Friday night’s going to be a big night at the Durango Arts Center.
Along with the launch of its 41st annual Juried Exhibit, the DAC will also be kicking off its Inaugural Durango Pride Art Show, hosted in collaboration with the Four Corners Alliance for Diversity. Both shows will be holding opening receptions from 5 to 7 p.m., something that DAC Exhibits Director Peter Hay is looking forward to.
“I think it’s really great to share the space; you get more of a critical mass of people, but then you also get people who may not hang out normally together, which is really nice, too,” he says. “The more we can do these shared openings and get different groups together, I think the more we’re highlighting what art does best.”
And what the DAC does best is show art, something that is not in short supply for the Pride Show, Hay says, as evidenced by the relative ease in finding artists to participate.
“I think a lot of the Pride community is a pretty creative bunch of people. They were really excited,’ he says, adding that the Entrada Gallery where the show will be held generally holds between 20 and 30 pieces, depending on the sizes of the works. Because of this, artists were asked to bring in one or two pieces. “I had people bring five or six pieces, so we have a very full space.”
Hays says the pieces in the Pride show run the gamut of experience – which is the point of art.
“What I like about it is there are some pieces that are very LGBTQ pride-oriented, but there are some pieces that are just work by people who are LGBTQ , and you wouldn’t know that unless they were in the show, which brings back the human aspect of it’s just an artist making a piece of work.,” he says.
And for those looking to add to their art collections, the majority of pieces are for sale.
But the show is bigger than that, Hay says.
“One of the things art does in not necessarily a logical or reasonable way, it helps us connect as human beings because we can all identify to whatever the work is in some way, shape or form. And it’s somebody expressing themselves,” he says. “The value of art’s not always in the price tag of the piece, but it’s just simply people being able to feel like they can say what they want to say freely and be proud of that. Giving people a platform that haven’t always had it is important as well.”
Doug Gonzalez, administrative operations coordinator at the DAC, who also has art in the show, agrees that being given a platform to speak is important – especially now.
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I think this year with the election, it’s really changed my attitude toward my own pride, I guess, because I think that the times feel a little tumultuous and a little scary for people who are LGBT and people of color, and people who are both,” he says. “I think it was important for me to show my voice in some respect, whether it’s small and quiet as a photograph, I wanted to at least say that I’m here.”