The Fine Art Galleries

The Fine Art Galleries at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center hosts art exhibits that celebrate LGBTQ+ artists and LGBTQ-themed art. Exhibits are professionally curated and each exhibit includes an artist reception.

We also host exhibits that bring LGBTQ+ history to life - featuring materials from the Lehigh Valley LGBT Community Archive, or hosted in partnership with external organizations. 

If you would like to purchase any of the pieces in the show,
you can do so on our Squarespace Store
(click here during the duration of the exhibit)
or in-person at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.

[Image description: A rectangular graphic with a cream colored background. Black banners wrap the upper and lower portions of the graphic. The upper banner has white text that reads "Fine Art Galleries" with the Fine Art Galleries at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center logo in white. Beneath this in the center portion of the graphic, black text reads "All Hands Hold, Artwork by Kara Mshinda (she/her)." The venue name and address are to the right. The right side of the graphic features several pieces of the artist's work.]

We are thrilled to announce our next exhibition "All Hands Hold" by kara Mshinda (she/her).The exhibit will be in our Fine Art Galleries at our center from October 25 through November 28. Mark your calendars for October 27 from 6-8pm to meet the artist personally and celebrate queer art! There will be food, music, and wonderful conversation. Read more about this exhibit below. For any questions about this exhibit, please reach out to [email protected]

Exhibition Statement:

All Hands Hold is a collage and photography project that began as an anthropological inquiry about human connectedness and developed into a body of work that explores the functions of the human hand as a communicative tool for selfhood and identity. 

In this exhibition, visual anthropologist and artist, Kara Mshinda focuses on how the human hand is depicted in popular print media and how individuals in daily life use their hands to perform and signify identity and gender expression. Inspired by her art practice in vernacular photography and in her research interests in Ballroom culture and femme identity, Mshinda presents a visual study that uses original collage works juxtaposed with instant film portraits of hands from friends, colleagues, and family who identify as women, LGBTQ+, Trans Non Binary, feminine presenting, and/or femme. 

Artist Statement:

“What, if any, symbol signifies universal humanity?” is a question that I asked myself while witnessing the eruption of protests, riots, and unrest in 2020. My question was rooted in a wishful daydream of creating artwork that could make people stop and reflect on their shared humanity. With this purpose in mind, I began creating collages that featured human hands and I became fascinated with exploring the human hand as a socially significant, physical, and communicative tool of identity. I then narrowed my focus to consider the ways in which sexuality and gender are expressed in subcultural contexts like masquerade, drag, Ballroom and vogue femme. This collection of artworks is an introduction into my developing ideas and learning about performance, gender, and sexuality. My aim is to develop an ongoing, collaborative photography project that brings dynamic queer life and women’s experiences to the foreground visually.

 

Artist Bio:

Kara Mshinda (she, her, hers) is an interdisciplinary artist with roots in photography and anthropology whose mixed media art explores diverse and changing meanings of alterity, identity, and subjectivity in art. Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Mshinda graduated from The University of Akron with a degree in Interdisciplinary Anthropology and Classical Studies. She later relocated to Philadelphia to continue her academic work in the Anthropology of Visual Communication doctoral program at Temple University. Her graduate research focused on vernacular literacy practices and the socialization of graffiti artists in Philadelphia. Exhibiting since 2013, Mshinda’s work has been shown at the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Rush Arts, Delaware Contemporary, Mana Contemporary in Chicago, Commonweal, Philadelphia Sketch Club, and Schau Fenster in Berlin. In addition to creating artwork, Mshinda teaches an art history course on race, identity, and American art at Tyler School of Art and Architecture and is Fellowship Director at Da Vinci Art Alliance. She is a member of Tiger Strikes Asteroid, an artist-run gallery in Philadelphia, and she serves on the Arts Committee at William Way LGBT Community Center.


Past fine art exhibits have featured:

  • Mariette Pathy Allen
  • Richard Begbie
  • Lester Blum
  • Liz Bradbury
  • Jacinta Bunnell
  • Grayson Colbert
  • Hubert Davis
  • Ron De Long
  • Will Doughty
  • Joe Dulude II
  • Kailey Goodnuff
  • Andrew Sedgwick Guth
  • Andi Grunberg
  • Ana M. Hamilton
  • Britni Houser
  • Katie Hovencamp
  • Will Hübscher
  • Arin Jayes
  • Eric Lesh
  • Rebecca Levi
  • Gabriel Martinez
  • Craig Matis
  • Katie Molinaro
  • Michelle Morgan
  • Courtney Natt
  • Jane S. Noel
  • Cupid Ojala
  • Esther Maria Pagan
  • JJ Quinn
  • Vladimir Rios
  • Cynthia Rodriguez
  • Richard Rosato
  • Gerald Simcoe
  • Aiden Siobhan
  • Anthony Smith Jr.
  • Andrew Tomasino

Past history exhibits have included:

  • Pride Guides and the Early Years of Lehigh Valley Pride
  • Secret Symphony: Gay Composers of Classical Music
  • The Long Road to LGBTQ Equality in Pennsylvania
  • Trans Stories Project by Eastern PA Trans Equity Project
  • Pride in Print: Moving Above Ground and Embracing Our Gaydar