The state’s most LGBT-friendly art space is City Lights in Bridgeport. For eight years, the gallery has dedicated the summer to the exhibit “SAMESEX.” In previous years, artworks have reflected outrage – denial of rights, refusal of services such as the wedding-cake controversy – and sorrow, as in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub massacre.
This year the mood is more fun, even though the atmosphere for LGBT people has not changed much.
“Sometimes it feels like one step forward, two steps back, the cake issue resurfacing, the marriage issue,” gallery executive director Suzanne Kachmar said. “I just think our community is more comfortable with what they’re doing. There’s a greater sense of confidence. We are who we are.”
Outrage often touches the sense of fun, but in a light way. Alison Margo photographed a nude woman shrieking, painted like the rainbow flag. In one of Barbara Ruger’s photos, “Oops,” Barbie meets Ken. In another, a doll is surrounded by Gumby and Pokey dolls. The title: “It’s Good to be Flexible.” Natasha Red Rose shows a fashion doll in a box, tarted up, and called it “Drag Queen Barbie.”
The colors of the flag show up in many artworks. Fran Cesca Winfield crocheted them into a pillow. Mario Baez abstracted them into a study of line and color. A set of ceramics may not look pride-related, until they are placed next to each other, and they mimic the flag. Steve Gerber’s photo collage of fruits and flowers are placed according to color, to become the flag.
Some pieces have political statements so subtle it’s easy to miss them. Katie Settel’s photo series shows a man making himself up to be the Statue of Liberty, as if to say, we are all Americans.
SAMESEX is at City Lights Gallery, 265 Golden Hill St. in Bridgeport, until Aug. 23. citylightsgallery.org.
On Other Walls
Art League of New Britain Gallery will show work by Edith Skiba LaMonica and Zbigniew M. Sokolowski until Aug. 26. alnb.org.
Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport Museum, 75 Greenmanville Road, will show “Anchors Aweigh: The Voyage Begins” until Sept. 23. All the work is for sale. This is Artists are Neal Hughes, Paul Beebe, Ray Crane, Robert Lagasse, William Davis and David Monteiro. mysticseaport.org/gallery.
“Ball Snake Ball” will be at ArtSpace, 50 Orange St. in New Haven, until Sept. 8. The artists, who use clay to illustrate environmental issues specific to their communities are Morel Doucet, Rachel Eng, Shannon Goff, Natalie Kuenzi, Roberto Lugo and Ruben Olguin. artspacenh.org.
Groton-New London airport’s “Art in the Airport” program is hosting artwork by individuals with disabilities until Aug. 30. “Life Without Limits” is presented in conjunction with United Cerebral Palsy of Eastern CT.