The newest group exhibition in Target Gallery, the contemporary exhibitions space of Torpedo Factory Art Center, offers a poignant look at love and relationships for LGBTQ+-identifying people.
My Queer Valentine explores love through non-heteronormative and non-binary relationships. The exhibition features 16 artists, 8 who are from Virginia or the D.C. greater metropolitan area.
Nicholas Aiden, St. John’s, NL, Canada
Veronica Barker-Barzel (Studio 320), Alexandria, VA
Brandin Barón, San Francisco, CA
Adam David Bencomo, Baltimore, MD
Miki Beyer, Herndon, VA
Louis Chavez, Rochester, NY
Mandy Chesney, Baltimore, MD
Evin Dubois, Paducah, KY
Aurele Gould, Richmond, VA
Cat Gunn, Baltimore, MD
Linda Hesh, Alexandria, VA
Rachael McArthur, Brooklyn, NY
Annika Papke, Alexandria, VA
Lucas J. Rougeux, North Bethesda, MD
Todd Stonnell, Richmond, VA
Matt Storm, Washington, DC
Exhibition juror Andy Johnson, a D.C.-based independent curator and gallery director of Gallery 102 at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at The George Washington University, has dedicated much of his curatorial career to unpacking queer intimacy.
“While My Queer Valentine has everything to do with the relationship to those around us, it’s also equally invested in the relationship we have with our queer realities, and the ways in which queerness shapes and informs our lived experience,” he said. “My Queer Valentine is as much a love letter to ourselves as it is a disclosing of longing to our community.”
Queerness or identifying as LGBTQ+ encapsulates many identities that are not necessary set within a spectrum. This diversity in perspective is represented in a various styles, mediums, and tones in this exhibition.
For instance, Aurele Gould has three works on view that explore concepts of intimacy for queer women through different narrative portraits of her girlfriend. Alex captures the act of undressing, creating a flirtatious dialogue between the subject and the viewer.
Matt Storm has two works from his Act of Looking series, which articulates and recognizes inclusive ways to see his trans body. The piece Act of Looking II, 17, Crossing My Fingers, Getting Away with Something is a playful love letter to the artist’s sexuality as a transmasculine person.
Artist Miki Beyer’s mixed-media work You’re Already There. You Already Have Me. is also a love-letter, but this time between the artist and their partner. They use dialogue from past conversations between the two of them that addresses the panic of identity-erasure as a non-binary person while in cisgender/heterosexual-presenting relationship. It also speaks to the love for each other that promises for a better tomorrow.
Don’t miss the special Valentine’s themed reception on Friday, February 14, 7 – 10 pm, with juror talk at 8 pm. The evening features interactive performance art, a photo op at our kissing booth, and DIY art-making activities. Learn more about and support local LGBTQ+ organizations, too.
About the Juror
Andy Johnson is a DC-based art historian, curator, and arts writer. He is Director of Gallery 102 at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design; contributing editor at DIRT; and serves as Assistant Curator and Artist Liaison for Art on the Vine, hosted by the Agora Culture. He was the 2018 Apprentice Curator for the DC Arts Center, and a 2019 Visiting Arts Writer and Critic for The Chart. He has curated and juried exhibitions with Gallery 102, DC Arts Center, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Dupont Underground, the Smithsonian Institution, among others. He has presented research and spoken on panels at universities, galleries, and museums including Rutgers University, UC Santa Barbara, University of Georgia, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, GW Museum, Washington Project for the Arts, and others. He has published articles, exhibition reviews, and catalogue essays with DIRT, The Chart, Common Field’s Field Perspectives, The Rib, Pelican Bomb, BmoreArt and more. He holds a M.A. in Art History from The George Washington University.
Image: Aurele Gould, Acrylic, 2017, Photograph.