2020 Queer|Art|Mentorship Annual exhibition), and one more event, featuring the work of 2019-2020 QAM Fellow Felicita "Felli" Maynard (January 7th).
Also, applications for The 2021 Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photographers, a $10,000 international grant, close on January 21st!
Jibz Cameron & Morgan Bassichis in Weirdo Night at Sundance (Tickets: January 4th)
Nile Harris' Black Code Studies (January 6th)
Emily Hashimoto and Christina Quintana (CQ) in conversation (January 12th)
Jess Barbagallo's The Puzzlers Return, Tentatively? at Exponential Festival (January 16th)
Dreams of Unknown Islands, a solo exhibition of work by Sasha Wortzel (January 20th)
Sarah Zapata's work in Latinx Abstract at BRIC
Celeste Lecesne's The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Streaming performances January 22nd - 31st)
Ryan J. Haddad's Hi, Are You Single? (Streaming January 24th - February 21st)
More on these, online-accessible works, and January events below!
- Evan Scott, Newsletter Editor
ARCANUM The 2019-2020 Queer|Art|Mentorship Annual Exhibition Closing January 7th!
In-progress shot of Felicita "Felli" Maynard's dreamscape within the “ARCANUM” Cyber Gallery, produced in collaboration with gabbah baya and Natalie Valcourt
Queer|Art is pleased to announce the 2019-2020 Queer|Art|Mentorship Annual Exhibition: ARCANUM, open from October 29, 2020 through January 7, 2021. The exhibition features new and ongoing work by the graduating Fellows of the organization’s celebrated Queer|Art|Mentorship (QAM) program and comprises interactive multimedia installations and events focused on revitalizing the intergenerational and interdisciplinary art of storytelling. Combining both digital components and outdoor activations throughout New York City, the sprawling exhibition includes a virtual gallery with game-like installations, outdoor performances, and live-streamed readings, artist talks, and screenings. ARCANUM is curated by Anthonywash.Rosado, and includes work by: Brian Gonzalez, Patrick G. Lee, María José Maldonado, Felli Maynard, Olaiya Olayemi, Sarah Sanders, and Sarah Zapata.
The centerpiece of ARCANUM is a virtual gallery, hosted on the Queer|Art website for the duration of the exhibition. Entering the website, visitors will find the traditional gallery format has been alchemized into a cosmic dreamscape, complete with seven orbiting planets uniquely constructed by the Fellows. Within these self-contained worlds, produced in collaboration with artists and digital engineers gabbah baya and Natalie Valcourt, each Fellow offers their own stories as told through their chosen media. At the nucleus of the exhibition’s virtual galaxy is the Ofrenda (Altar) to Queer Ancestor Artists, which features artworks by Afro-diasporic and Queer ancestors assembled in collaboration with VisualAIDS, The LGBT Community Center, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
More on the exhibition's final event below, and on the exhibition here!
Felicita “Felli” Maynard: Primp Streaming: Thursday, January 7th, 5-6pm ET QAM Visual Art Fellow Felicita “Felli” Maynard shares an intimate short film introducing male impersonator Jean Loren Feliz, a fictional character inspired by 1920s drag kings such as Florence Hines, Gladys Bentley, and Storme Delarverie. The piece strips the everyday life of Jean to its core as we are welcomed to their home and how they live.
APPLICATIONS CLOSING The Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photographers Deadline: January 21st
Alex at Queer Prom Youth, Alabama, 2018. Image courtesy of Annie Flanagan, winner of the 2020 Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photographers.
In partnership with The Robert Giard Foundation, Queer|Art’s first international grant of $10,000 supports the creation of work by emerging LGBTQ+ photographers. The Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photographers is made possible entirely through support provided by The Robert Giard Foundation.
“Photography is par excellence a medium expressive of our mortality, holding up, as it does, one time for the contemplation of another time. This motif infuses all portrait photography with a special poignancy. It is my wish that tomorrow, when a viewer looks into the eyes of the subjects of these pictures, he or she will say in a spirit of wonder, ‘These people were here; like me, they lived and breathed.’ So too will the portraits respond, ‘We were here; we existed. This is how we were.’” - Robert Giard
Previously known as The Robert Giard Fellowship (2008-2018), the grant is named in honor of photographer Robert Giard (1939-2002), a portrait, landscape, and figure photographer whose work focused on LGBTQ+ lives and issues. The grant focuses on supporting emerging LGBTQ+ photographers whose projects address issues of sexuality, gender, or LGBTQ+ identity. This year, the grant winner will receive $10,000, and the first-runner up will receive $5,000.
Funds can be requested to support new or ongoing work at any stage of development. For questions, email Robert Giard Grant Manager Ka-Man Tse at email@example.com.
THIS MONTH'S EVENTS, AND ACCESSIBLE ARTWORKS BY QUEER|ART ARTISTS
Jibz Cameron / Morgan Bassichis January 4th: Tickets / January 29th: Screening - Weirdo Night at Sundance Film Festival Streaming: The 2021 Sundance Film Festival's New Frontier Section will present Weirdo Night, a filmed version of 2014-2015 QAM Mentor Jibz Cameron's wildly popular, underground, eponymous live performance and comedy event that, until COVID-19, was held monthly in Los Angeles. The film also features a performance by 2020-2021 QAM Mentor Morgan Bassichis! Tickets on sale January 4th, and streaming January 29th. More here
Nile Harris Begins streaming January 6th: Black Code Studies Streaming: QA Development Assistant Nile Harris will present new work in INCOMING! for the PubIic Theatre’s Devised Theater Working Group. The artist's contribution, Black Code Studies, embarks on (dis)embodied research and digital insurgency in response to volume #47 of the journal, “The Black Scholar,” guest edited by Dr. Jessica Marie Johnson and Dr. Mark Anthony Neal. This work asks, where is the “me” in meme? Can the social, digital technologies that circulate Blackness and its aesthetic and performative ephemera actually hold space for Black bodies? Black Code Studies is the initial phase of a stage work to be presented at the Public Theatre in January, 2022. More here
Ka-Man Tse Through January 10th: Keeper of the Hearth in Houston Opens January 22nd: Curating exhibition in Hong Kong Exhibition: 2014 Robert Giard Fellow and grant winner Ka-Man Tse is curating a group exhibition, in partnership with the Hong Kong International Photography Festival, featuring work by nine emerging LGBTQ+ photographers at the WMA Space in Central, Hong Kong. More, including online programming, forthcoming here and here. Tse's work can also be seen in the group exhibition Keeper of the Hearth at the Houston Center for Photography, through January 10th. More here
Emily Hashimoto / Christina Quintana (CQ) January 12th, 6:30pm ET: In conversation Online Event: 2016-2017 QAM Fellow Emily Hashimoto will sit in conversation with 2016-2017 QAM Fellow Christina Quintana (CQ) to discuss Hashimoto’s debut novel, A World Between (Feminist Press) for The Center. Narrated in sparkling prose, the book perfectly captures the wonder and confusion of growing up and growing closer as it follows two strikingly different but interconnected women who navigate family, friendship, and their own fraught history. January 12th at 6:30pm ET. More here
Jess Barbagallo January 16th, 9:30pm ET: The Puzzlers Return, Tentatively? Online Event: For the Exponential Festival, Accent Wall Productions presents The Puzzlers Return, Tentatively? by 2011-2012 QAM Fellow Jess Barbagallo. With Emile D'Avis safely enrolled in a remote clown school and Jay D'Avis, her elected father, back on the audition circuit, family life coach Nora Blinsky finds herself at a career-low as her long-time clients realize modified renditions of once vibrant dreams. Can Nora get her groove back, or is she out of the coaching game for good? Featuring the assistance of Samuel Beckett. More here
Sasha Wortzel January 20th - April 4th: Dreams of Unknown Islands January 31st, 7:30pm: Performance by Attacca Quartet & Caroline Shaw Exhibition: Oolite Arts presents Dreams of Unknown Islands, a solo exhibition by 2012-2013 QAM Fellow Sasha Wortzel. The work references cycles of life be they natural, influenced, extracted or at times accelerated by human interference, and is the result of long term research, observation and recording by Wortzel of the Southern Florida Coast. More recently, this work has run alongside collective loss, ecological collapse and political uprisings. As voices and sea levels rise, Wortzel marks and distorts time while calling for some semblance of peace, care for the land and each other and eventual liberation. January 20th - April 4th. More here
Sarah Zapata January 21st - May 2nd: Latinx Abstract Exhibition: 2019-2020 QAM Fellow Sarah Zapata is featured in Latinx Abstract, a group exhibition at BRIC House. It focuses on the work of ten contemporary artists who work with varied media and approaches, and are united by their dedication to abstract languages. Their bodies of work are neither figurative nor culturally specific nor political in the traditional or overt sense. Nevertheless, their allegiance to this mode can be viewed as a form of political expression when art that embodies race and ethnicity, or that displays emblems of culture, are seen by many as the legible, acceptable norm. More here
Celeste Lecesne Streaming January 22nd - 31st: The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey Streaming: Multi-year QAM Mentor Celeste Lecesne's The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey will be presented live-streaming by Cinnabar Theater. A one-character play, this production is an 80-minute monologue that begins with a detective from a small town on the Jersey Shore eager for a case that gets him out from behind his desk. On one extraordinary day, he finds it: the disappearance of teenager Leonard Pelkey. January 22nd - 31st, more here
Ryan J. Haddad January 24th - February 21st: Hi, Are You Single? Streaming: Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and IAMA Theatre Company are excited to play "wingman" together as they present 2017-2018 QAM Fellow Ryan J. Haddad's autobiographical solo show Hi, Are You Single?, directed by Laura Savia and Jess McLeod. The show asks, do you have a high sex drive? Ryan does. He also has cerebral palsy. No, those things are not mutually exclusive. Join the artist for an examination of intimacy, rejection, and judgment. Streaming January 24th - February 21st. More here
Ripley Soprano Available to pre-order: Dirty Magazine Publication: 2018-2019 QAM Fellow Ripley Sopranois releasing Dirty Magazine in the new year, with mottos, "be what you wanna jack off to" and "your guide to tomorrow's party." Questions answered in Issue 1 include: Why are whippets having a come-back? What cocktail does an infamous ex-bank robber now-novelist like to enjoy after he gets out of the half-way house? Who is everyone's 90s himbo idol's favorite sex symbol? What is this pornstar's go-to eyeliner? Pre-order Issue 1 now. More here
Deborah Kass Through February 28th: Painting and Sculpture Exhibition: Kavi Gupta presents Deborah Kass: Painting and Sculpture, the gallery’s inaugural solo exhibition with 2011-2012 QAM MentorDeborah Kass.
Pairing a new body of work with select historical pieces, the exhibition creates an examination of the American condition before and during the Trump presidency. Morehere
Nicole Eisenman Through March 13th: Nicole Eisenman and Keith Broadwee Exhibition: The FLAG Art Foundation presents Nicole Eisenman and Keith Boadwee, a two-person exhibition featuring 2011-2012 QAM Mentor Eisenman. The recipient of The Contemporary Austin’s 2020 Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Prize, Eisenman expanded this exhibition at FLAG to include Boadwee; their shared use of humor and critical observation questions both real and imagined power structures, upends art history, and lampoons notions of “good taste.” Through March 13th. More here
Jarrett Key Ongoing, through January 3rd: Chosen Family Artist talk: December 9th at 7pm ET Exhibition: 2017-2018 QAM FellowJarrett Key's solo exhibition, Chosen Family, is the inaugural exhibition at Yng-Ru Chen's Praise Shadows Gallery in Boston. A continuation of their Leaving the City series, the nine works featured in the show depict members of Key’s chosen family in relationship to the natural splendor of landscapes, painted on wet cement. More here
Carlos Motta Ongoing, through February 14th: We Got Each Other's Back Exhibition: 2020-2021 QAM Mentor Carlos Motta's work can be seen at the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, in the exhibition We Got Each Other's Back. Part of a long-term documentary project by Motta— in collaboration with artists Heldáy de la Cruz, Julio Salgado, and Edna Vázquez– the work is a three-part, multi-channel video installation featuring portraits of queer artists and activists in the United States who are or have been openly undocumented, and who are producing work to denounce historic and present-day broken US immigration policies. More info