UW-Stout student group hosts LGBT-only art show

The Gender & Sexuality Alliance at the University of Wisconsin-Stout is sponsoring an art show at which only submissions by “LGBTQIA+ identifying” artists will be accepted.

“Call for Queer Artists,” solicits a poster that has been posted around campus advertising the event, a copy of which was provided to Campus Reform. “Artists must be LGBTQIA+ identifying,” it adds.

According to the flyer—which bears the GSA logo but asserts in fine print that it was “not printed at taxpayer expense”—qualifying artists have until November 18 to submit between one and three pieces of art, which can utilize “any medium” and contain “any content.”

Sam Heutmaker, GSA Fundraising Chair and one of the event’s organizers, told Campus Reform that the show itself is tentatively scheduled for December 10, and that while he has only received a few submissions so far, many other students have told him that they intend to enter artwork.

“Our motivation for hosting the show—mine and my co-hosts Lindsey Cherek and Emery Kuehn—is we want to promote young queer artists and provide visibility for those who may not normally get visibility,” he explained.

Student Michael J. Larson, conversely, described the event as both “ridiculous” and “hypocritical” based on its exclusive nature, adding that several classmates he has spoken with have expressed similar sentiments.

“Could you image a ‘straight artist only’ art show?” he asked incredulously. “I just can't believe (well I can actually) how hypocritical a group like that can be.”

Although the event itself will not require any funding, Heutmaker told Campus Reform that GSA is hoping to produce a booklet, also at the group’s own expense, that will be offered for sale to attendees as a fundraiser.

“All of the fundraising is for us to go to MBLGTACC, or Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Trans Ace College Conference,” he said. “We are hoping that by creating the show and producing and sell the book/booklet we can help raise enough to get as many people as possible to go.”

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