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Local Queer artists "expose" themselves
Local Queer artists "expose" themselves
by Matt Wencl - Special to the SGN

Exposed: A Celebration of Queer Artistry
April 3, 7 PM
Century Ballroom


To make visible. To subject to light. To make vulnerable. To reveal the true nature. The words are few to define "exposure," but their implications are unlimited, which is why you'll discover remarkable variations of artistic interpretation at Seattle's 2nd Annual Presentation of "Exposed: A Celebration of Queer Artistry," an arts-based fundraising event benefiting Gay City Health Project.

Join Gay City on Friday April 3 at 7 p.m. in the West Hall at Century Ballroom (915 E Pine St, Seattle) for an evening of Queer art, entertainment, and fundraising for the health and support of our community! You'll meet a gathering of incredible local Queer artists sharing their visions, processes, and journeys of self-expression - and you'll encounter their art - an assemblage of photography, ceramics, paintings, jewelry, graphic design, sculpture, and more.

One artist you'll meet is Cody Blomberg, local painter and muralist, whose art approaches how people interact or don't interact with each other, through symbols and dream-like imagery. He says participating in "Exposed" is important because Seattle doesn't have a clearly defined Queer artist community. "I think our community, in general, is getting away from the need for that label. I tend to think of myself as an artist who is also Queer [as opposed to a 'Queer artist'] and I want to give to that community in the way I can, by giving my art as a way to build the community."

Blomberg also believes that the more our community is exposed to local Gay artisans, then there will be more awareness of its value. "I'm definitely a 'shop local' person, and local Gay art is important for our community to fill its walls with because art enriches our lives and our daily experiences. We can fill our walls with what's pretty or what's challenging, but it enhances our world, and exposure educates."

Painter Justin Orvold is also presenting his work, which explores Transgendered themes, partly to give back to a community that has shown him a wealth of kindness. "My life here in Seattle is filled with diverse group of friends, and I see Exposed as an opportunity to network with other [Queer] artists and meet private owners and gallery owners."

Exposed will also feature Scott Aitken, Debra Bacianga, Ingrid Berkhout, Neelu Bhuman, Andrew Adam Caldwell, Jim Hamilton, Anna Perrone Hendrichs, Frankie Krhounek, Scott Landry, Mark Magill, Gregory Poore, H. Lee Porter, Derek Sparks, Claudia Trott, Matt Wencl, and Thomas Wurst.

All art on display will be available for purchase from the artists, who were selected on the basis of a submission and jury process. 100% of the proceeds from specially designated pieces will directly benefit Gay City Health Project.

Organizer Wendy Sloneker is thrilled about the upcoming event. "The success of last year's exhibit, and the community support we received was overwhelming. This spring we are taking the event to a whole new level." The second annual Exposed includes the art exhibit, a spoken-word showcase, and new this year, the addition of live chamber music. Guests will be treated to hors d'oeuvres throughout the evening, as well as a no-host bar.

Regular advance tickets are $25, with a 20% discount for students. VIP admission is $40 and includes a hosted champagne reception with the artists before doors open to the public. Development Director Peter Jabin says that VIP privileges are an opportunity to get to know the artists on a more direct and personal level, to "find out more about their motivations and their creative processes." VIP guests will also receive a special gift bag. Tickets are available for purchase at www.gaycity.org.

Gay City Health Project, event beneficiary, is an innovative Gay men's health organization based in Seattle, and the premiere HIV testing provider for Gay and Bisexual men in King County. Executive Director Fred Swanson sees the benefit for all gay men through a show like Exposed. "From a health perspective, this shared sense of identity and community helps to eliminate loneliness and isolation, feelings that often lead to unhealthy behaviors. We're excited to continue exploring Gay men's health and wellness using the arts."

For more information about Exposed, contact Peter Jabin, development director for Gay City at (206) 388-1711 or peter@gaycity.org.

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