“Queer Icons: Pioneers” exhibition in Lambertville and New Hope

300
Promo for “Queer Icons: Pioneers,” an art installation by artist Silky Shoemaker
“Queer Icons: Pioneers,” is an art installation of life-sized plywood portraits by artist Silky Shoemaker

LGBTQ history and art to be displayed at multiple locations this month

There will be a bevy of notable LGBTQ visitors to the river towns of Lambertville and New Hope this May. You just may have to stroll around a bit to find them. The Greater Lambertville Chamber of Commerce and New Hope Celebrates History will host Queer Icons: Pioneers, an art installation of life-sized plywood portraits by artist Silky Shoemaker to be displayed in storefront windows throughout both communities until May 31.

The Flemington-based ArtYard commissioned Shoemaker to construct 10 portraits of monumental figures from the LGBTQ community for a spring 2019 exhibit, 10 more LGBTQ icons were added last year.

The roster includes many lesser known personalities.

“The Icons I picked out are from a nearly endless lineage of incredible contenders,” Shoemaker said. “Those I picked stand out to me for their contributions to society and culture as artists, activists, writers and visionaries. They were pioneers in their respective fields—civil rights activists, drag performers, dancers, arbiters of rock and roll, baseball players, floral designers, writers, film directors and producers.”

The Queer Icons: Pioneers exhibition will be shown in its entirety in Lambertville and New Hope during May 2021 as part of the communities’ joint LGBTQ Pride celebration. Icons will be displayed in store windows on both sides of the Delaware river.

“Queer Icons: Pioneers,” an art installation by artist Silky Shoemaker map for May 2021
“Queer Icons: Pioneers,” an art installation by artist Silky Shoemaker map for May 2021

The Icons include women’s rights activist Pauli Murray, transgender author and activist Lou Sullivan, drag queen Flawless Sabrina, gospel and rock and roll singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, educator, florist and Cordon Bleu cooking school founder Constance Spry.

Other LGBTQ Icons include film director Dorothy Arzner, gay professional baseball player Glenn Burke, TV host and theater producer Ellis Haizlip, dancer and choreographer Willi Ninja, founder of the West Coast LGBTQ movement Jeanne Cordóva, cross-dressing blues musician Gladys Bentley, writer Langston Hughes, poet Essex Hemphill, minimalist painter Agnes Martin, drag performer and fashion designer Dorian Corey, “Stone Butch Blues” author Leslie Feinberg, politician Barbara Jordan, civil rights Freedom Riders organizer Bayard Rustin, flamboyant R&B singer Esquerita and poet and feminist Pat Parker.

Biographies in English and Spanish of each personality will be displayed with the portraits. The link to a map of the Icon’s locations is here: bit.ly/2PYS5XF

For more information visit newhopecelebrates.com.