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Friday, June 21, 2024
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‘No such thing as too much love’: UB students organize LGBTQ+ art exhibition

Queer House created a space for individuals to come together, make art and spread love

<p>Drawings at the Queer House exhibit.</p>

Drawings at the Queer House exhibit.

Last Tuesday to Thursday, two UB students transformed the Center for the Arts’ (CFA)  Project Space Gallery from an empty, white room to a cozy cafe and collaborative art exhibition.

In collaboration with the UB LGBTQ+ Association, Kelly Luu and Juntralai Moore showcased Queer House: a home for artistic expression centered around the queer experience. 

The tradition is new; Luu and Moore created Queer House last year and held it for the second time this year. After being involved in last year’s Queer Prom, Luu and Moore wanted to leave their own mark. 

“With Queer House, we have more creative control,” Luu, a senior business major and studio art minor, said. 

In preparation for the event, the two lined the walls with drawing paper and constructed a signature paper tree. They stayed in the gallery past midnight, and CFA staff accidentally locked them in.

“We had to get a janitor to let us out,” Luu laughed.

Queer House pride flag

A pride flag at the Queer House exhibition.

All the artists who submitted work — including poetry, paintings and photographs — were featured in a handmade zine (or underground mini-magazine) titled, “Queer Joy Forever.” The magazine is the second installment, with the first one being released last year as a defiant protest to Michael Knowles’s visit to UB.

The works highlight the artists’ vulnerability and honesty about gender identity and sexuality filled the pages. As a part of Queer House, the artists discussed their work with audience members. 

“I just feel like some things need to be said, and it needs to be said loud enough for other people to hear,” Val Johnson, a sophomore studio art major, said during the talk. “A lot of the time you’re making yourself quiet for convenience, but in this space here, you can be as loud as you want to be.”

Queer House encouraged visitors to destress and create their own art, including book-binding their own zines and adding their drawings to the wall.  

Jordan Roth, a National Geographic photo coordinator, visited from Hamburg, New York to partake in the exhibit. She feels particularly gravitated towards zine-making because of the creative freedom the medium provides.

 “You can paint, you can collage, you can write,” Roth said. “It can really be anything.” 

Community-building was at the heart of every activity. Attendees could eat and talk together thanks to Moore and Luu’s free cafe, which served tea, coffee and donuts.  

The welcoming, non-judgemental atmosphere was palpable. One student popped in after playing their first gig at another place. Once the student’s friend announced the guitarist’s milestone, the room immediately erupted with applause. 

Anyone could step into Queer House with nothing and leave with everything. 

“Because why not?” Luu said.

The arts desk can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com

Mylien Lai is an assistant arts editor and can be reached at mylien.lai@ubspectrum.com


SOPHIA STINES

Sophia Stines is a staff writer. 


MYLIEN LAI
mylien-lai.jpg

Mylien Lai is the senior news editor at The Spectrum. Outside of getting lost in Buffalo, she enjoys practicing the piano and being a bean plant mom. She can be found at @my_my_my_myliennnn on Instagram. 

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