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$10,380 pledged of $12,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

About this project:

The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center will present Cast of Characters, a dramatic transformation of the Bureau by artist Liz Collins that features a salon-style exhibition of portraits by 95 queer artists. Cast of Characters will run from June 14 – September 16, 2018. The Donors reception will take place on Thursday, June 14, 2018, 6-9 PM, followed by the public opening reception on Friday, June 15, 2018, 6-9 PM.

Inspired by lavishly decorated and richly ornamented nineteenth-century libraries and salons, this immersive installation brings vibrant colors, dynamic patterns, and lush textures to the Bureau’s utilitarian aesthetic of plywood and cardboard. The exhibition will transform the Bureau into a warm, bright lounge, inspiring contemplation and conversation, beckoning visitors to linger, look, and read. With your help, we can make this project a reality!

Exhibiting Artists

Paula Allen, Lani Asuncion, Aziz + Cucher, Shimon Attie, Hannah Barrett, Nayland Blake, Marissa Bluestone, Chris Bogia, Justin Vivian Bond, Deborah Bright, Nancy Brooks Brody, Dietmar Busse, Nao Bustamente, Jai Carrillo, Cassils, Geoffrey Chadsey, Caroline Wells Chandler, Kyle Coniglio, Marco DaSilva, Niko Darling, Katrina del Mar, Leah DeVun, KD Diamond, Vincent Dilio, Angela Dufresne, Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, Nicole Eisenman, Scott Ewalt, Alesia Exum, Avram Finkelstein, C. Finley, Daphne Fitzpatrick, Chitra Ganesh, Andrea Geyer, Gary Graham, Stefanie Gudra, Martine Gutierrez, Barbara Hammer, Michelle Handleman, Jesse Harrod, Clarity Haynes, Karen Heagle, Mars Hobrecker, Elizabeth Insogna, Rindon Johnson, John Kelly, Amanda Kirkhuff, Kia LaBeija, Doron Langberg, Rebecca Levi, Myles Loftin, Shelley Marlow, Rodolfo Marron III, Aaron McIntosh, Eric McNatt, India Salvor Menuez, Lucas Michael, Troy Michie, Midori, Rodrigo Moreira, Carlos Motta, Zanele Muholi, Em North, Samantha Nye, Signe Olson, Alice O’Malley, Allison Michael Orenstein, Maia Cruz Palileo, Anna Parisi, Vick Quezada, LJ Roberts, Jason Rodgers, Gabriel Garcia Roman, JD Samson, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Michael Sharkey, Lauryn Siegel & Virgil B/G Taylor, Charan Singh, SKOTE (Alex P White & Jill Pangallo), Buzz Slutzky, Tuesday Smillie, Sable Elyse Smith, Allison Smith, Pamela Sneed, Alexander Stadler, AK Summers, Aarav Sundaresh, Corinne Teed, Vincent Tiley, Mickalene Thomas, Boris Torres, Nicola Tyson, Conrad Ventur, Mickey Vered, Courtney Webster & Meg Turner, Ketch Wehr, Matthew Weinstein

Why is this important? 

This project features a remarkable group of artists showing special works in a site-specific context. The show opens during PRIDE month and will be a grounding and celebratory site for folks to see a broad representation of LGBTQ creativity and life today in a context that queers a design strategy originated in traditional and formal domestic spaces. 

Loosely referencing the iconic exhibition and accompanying book The Family of Man, this enormous group of portraits by established to emerging queer artists will offer a broad and complex representation of contemporary queer life. The layers of patterns and colors of the carpet and wallpaper will function as a dynamic foundation to the portrayal of life through images and objects from a diverse cast of characters- which is how I imagine my community to come together in this show: the Family of Queers laid bare. 

Installation view of Persons of Interest exhibition at the Bureau, curated by Sam Gordon, featured a wide cross section of Visual AIDS artist members and friends. June 2 through September 18, 2016
Installation view of Persons of Interest exhibition at the Bureau, curated by Sam Gordon, featured a wide cross section of Visual AIDS artist members and friends. June 2 through September 18, 2016

The Bureau is an independent, all-volunteer queer cultural center, bookstore, and event space founded in 2012 and hosted by The LGBT Community Center in Manhattan since 2014. A beacon, a haven, and an essential space for the queer community, the Bureau serves as a bookstore, a performance space, an art gallery, and a place where queer people and friends go to find queer art, events, printed matter, information, and each other. This installation comes out of a deep love for the Bureau and a dedication to what it represents.

What will your contribution support? 

The funds will go towards the production, transportation, installation and deinstallation of the exhibition: carpet, wallpaper, and 95 artworks. 

Layout of carpet in BGSQD space. This carpet is a reconfiguration of the custom carpet Collins created for her "Energy Field" installation at the Tang Museum (2015-2017) and is based on one of her drawings.
Layout of carpet in BGSQD space. This carpet is a reconfiguration of the custom carpet Collins created for her "Energy Field" installation at the Tang Museum (2015-2017) and is based on one of her drawings.
Design for Acid Rain Floral wallpaper, which Collins is producing for the project. The design is a response to climate change and integrates graphic elements from a table showing the increase in the earth's temperature over the past century.
Design for Acid Rain Floral wallpaper, which Collins is producing for the project. The design is a response to climate change and integrates graphic elements from a table showing the increase in the earth's temperature over the past century.

Why Kickstarter?

There is no budget for this project - it has been entirely self-funded by the artist so far. Timing and administrative challenges have prevented it from following the grant application schedules, thus, crowdfunding is a great tool to both fund the last pieces of the project and extend its audience. So with your help, we can make this unprecedented project come to life!

Given that this project is community-centered, we are asking the queer community and allies to help us make this ambitious exhibition a reality. Your donation will provide us with the necessary funds to offer this immersive exhibition of queer art to New Yorkers and the many visitors from around the world during Pride month and throughout the summer. Thank you for your support!

This project will be made possible by individual donors to the Cast of Characters Kickstarter campaign and project sponsors.

Image of Liz Collins' "Cave of Secrets" installation in the "Trigger: Gender as a Tool and as a Weapon" show at the New Museum in New York City (Sept 27, 2017-Jan 21, 2018)
Image of Liz Collins' "Cave of Secrets" installation in the "Trigger: Gender as a Tool and as a Weapon" show at the New Museum in New York City (Sept 27, 2017-Jan 21, 2018)

About the artist:

Liz Collins in conversation with writer Jennifer Kabat at the closing event for "Energy Field", Collins' 2 year long installation at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York (October 2015-September 2017)
Liz Collins in conversation with writer Jennifer Kabat at the closing event for "Energy Field", Collins' 2 year long installation at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York (October 2015-September 2017)

Liz Collins surrounds the viewer in vibrating color and pattern fields to explore the boundaries between painting, fiber arts and installation. The cacophonic play of optics, texture, color and scale, recreates her wavering experience of the world as a place of stupendous wonder and cosmic energy. Collins has had solo exhibitions at the Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY; Heller Gallery, NY; AMP Gallery, Provincetown, MA; and the Knoxville Museum of Art in Tennessee to name a few. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions including at the ICA/Boston; Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art; the Museum of FIT; the New Museum; the Museum of Arts and Design and MoMA, and numerous group shows at galleries around the world. Collins’ awards include a USA Fellowship, a MacColl Johnson Fellowship, and residencies at AIR Alaska, Haystack, MacDowell, the Siena Art Institute, Stoneleaf, Yaddo, and the Museum of Arts and Design. She is a Queer Art Mentor, serves on the board of the Fire Island Art Residency, is a new member of the Exhibitions Committee at the Leslie Lohman Museum, and is one of the artists in the 2018-2020 Open Sessions program at the Drawing Center.

About the Bureau:

The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division is an independent, all-volunteer queer cultural center, bookstore, and event space that opened in New York City in 2012 and has been hosted by The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center since 2014. We aim to foster a community invested in the values of mindfulness, intellectual curiosity, justice, compassion, and playfulness. The Bureau seeks to excite and educate a self-confident, sex-positive, and supportive queer community by offering books, publications, and art and by hosting a wide variety of cultural events, including readings, performances, film screenings, book discussion groups, and workshops. We provide local and visiting queers and friends with an open and inclusive space for dialogue and socializing.

About The Center: 

Established in 1983, New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center empowers people to lead healthy, successful lives. The Center celebrates diversity and advocates for justice and opportunity. Each year, The Center welcomes more than 300,000 visits to our building in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan from people who engage in our life-changing and life-saving activities. To learn more about our work, please visit gaycenter.org.

Some rewards:

- A VIP/ Donor Preview Reception for you and exhibiting artists on June 14, the evening before the exhibition opens to the public.

Installation view of Coney Island Babies, curated by Chris Bogia and Montgomery Smith for Fire Island Artist Residency. The exhibition was on view at the Bureau from October 1 through November 27, 2016.
Installation view of Coney Island Babies, curated by Chris Bogia and Montgomery Smith for Fire Island Artist Residency. The exhibition was on view at the Bureau from October 1 through November 27, 2016.

  - A portrait session with one of a select group of the photographers in the exhibition.

Portrait by Dietmar Busse
Portrait by Dietmar Busse
Bobbie in Claire Fleury, 2017 by Alice O'Malley
Bobbie in Claire Fleury, 2017 by Alice O'Malley
Portrait of Cynthia Nixon by Eric McNatt
Portrait of Cynthia Nixon by Eric McNatt
Portrait by Jason Rodgers
Portrait by Jason Rodgers

 - A private studio visit with Liz Collins at her Brooklyn studio for you and up to 4 of your friends accompanied by a spread of drinks and snacks.

Liz Collins in her studio with Slava Tsukerman, the director of Liquid Sky, showing him the carpet she designed for the Trigger installation that was inspired by his film. Photo by Melissa Ragona
Liz Collins in her studio with Slava Tsukerman, the director of Liquid Sky, showing him the carpet she designed for the Trigger installation that was inspired by his film. Photo by Melissa Ragona
 

Thank yous:

The following individuals, companies, and institutions have been instrumental in developing this project and bringing it to this point:

  • all the artists in the show who said "YES" to this project so enthusiastically
  • the gallerists and studio managers of artists represented who have facilitated the curatorial component so generously
  • Vincent Dilio, Eric McNatt, Allison Michael Orenstein, Alice O’Malley, Jason Rodgers, Michael Sharkey, and Conrad Ventur for contributing portrait session rewards to this campaign 
  • Scott Hug for producing B-Out, a major and long lasting inspiration and blockbuster of a show (Andrew Edlin, 2012) that has served as my reference point many times in talking about the scope of this show
  • Ellington Braun & Zev Schwartz/ Liz Collins Studio
  • Lauryn Siegel
  • Ira Sachs and Queer Art
  • Sarah Keough/ R & S Media
  • Richard Shemtov/ Dune 
  • the Tang Museum
  • David Ninh and Daniel Sharp / Kickstarter
  • Donnie Jochum and Greg Newton / BGSQD
  • The LGBT Community Center
  • Michèle Rondelli, Adam Comiskey, and Sophie Probst/ 4Spaces
  • Yaddo Artist Colony
  • LMAKgallery
  • kinderMODERN

Risks and challenges

We are fully prepared to proceed with the project as planned.
We have assembled a great team to address any challenges that arise. All we really need now are the funds from YOU so the vision and scope of this fantastic project can be fully actualized.

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    Your name in lights

    Your name on the donor list in the exhibition and major gratitude vibes virtually and IRL.

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    Tied-Up

    For this donation amount, you will receive a special piece of ribbon with your name on it, and invited to tie it to a piece of sculptural furniture in the exhibition devoted to this.

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    Consensual Tagging

    Decorate the furniture! For this donation amount you will get to write your name in sharpie on the special donor ottoman in the installation designed for this purpose.

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    Cast of Characters Catalog

    A printed magazine of works from the Cast of Characters exhibition.

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    VIP Reception for backers and artists

    1 ticket to the exhibition preview and reception on Thursday, June 14 from 6-9pm.

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    VIP Reception for backers and artists

    2 tickets to the exhibition preview and reception on Thursday, June 14 from 6-9pm.

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    LC Studio Soirée

    Private 2 hour studio soirée at Liz Collins Studio with the artist for you and 1-4 of your friends this fall.

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    For Your Eyes Only

    A private viewing of the exhibition before or after hours accompanied by Liz Collins for you and up to 5 guests.

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    Conrad Ventur Portrait Shoot

    A 1 hour portrait shoot with artist Conrad Ventur and 1 final color and density corrected hi-res digital file of selected image.
    http://www.conradventur.com/index.html

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    Liz Collins Drawing

    Own one of Liz's Optic Vibrations & Energy Field 8.5x11ish drawings. There are several to choose from in this group. Donor's choice.

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    Arty Dinner Party

    A 5 course catered dinner party for you and up to 5 guests with surprise entertainment and artist guests at Liz Collins' Studio.

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    Liz Collins Framed Handwoven Textile

    Own one of Liz's treasured handwoven fabrics from her archive of weaving experiments from the late 80's/early 90's

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    Liz Collins mid-size Wall Piece

    This is a customizable reward for donors who want to own a piece of art by Liz Collins. You will be able to select from a group of works in this value range.

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    Vincent Dilio Portrait Shoot

    A 1 hour portrait shoot with photographer Vincent Dilio and 1 final color and density corrected hi-res digital file of selected image.
    http://www.vincentdilio.com/portraits/

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    Eric McNatt Portrait Shoot

    A 1 hour portrait shoot with photographer Eric McNatt and 1 final color and density corrected hi-res digital file of selected image.
    https://ericmcnatt.com/

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    Allison Michael Orenstein Portrait Shoot

    A 1 hour portrait shoot with photographer Allison Michael Orenstein and 1 final color and density corrected hi-res digital file of selected image.
    http://www.allisonmichaelorenstein.com/#/

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    Alice O’Malley Portrait Shoot

    A 1 hour portrait shoot with photographer Alice O'Malley and 1 final color and density corrected hi-res digital file of selected image.
    http://www.aliceomalley.com/

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    Jason Rodgers Portrait Shoot

    A 1 hour portrait shoot with photographer Jason Rodgers and 1 final color and density corrected hi-res digital file of selected image.
    http://jasonrodgersphoto.com/

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    M. Sharkey Portrait Shoot

    A 1 hour portrait shoot with photographer Michael Sharkey and 1 final color and density corrected hi-res digital file of selected image.
    http://www.msharkey.com/

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    Dietmar Busse Portrait Shoot

    A 1 hour black & white portrait session with Dietmar Busse in his Lower East Side studio or a garden nearby with one 11x14 gelatin silver print. Shoot can be with a lover, friend, child, pet. Does not have to be solo.

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