By Fiona Campbell
June is Pride month, a time when LGBTQ+ communities around the world celebrate the freedom to be themselves. But Pride is about more than rainbows and parades: its origins stem from a long history of harassment and prejudice against minority groups struggling for acceptance.
Art and artists have a unique and powerful means to initiate conversation, bridge understanding and incite change, as well as bring people together. Artists resist the pressures to conform to social norms, and push through the fear of being judged. And as French artist Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.”
Quinte Arts Council is proud to host the first annual Everyone Under the Rainbow show, featuring works that reflect, respect, feature and speak to the modern LGBTQ+ community.
“Everyone Under The Rainbow is a very contemporary worthy initiative for QAC,” says Ron Waddling, a Brighton, Ont.-based artist who submitted a giclee canvas piece called I AM… “I believe we need exposure through the arts to encourage positive expressions from the public, particularly now, as we see politics teetering on values established in recent years. Spotlighting equality, the rights of all humanity, the planet we call home and its care…I sure hope we can move forward and build on acceptance of humankind, one world, along with the preservation of same.”
The six-stripe rainbow has been a symbol of the LGBTQ+ rights movement since 1978 when San Francisco artist and designer Gilbert Baker designed a flag for that year’s upcoming Pride celebrations that reflected the many groups with the queer community, incorporating various colours into a single, coherent symbol.
This year’s show is small, but powerful, and our intention is to foster new connections with artists in the LGBTQ+ community in Quinte to provide a place for them to showcase and celebrate their art. Because everyone deserves a place under the rainbow.
The show runs from June 19th to July 3rd.