LGBTQ students share art at ‘Queer Voices’

Katherine Schaeffer

Members of the LGBTQ community expressed themselves through painting, photography, spoken-word poetry and music at the “Queer Voices” art show Wednesday.

The event, which took place in the Student Multicultural Center, featured students’ acrylic and watercolor paintings, photography and weaving. Spoken-word poetry and singer-songwriter performances also punctuated the event.

About 30 people browsed through the show, which ran from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

LGBTQ center program coordinator Roxie Patton said “Queer Voices” is the first of what she hopes to make a per-semester event. She decided to plan the art show after realizing the lack of venues for queer — an umbrella term for the LGBT community — students to share their unique experiences through art.

“I met with student leaders, and they mentioned the need for queer student artwork,” Patton said. “There are many members of the community who are active in art, theater and graphic design. This is a chance to have their voice heard and talk about issues [that are] important to queer people on campus.”

Freshman zoology major Lisa Hare, whose watercolors were featured in the show, said students were invited to share their artwork in “Queer Voices” at a PRIDE! Kent meeting earlier in the semester.

Emmett Drugan, graduate art education student, showcased printmaking and weaving work. Drugan said the event provided members of the LGBTQ community with a venue for personal expression.

“I was an opportunity for LGBTQ people to get our voices heard,” Drugan said. “It appealed to me because I do artwork, and it largely consists of LGBTQ content.”

Patton said because the LGBTQ Student Center is new on campus, events like “Queer Voices” help raise awareness for students, staff and faculty who are interested in being involved.

Patton said she plans to change the format of the art show for the spring by creating a coffee house atmosphere. It will be a laid-back event where artists —especially performers — can share their work.

“I wanted this to be a place where people could share something that is personal. Artwork is your soul,” Patton said.

Contact Katherine Schaeffer at [email protected].