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On May 22nd, The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum will open Bend, a new exhibition that focuses on Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Ally (or LGBTQA) lived experiences, especially as they relate to issues of empowerment and equality. The exhibition also emphasizes artworks that deal with bending dominant “rules” of gender and sexuality, while not jettisoning the important and ongoing activist and political valences of LGBTQA identity formation. Bend is organized by Dr. Tyler Wasson, University Psychologist and LGBTQ Specialist at the FIU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), in collaboration with MFA in Visual Arts: Curatorial Practice candidate Brittni Winkler of the FIU Department of Art + Art History.
Bend features the work of six artists: Camilo Londono, Carlos-Migues Rivas, Daniela Montoya, Sean D. Henry Smith, Sergio Potes, and Natalie Merola. As a whole, their work ranges from the media of painting and photography to video and installation. Portrait photographs by New York based artist, Sean D. Henry Smith, examine and discredit the artifice of “man” generated by societal norms and media, while embracing and examining varied expressions of masculinity. In contrast, work by Miami-based Daniela Montoya and Natalie Merola explore the performative aspect of identity formation via subjects in the Miami gay community, whose self-expression and identification are expressed through the dance style of vogue and cross-dressing.
The opening of Bend will occur on May 22nd, 2014 from 6PM-9PM at The FIU Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum: 10975 SW 17th Street, Miami, FL 33199. Free and open to the public.
The featured image is “Release” by Camilo Londono.
This article was written with the help of Brittni Winkler.