Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community

Reception: Friday, Dec. 11 from 5–8 pm

MICA hosts Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community, a traveling exhibition examining lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) identities and ideas through fiber crafts.

Curated by John Chaich, Queer Threads showcases works of art from 26 artists from the United States, Canada, Argentina, South Africa and Denmark who combine fine art traditions with thread-based craft materials and processes, including crochet, embroidery, knitting, lace, macramé, needlepoint, quilting and sewing, to show the diversity of LGBTQ experiences. The exhibition, making its Maryland debut at MICA, marks the first time the pieces have been displayed together for the purpose of connecting and highlighting their queerness.

The exhibition responds to the gender connotations, feminist herstories and power hierarchies situated within the history of fiber art and domestic handicrafts, while examining the icons, tastes, roles, relationships and spaces socialized within and around gay and lesbian culture.

Queer Threads is both international and intergenerational in scope. The exhibition includes works from artists Chris Bogia (New York), Melanie Braverman (Massachusetts), Jai Andrew Carrillo (California), Chiachio and Giannone (Argentina), Liz Collins (New York), Ben Cuevas (California), Pierre Fouché (South Africa), James Gobel (California), Sabrina Gschwandtner (California), Harmony Hammond (New Mexico), Jesse Harrod (Pennsylvania), Larry Krone (New York), Rebecca Levi (New York), Aubrey Longley-Cook (Georgia), Aaron McIntosh (Maryland), Allyson Mitchell (Canada), John Thomas Paradiso (Maryland), Sheila Pepe (New York), Maria E. Piñeres (California), Allen Porter (America), L. J. Roberts (New York), Athi-Patra Ruga (South Africa), Sonny Schneider (Denmark), Buzz Slutzky (New York), Nathan Vincent (New York) and Jessica Whitbread (Canada). While the majority of the featured works were created in the last decade, the oldest work on view date to 1955 and 1971.

Specifically, MICA's Fiber Department faculty member Aaron McIntosh's Road to Tennessee uses a photographic image of a man in a woodland scene, reminiscence of the artist's childhood, and patchwork quilt, a symbol of his traditional craft experience and his self-described pieced together identity.

This exhibition is co-sponsored by MICA and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. Queer Threads was on exhibition at the museum from January to March 2014. It will travel to the Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts in April 2016.

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is the first museum dedicated to the exhibition and preservation of LGBTQ art. Recognizing the need to preserve and establish a safe space for LGBTQ art, the museum began as an exhibition in the Soho loft of collectors Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman in 1969. The co-founders established the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, Inc. in 1987 and received their official museum charter in May 2011.

Gallery hours: Mondays–Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5 pm., and Sundays, noon–5 pm.

Image caption: Chiachio and Giannone, La Familia en la Fontana di Trevi, hand embroidery with cotton thread on fabric, 43 x 67 inches, 2011 (courtesy of the artists and Ruth Benzacar Gallery, Buenos Aires and School Gallery, Paris).

Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Decker Gallery: Fox Building
1303 W Mt Royal Ave, Baltimore, MD 21217, USA

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