Queer Icons, Part of Frenchtown Pride

Jun 17—24, 2023

ArtYard is pleased to announce Queer Icons and Queer Icons: Pioneers make their return to downtown Frenchtown during the weeklong Frenchtown Pride celebration starting June 17.

The life-size portraits honoring figures from the LGBTQ community will be on display on the balcony of the Frenchtown Inn to stand as sentinels and monuments during the week’s festivities, all hosted by Love Frenchtown, Frenchtown’s Business and Professionals Association.

ArtYard commissioned artist, performer, and organizer Silky Shoemaker to create 10 Queer Icons as part of Frenchtown Pride in 2019. Silky created a second set of 10 in 2020, when covid-induced closures offered the opportunity to exhibit them in shop storefronts in Frenchtown, Lambertville, and New Hope and at Delaware Valley Regional High School. Silky is a painter and performance artist from Central Pennsylvania now living in San Francisco who explores queer community in its many despairs and ecstasies, solitudes, strangeness, and epic iterations.

The Queer Icons represent icons who were pioneers in their respective fields — civil rights activists, drag performers, dancers, arbiters of rock and roll, baseball players, floral designers, writers, film directors, and producers. They include Dorothy Arzner, Gladys Bentley, Glenn Burke, Jeanne Cordóva, Dorian Corey, Esquerita, Leslie Feinberg, Ellis Haizlip, Essex Hemphill, Langston Hughes, Barbara Jordan, Agnes Martin, Pauli Murray, Willi Ninja, Pat Parker, Bayard Rustin, Flawless Sabrina, Constance Spry, Lou Sullivan, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

This year marks the borough’s seventh annual Frenchtown Pride — a family-friendly experience of love and acceptance expressed out loud. Love Frenchtown invites residents to join in Queer Kickball, to help chalk downtown with words and symbols of love, acceptance, and support, and grab their bike for a Pride Ride or join in the world’s shortest Pride Parade. For more information, please visit the Frenchtown Pride Facebook page for event updates.