Explore sexuality with Queeries: Queer Artists and Identities

There are more and more events happening on campus that are shining a positive light on the LGBTQ+ community. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in addition to decades of LGBTQ+ liberation, the Sonoma State University library is displaying Queeries: Queer Artists and Identiteis. This showing began on Aug. 19 and will go on until Dec. 13. 

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This art exhibit inside the campus library reveals the different sides of the LGBTQ+ community and it also pushes people to think outside of their normal realm.

On Oct. 3 there will be a reception at this showing in which all but one of the artists will be making an appearance in order to talk about their art to those who are interested. The library chose this time period to hold this showcase not only to commemorate Stonewall but also because national coming out day is on Oct. 11. 

The artists that are being displayed are from the Bay Area. These include: Jeremy Novy, Jerome Caja, Seth Eisen, along with many more. All of these artists are famously known for making art that supports gay activism. 

“I hope that students are introduced to some people that they weren’t aware of before,” said Chair of the Library Art Committee, Mary Wegmann.  

Each of these artists have made some sort of mark in the fight for the LGBTQ+ community and they have all approached this fight in different ways. Jerome Caja, whose art can be seen in the middle of the showcase in two seperate glass cases, was an artist who enjoyed getting people to talk due to how outspoken and carefree his art is. 

“Jerome was very much about not blending in, he’s very much about standing out, it’s about individuality,” said Anthony Cianciolo, someone from Jerome’s circle as well as the person who curated both the glass cases.

 All the art in the gallery speaks volumes to its audiences but a very unique aspect from Jerome’s collection is that one glass case is filled with his finished artwork and the second case is filled with the work that was left on his palette just before he passed. 

“What’s beautiful about this display is that you can very much be apart of the artists process, it is almost as if you are looking over his shoulder,” said Cianciolo. 

It is amazing how art on a canvas or even in a display can help start a movement towards something so positive and uplifting. Although the art in itself does not speak, it somehow manages to move its audience in an immense and impactful way. 

“I hope my art impacts others in a positive way. Art is not just therapy for those who make it but also therapy for people that see it,” said Jeremy Novy, a featured artists in this showcase. 

This showcase manages to challenge various norms. It is most definitely something that will get many talking. It may even bring up conversations that people never thought to have. Each artists’ end goal is to support gay activism and it is interesting to see exactly how every artists manages to do so.

“My art supports queer activism by creating a visual safe space by using similar ideas of queer visibility to combat homophobia that such activist groups like Queer Nation used in the 90s,” said Novy. 

By adding this showcase to the college campus it shows students who may be apart of the LGBTQ+ community that they have a support system. It leaves most with a huge sense of comfortability as well as solidarity. As for other Sonoma State students, this event may invite them to think about things that they have never thought about before. It brings up a conversation and teaches people to be comfortable with it rather than avoid the subject.