Art exhibit commemorating Stonewall tells of mid-20th century LGBTQ experience
EVENT: Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, one of the most important events leading to the modern fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States, UCI presents the art exhibit “Burning Time: A Graphic Book Collaboration.” Jointly produced by Jonathan Alexander, Chancellor’s Professor of English, and Professor Antoinette LaFarge of the Department of Art, it pairs eight poems and associated panoramic paintings to bring to life the story of a young gay man arriving in New Orleans in the late 1950s to start a new life.
WHEN/WHERE: Tuesday, May 7, through Thursday, May 23, in the Viewpoint Gallery at UCI’s Student Center (bldg. 113, grid D5 on campus map: https://www.parking.uci.edu/maps/documents/UCI-CampusCore_2018.pdf
INFORMATION: The exhibit is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Student Center Parking Structure (grid C/D5 on campus map) or the Mesa Parking Structure (grid D3 on campus map) for $10 per day or $2 per hour. Media planning to attend should contact Pat Harriman at 949-824-9055 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HIGHLIGHT: 4 p.m. Friday, May 10: An opening reception will feature light appetizers and remarks by Alexander and LaFarge.
BACKGROUND: The project began with a trove of photos that Alexander was given at a family retreat – forgotten images offering a poignant glimpse into the life of a long-dead gay uncle. He began to imagine what this man must have gone through, arriving in New Orleans from rural Louisiana as a youth in the mid-20th century. Alexander soon realized that his conjured story needed equally evocative artworks to form an emotional correlative of the uncle’s experiences, and he invited LaFarge into the project. In the exhibit – sponsored by UCI Illuminations, the School of Humanities and the Claire Trevor School of the Arts – text and art interweave to re-create a particular time and place while also summoning the timelessness of self-exploration and desire.