This month’s art exhibit in the newly named, Milk Gallery, is titled, Nuance. Curated by Lucien Vedego, Nuance is an invitation to celebrate the introspective aspects of Pride;
‘Nuance is a gallery show that doubles as a safe space. The intention behind Nuance is to showcase a variety of queer artists from various disciplines and create a space where they can feel free to highlight work that reflects the more subtle parts of themselves. What are your dreams, queer family? What are your needs and desires? Your fears? What has been overlooked for too long?’
Check out our interview with him below, and come see the exhibit all month at Alma Mater!
You’ve curated a beautiful exhibit with multiple local queer artists! How’d you find them all?
Thank you! I'm so happy to have all of their art in one place, mingling together. L.J. James and Cassandra Kuring responded to the call for artists put out on Instagram and it turned out that I was already following their work, but was unaware they were in the local area. I was delighted to find out they're Tacoma neighbors!
I've recorded Kellie Richardson's voice for a project with the Rainbow Center and was enlightened to her work with collage by Christina Butcher, whose poetry is being shown in the gallery. I've gotten to know Christina over the past year and we've cultivated a very unique and symbiotic relationship as movers and shakers.
Brandi Douglas is a regular at Honey, where I work, and her presence has always struck me. Her face came to mind when thinking about the show and I decided to do some digging and found out she is a poetess, as well as a myriad of other things! Her poem is displayed high up in the space so you have to "look up to" the truth of it.
Jody Poorwill was also recommended by Christina and I knew their photography via Instagram and for the shots they published in the book 'High Risk' from Sand and Gravel Press.
And last but not least, Ashley Faith, also known as the Ritual Artist, actually used to be my manager when I first moved to Washington! She's since picked up painting (or perhaps she has been at it for a while!) and it has been wonderful to watch her art evolution.
Pride has evolved quite a bit in the last several years. What does pride mean to you, and how does it correspond (or not correspond) with Nuance?
Pride has always been a difficult time for me because of what it brings up. I see all of the smiling faces at the parades and I'm happy for them, but I know I'm not going to be one of those people anytime soon. One, because, I'll experience sensory overload if I ever go to a parade. Two, because, I've been shamed for my sexuality and shoved back in the closet several times over the period of my life. Big companies like to capitalize on the positive-only, the parades, the rainbows, and without giving any attention to the origins of such things. Nuance grew out of noticing that pattern and finding that many others in the community have similar feelings. I wanted to highlight the idiosyncrasies that come with being in a queer body/queer spirit. I wanted to know what my community was really thinking about during this time. Pride, to me, means that you're staying true to yourself one day at a time, in spite of all the opposition, because you're dedicated to who you are and you refuse to compromise to make anyone comfortable.
Is there any Pride event you’re particularly looking forward to in the next couple of weeks?
I will unfortunately be missing a big chunk of it because I'm going on vacation, BUT, Sam Thuja has been painstakingly working on the Wellness and Justice Fair that's going to be held at Alma Mater on the 14th and I'm excited that all of the resources the lgbtq2ia+ community may not know they even need are going to be laid out there and for free.