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!
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.
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.
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.
About the artist:
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.
- A VIP/ Donor Preview Reception for you and exhibiting artists on June 14, the evening before the exhibition opens to the public.
- A portrait session with one of a select group of the photographers in the exhibition.
- 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.
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
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.
- (30 days)