Queer Icons

Jun 7—30, 2024

ArtYard is pleased to announce Queer Icons make their return in June to celebrate Pride as part of Frenchtown Pride. The life-size portraits honoring figures from the LGBTQ+ community will be on display on the balcony of FiNNBAR to stand as sentinels and monuments during the festivities.

All 20 Queer Icons were created by artist, performer, and organizer Silky Shoemaker. Each figure represents 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.

ArtYard first commissioned 10 Queer Icons as part of Frenchtown Pride in 2019. Silky brought to life another 10 icons 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.

Frenchtown Pride is 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 to join in the World’s Shortest Pride Parade. For more information, please visit the Frenchtown Pride Facebook page for event updates.

Photos of each Queer Icon and the person who inspired them are below. Click the portraits to learn more about each Icon’s story.