In this season of fund-raisers, I'm sending out a call for another one! I'll admit up front that I will personally benefit by this Sale of Paintings to Benefit the LGBTQ Communities of Michigan. I'm splitting 50/50 all proceeds with Equality Michigan and the OutCenter of Southwest Michigan. It is my hope to use my portion to continue my painting for this cause and to promote a state-wide effort involving other LGBTQ artists and organizations.
This sale of my paintings is the first step in an idea that has come to me as I assume the role of visual artist and also learn of other LGBTQ artists and of queer-friendly spaces across the state. I have spoken to OutCenter of Southwest MI's Mary Jo Schnell, to Erin Knott of Equality MI and to Dave Garcia of Affirmations in Ferndale about a proposal to organize a state-wide collective of LGBTQ artists and arts venues:a network of spaces where artists can show and sell their work in return for par-ticipating in educational, awareness-building and fund-raising efforts for organizations.The success of this month’s sales at Gallery 22 North in Ypsilanti and the OutCenter in Benton Harbor could be a beacon for future endeavors. But is goes beyond sales.
At this time in our severely compromised political system, when so many of us feel our basic rights are being threatened, many artists feel compelled to somehow connect with the greater cause. My hope is to propose a network of mutual benefit and support to both LGBTQ artists in need of exposure, community connections and sales and to LGBTQ support organizations across the state!