Opening of the Pride Art Show at the Clausen Museum
June is Pride Month, when celebrations take place around the world to promote LGBTQ rights and culture. Today is the last day to experience the Pride Art Show at the Clausen Memorial Museum. It opened on Saturday with a community reception.
“Of course we have rainbows, lots of rainbows and kids flying little flags,” Annette Bennett, one of the show’s organizers, said at the reception. “It’s really nice to see people coming together and coming together to celebrate all the artwork we’ve done.”
Inside the museum, between an old Fresnel lighthouse lens and the largest sockeye salmon in the world, are the entrances to the show. There is a wedding dress painted in purple and blue and a series of brightly colored collages. One of the artists stood near his weavings.
“My name is Debra O’Gara,” she said. “My Lingit name is Dzijúksuk.”
She points to a fringed square with a geometric pattern and explains that it is woven in a traditional style called Ravenstail – a style that has almost died out.
“Traditionally, Ravenstail was a huge dress and when you danced in it it flows and you can just see the fringes on both sides flowing down and dancing with the dancer,” she said.
O’Gara pointed to another weave with zigzag patterns and concentric boxes, and explained that it was a combination of Ravenstail and a style called Chilkat. She said Chilkat allows the weaver to make curves, so it looks like painting with thread.
“I used yellow and black for All My Ancestors, and a really bright blue for the border,” O’Gara said. “That blue and that purple are actually the colors of domestic violence that have historically been used. I just like these colors. And then I put rainbow swarovski crystals inside. And so there is a treasure box inside. And it’s name of this model is Treasure Box. And the treasure inside is the crystals.
A black sequin mask by another artist is also on display. It’s in a white filigree frame with tiny keys hanging from it, and it’s called “Set Me Free.” Chelsea Tremblay, who helped organize the exhibit, said it was submitted anonymously.
“Not everyone feels comfortable having their name associated with something very revealing about a part of themselves that they may not be comfortable with. to share with all its neighbours,” said Tremblay. “So it was brave to put something in there and I’m thrilled that people are coming to hopefully see it.”
The Pride Art Show is on display at the Clausen Memorial Museum until June 30.