The Fine Art Galleries at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center proudly present Queer Embroidery: works by Arin Jayes, Rebecca Levi, and Michelle Morgan, on display January 4-February 27, 2018 with an artist reception January 18.
Queer Embroidery is a celebration of the act of queering textile arts, often seen as a traditional art form, and not frequently associated with LGBT art. The three featured artists come from different geographies and cultural contexts.
Arin Jayes is a trans textile artist, craftivist, urban gardener, and mental health professional in Washington, DC. His art is a practice of love and solidarity with social justice movements. Through his embroidery, he seeks to craft distinctly non-traditional pieces that are both well-made, beautiful to look at, and that honor past and present social justice activists.
Rebecca Levi’s work captures and redefines ideas of American domesticity and desire, subverting the norm with the unexpected as it invites a collision between traditional handicrafts and unexpected sources like vintage physique magazines, pin-ups, comic books, Tumblr, and memes. A native New Yorker, resident of Brooklyn, and frequent visitor of beloved Provincetown, much of her inspiration is from source material culled from flea markets in Chelsea and vintage stores on Commercial Street. Her work appears in the book, Queer Threads edited by Todd Oldham and John Chaich.
Michelle Morgan is a queer embroidery artist who recently finished her Ph.D in American Studies, and whose work examines visual and material culture. She is a mother in New Haven, Connecticut and is finding a style that fits her, learning the boundaries and versatility of thread and cloth. Her pieces speak to the question of craft, art, history, race, class, gender, and sexuality, particularly since embroidery is an ancient form of art that spans geographic locations and cultures. Her pieces focus on embroidery as "female" craft and highlight the question of what is considered art. As a queer female artist Michelle insists that textile arts have to be taken seriously.
This exhibit is curated by Deborah Rabinsky.
This is a social sober event. No alcohol will be served.
Parents of Trans Kids is a support group for parents of children of any age who identify as transgender, gender creative, non-binary, and other non-conforming gender identities.
If you have a child ages 14-21, they can attend Project SILK on the first floor of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center for the duration of the Parents of Trans Kids meeting. Project SILK is a brave space for LGBT youth and their social networks to be themselves.
The Library at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center presents a book talk with Jason Whitesel, author of Fat Gay Men: Girth, Mirth, and the Politics of Stigma (NYU Press). A book signing will follow the talk.
To be fat in a thin-obsessed gay culture can be difficult. Despite affectionate in-group monikers for big gay men – chubs, bears, cubs – the anti-fat stigma that persists in American culture at large still haunts these individuals who often exist at the margins of gay communities. Fat Gay Men delves into the world of Girth & Mirth, a nationally known social club dedicated to big gay men, illuminating the ways in which these men form identities and community in the face of adversity. In existence for over forty years, the club has long been a refuge and ‘safe space’ for such men. Both a partial insider as a gay man and an outsider to Girth & Mirth, the book offers an insider’s critique of the gay movement, questioning whether the social consequences of the failure to be height-weight proportionate should be so extreme in the gay community.
This book documents performances at club events and examines how participants use allusion and campy-queer behavior to reconfigure and reclaim their sullied body images, focusing on the numerous tensions of marginalization and dignity that big gay men experience and how they negotiate these tensions via their membership in a size-positive group. Based on ethnographic interviews and in-depth field notes from more than 100 events at bar nights, café klatches, restaurants, potlucks, holiday bashes, pool parties, movie nights, and weekend retreats, the book explores the woundedness that comes from being relegated to an inferior position in gay hierarchies, and yet celebrates how some gay men can reposition the shame of fat stigma through carnival, camp, and play. A compelling and rich narrative, Fat Gay Men provides a rare glimpse into an unexplored dimension of weight and body image in American culture.
The author, Jason Whitesel, (Ph.D., Ohio State University) is a Women's & Gender Studies faculty member at Pace University. His research focuses on gay men's rigid body image ideal and the resulting intragroup strife among them. His recent book, Fat Gay Men: Girth, Mirth, and the Politics of Stigma, describes events at Girth & Mirth club gatherings and examines how big gay men use campy-queer behavior to reconfigure and reclaim their sullied images and identities.
Reviews of Fat Gay Men
"Even though gay men have bear culture, Whitesel argues that fat men still exist at the margins of gay culture. . . . Whitesel uses his own insider/outsider status as a gay man to critique the gay rights movement, looking at the ways in which gay fat men are battling stigma, and questioning why the social consequences of being fat and gay are so extreme." —Advocate.com
“Whitesel is refreshingly self-reflexive about his role as a researcher, his ‘thin privilege’ and the methodological techniques he employs. A particular strength of the text lies in its ability to capture the highly personal experiences and narratives of participants with sensitivity and insight; this is a testament to Whitesel’s strengths as an ethnographer and his ability to access insider knowledge.” —European Association of Social Anthropologists
"In his lively (and fabulously titled) Fat Gay Men, Jason Whitesel, a gender studies professor at Pace University, attempts to rescue these guys from the bottom of the homosexual heap." —Slate
This is a sober social event. No alcohol will be served.