This year, celebrating pride may look different for some. However, voices are louder than ever, and the Erie Alliance for Equality is amplifying them through their LGBTQ juried art exhibit!
The Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the region’s LGBT community and its straight allies through educational programs, social events, and opportunities for service, which are designed to strengthen our voice and improve the quality of life in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Among these events is the 2021 LGBTQ Juried Art Exhibit running until June 30 at the Blasco Library. The exhibit features over 50 artworks from 28 different local LGBTQ artists. Works are created in a variety of mediums including painting, jewelry, mixed media and more. “The key objective was to showcase local and regional art created by LGBTQ artists in northwestern PA. Often LGBTQ artists are overlooked or their work is dismissed as being for a “specialized audience,” This art exhibit will provide LGBTQ artists a communal opportunity to celebrate their identities in a visual, artistic expression and educate others in the general community”. Thus far the event has been a success drawing a steady crowd. Another success includes the diversity of the ages of the artists, which ranges from 20 - 60 years old.
In order to host this important event, G.E.A.E. partnered with organizations old and new. As our current Ignite Arts grantee, Erie Arts & Culture was among that list. Additionally, display panels for hanging the artworks were provided by Northwestern Pennsylvania Art Association. Board members were also crucial in the transportation and hanging of the exhibition. Erie’s Performing Artist Collective Alliance provided the necessary equipment for hanging the show. Mercyhurst University, Penn State-Behrend, Edinboro University of PA, and Allegheny College all played a vital hand in soliciting entries and publicizing the event. Collaborations with these organizations allowed G.E.A.E. to strengthen their personal relationships all the while facilitating a positive event for the Erie community.
If you find yourself unavailable this June don't fret! Mark your calendar for 2023, as the Greater Erie Alliance for Equality plans for this exhibition to be a biennial event. G.E.A.E. is also considering collaborating with a visual art group based in Erie to present yet another juried art exhibit revolving around a particular theme.
Those looking to support the mission of the Erie Alliance for Equality, both LGBTQ and straight allies, are welcome to be active in the programming, advisory council, and board. Additional support is welcome in non-art programming. More information can be found on their website, GreaterErieAlliance.com. Further communication is available through GEAEinfo@gmail.com. Mail can be sent to their office at 301 West 10th Street, Erie, PA 16502.
During the run of the exhibit, two of Erie Arts & Culture's Creating with Community Artists hosted a gathering entitled "Art, Pride, and Traversability." Amy Adams (she/her) and Eric Anthony Berdis (he/they) are collaborating to create public art which will be visible later in the year on 19th street in Erie, PA. During the gathering, Amy and Eric engaged with the community for input on their work.