Queer Icons

May 18—Jun 9, 2019

ArtYard is pleased to present Queer Icons, an exhibition featuring the works of artist, performer, and organizer Silky Shoemaker.

Shoemaker has created life-sized plywood portraits of ten monumental figures from the LGBTQ community whose lives and work continue to resonate with the world today. These figures include Gladys Bentley, Dorian Corey, Esquerita, Leslie Feinberg, Essex Hemphill, Langston Hughes, Barbara Jordan, Agnes Martin, Pat Parker, and Bayard Rustin.

Queer Icons is presented in conjunction with the Frenchtown Business and Professional Association (FBPA)’s third annual PRIDE celebration.

From Silky:

I chose these subjects to be the ten queer icons for this project out of a nearly endless lineage of incredible contenders. The ten I picked stand out to me for their contributions to society, and culture, as artists, activists, writers, and visionaries. I also wanted to give presence to the ancestors who are less represented, historically, in the canon: African-Americans, Transgender and gender variant queers and Queens, Butches, those lost so young to the AIDS epidemic, and figures whose queerness was overshadowed by their historical context.

Photography: Paul Warchol

I hope some viewers will be delighted to recognize familiar and kindred faces and that some will learn about new and amazing icons of our ever-unfurling history.