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Art Fri Aug 03 2012

Kitchen Sink Celebrates Trans-pride with Art Show

KitchenSinkArt2.jpgThe Edgewater café Kitchen Sink is currently presenting a group art show called "(wo)men & me(n)." The show is in conjunction with Chicago's first ever trans-pride event, Trans, Gender-non-conforming and Intersex Freedom (T.G.I.F.), which was held last Sunday, July 29 at Union Park and had around 300 attendees.

"Since [T.G.I.F.]was being organized this year, and we have such a wonderful trans-community in and around Kitchen Sink -- both in terms of customers and staff base - we decided that we wanted to do a collaborative group art exhibit focusing on the experience and the artistic vision of trans and gender non-conforming artists," said Jakob Van Lammeren, writer, artist and Kitchen Sink employee. "We really wanted to showcase what our community is doing in terms of art both visual, photography, and writing, as well."

In June, Kitchen Sink put out a call for art submissions from trans and genderqueer artists and allies in the LGBT community. Now, the works of nine artists hang from Kitchen Sink's brick walls. The show features work by Ashley Gall, Christina Kendrick, CJ Leonard, H. Melt, Lark Mulligan, James Share, Daniel Starr, Jakob Van Lammeren and Lewis Wallace.

"The fact that [the show] is trans-specific and located at a small local coffee shop made it feel more accessible to me," said Lark Mulligan. "I think it's important that this show is trans-specific [because] so many legacies of art created by trans and gender nonconforming people have been totally erased from history -- whether it's dance or music or visual art... [A]rt is a really complicated means of communication, so by hanging up art from several different trans people, you can see some really deep and complicated differences in our perspectives."

Some of the mediums used in "(wo)men & me(n)" are collage, photographs, paintings, and poetry. Customers at the café share space with the art and this makes the work seem more intimate and personal for the viewer.

"It seems to me that more customers than ever are walking around and reading the [artist] statements and really spending some time with the artwork in a different kind of way," said Van Lammeren. "It's exciting to have an exhibit that has a title and that has a vision. I think that inspires people to move around the shop and get excited about what is on the walls. I think the mixed-media aspect of the show is really appealing both visually and for customers to take the time and notice the art instead of the art blending in with the rest of the café."

The staff expects to keep the work up for most, if not all, of August. Check Kitchen Sink's blog for updates on the show.

Kitchen Sink is located at 1107 Berwyn Ave. The café is open Monday through Friday from 6:30am to 6:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday 7:30am - 5pm.

photo credit: Justin Luety

 
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