Song of Myself - Buffalo Art Movement
1910
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Song of Myself

LGBTQ+ Artists from the Gerald Mead Collection

Featured Photo: Alice O’Malley (b. 1962), Tabboo! As Hans Christina Jorgensen, 2008, silver gelatin print

I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.

Walt Whitman (American & Queer, 1819-1892)

Exhibition Preview

Left to right: Alice O’Malley, Joe Radoccia, Andrew Hershey, Thomas Matyas, Clara Sipprell

Queer artists have been present in Western New York for more than a century. LGBTQ+ voices have been whispered from the closet, shouted in response to cataclysmic events (i.e., Stonewall riots, AIDS pandemic, ACT UP movement, etc.) and affirmed when gaining some degree of acceptance in parts of western society. The acceptance of LGBTQ+ people has never been universal. Moreover, queer people continue to suffer from rejection, discrimination, harassment, imprisonment and violence, stressing the need for an increase in advocacy and education to promote acceptance.

 

Growing up queer is difficult, even in accepting environments. We all go through a process of confusion, shame, fear, acceptance, courage and pride that eventually defines who we are and how we fit into the world. Alexander Leon summarizes the sentiment that many LGBTQ+ people have felt during their forming years: “Queer people don’t grow up as ourselves, we grow up playing a version of ourselves that sacrifices authenticity to minimize humiliation and prejudice. The massive task of our adult lives is to unpick which parts of ourselves are truly us and which parts we’ve created to protect us.”

 

In collaboration with Gerald Mead, artist and collector, Buffalo Art Movement is proud to pay homage to queer artists from WNY who throughout history have created a body of work that visibly represents the LGBTQ+ identity. The significance of their work continues to pave the road for a new generation of queer artists that will further enhance the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community to the art world. The works featured have been presented in renowned art galleries, collected around the world, and has been included in the permanent collection of museums such as The Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, The Burchfield Penney Art Center, Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and The Whitney Museum of American Art.

 

Artists featured: Steve Ardo, Eric Bellman, Edward Bisone, Annie Crawford, Jack Edson, Keith Gemerek, Brandon Giessmann, Jim Goodrich, Jeremiah Goodman, Anthony Peter Gorny, Amy Greenan, Andrew Hershey, Thomas Matyas, Scott McCarney, Dana McKnight, Tommy Nguyen, Alice O’Malley, Joe Radoccia, Paul Rybarczyk, Joseph Scheer, Clara Sipprell, Peter Stephens, C. J. Szatkowski, Gerry Szymanski, Adam Weekley and Joe Ziolkowski

About the Collector

Gerald Mead is an award winning collage artist and educator, arts writer and former longtime curator at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. A leading authority on WNY art, he is currently an independent curator who teaches in the Art & Design Department at Buffalo State College and serves on committees for several arts organizations. Since 1987 he has assembled a private collection of over 1,500 artworks by artists associated with this region. Thematic exhibitions from the Gerald Mead Collection have been presented at numerous college galleries and other public venues, most recently at the Carnegie Art Center. He has also lent works from his collection for exhibitions at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Castellani Art Museum, UB Art Galleries, CEPA Gallery and Hallwalls, and frequently lectures on art and collecting. Gerald was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Niagara University in 2020.

Photo by Julian Montague