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“Love’s Palette” showcases LGBTQ artists’ talent

San+Marcos+community+members+attend+Loves+Palette%2C+Friday%2C+June+7%2C+2024%2C+at+the+San+Marcos+Art+Center.+This+years+Loves+Palette+is+the+San+Marcos+Art+Leagues+2nd+annual+Pride+Month+art+exhibition.
Lucas Kraft
San Marcos community members attend Love’s Palette, Friday, June 7, 2024, at the San Marcos Art Center. This year’s Love’s Palette is the San Marcos Art League’s 2nd annual Pride Month art exhibition.

The San Marcos Art League (SMAL) hosted its second annual pride exhibition, “Love’s Palette,” this month. Local LGBTQ artists will be displaying their artwork during the month of June at the San Marcos Art Center (SMAC), capturing the essence of LGBTQ pride and resilience. This exhibition celebrated the overlooked narratives of queer individuals.

Its opening reception was on Friday, June 7, from 6-8 p.m. at 117 N. Guadalupe Street, Suite 101, where guests could meet the featured artists.

Syd Perkinson, an art education senior and practicing artist, breaks these societal barriers as a queer artist by making art that not only stays true to who they are but subtly includes queer aspects of their life in their art.

“[The] majority of my art portrays how I live my life as someone with a traumatic brain injury, so the queer aspect of myself does not come off as ‘in your face’ in my art,” Perkinson said. “But being queer is who I am, I think it is important to have artist who break the stigma of ‘if your gay you have to make gay art.”

In a nine-by-twelve-inch oil painting, Perkinson used warm, homey hues to depict the comfort found in embracing queer identity. Earthy tones frame an ambiguous yet potent portrayal of queer love, inviting viewers to contemplate gender and sexuality through a subtle lens.

Alex Morales, a studio art senior, utilizes her art to explore themes of self-identity and personal psychoanalysis. Two pieces in the exhibition depict both the intensity of newfound love and Morales’ self-exploration.

“A lot of my artwork has to do with past experiences and past relationships, but at the same time, a lot of my art shows growth in my identity and who I have become now as I continue to grow,” Morales said.

Morales views art as a tool with a wide range of options. It serves as a canvas for self-expression and personal milestones and functions as a platform to showcase a range of perspectives, experiences, stories and emotions.

“I think it’s quite beautiful in a way,” Morales said. “It just shows how diverse and open people are willingly to show themselves through their artwork, showing who they are and what they want to express.”

Across the gallery, Nerissa Holland, a retired army veteran and full-time artist who identifies as bisexual and polyamorous, portrays their sexuality and themes of sexual frustration through their art.

Though this was the first time Holland has worked with other LGBTQ artists, they believe the experience with this exhibition was positive. Holland said the exhibition offers a chance to counter stereotypical portrayals of the LGBTQ community and broaden understanding through artistic exploration.

“There are a lot of stereotypes on both men and women,” Holland said. “I try to portray in my art that I don’t take sides, I like both sides. In many paintings, women often are shown naked, and I try to portray men that way as well to show that it’s not bad to portray men that way.”

Holland shatters stereotypes with the artwork displayed in the exhibition, through the portrayal of two nude male cowboys in a desert landscape. The work, called “Texas Twinkies,” captures the importance of normalizing male nudity in art.

“It was a spur of the moment type of painting,” Holland said. “I was inspired by ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ and I wanted to capture the sultriness of the moment between the two cowboys painted, as well as the landscape that remind me of moments from that movie.”

Exhibition dates for Love’s Palette are June 5-30 at the San Marcos Art Center. For more SMAC events, visit https://www.sanmarcosartcenter.com/events/.

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