abOUT Art, the brainchild of Beverly/Morgan Park resident and LGBTQ activist Steve English, is an exhibit reflecting the LGBTQ world with art created by LGBTQ artists. It opens with a reception Sun., May 20, 1 to 3 p.m. at the Beverly Arts Center (BAC), atrium gallery, 2407 W. 111th St. Opening immediately precedes the 3 p.m. performance of “Under the Big Top” by the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus in the BAC’s Baffes Theater.
Several years ago, English and his husband, Ryan Steinbach, worked to bring the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus to the BAC. The Chorus draws large crowds to all of their performances at the BAC. After seeing the impact that experience made on the community, English was inspired to create an art show featuring LGBTQ artists and illustrating the LGBTQ experience for new audiences.
“I wanted to let kids and other people see these incredible artists who happen to be in the LGBTQ community,” English said. “One of the best stories I heard is from a mom [whose son] decided he wanted to submit art for the show.” For English, inspiring kids to get out of their homes and experience or create art within the LGBTQ community makes an opportunity like abOUT Art important.
The atrium exhibit will enable easy access to everyone coming into the BAC to view the show. Because the opening coincides with the Chorus performance, English is pleased that people from outside of the community will be able to experience the art show as well. Among the works of art being showcased are quilts, photos and mixed media pieces.
Artists whose work is in the show are not just from Chicago, they’re from all over the country, English said. “I’m really excited about that as well.”
English expects at least 15 artists to contribute to the show. “I hope this is an impetus for other things in the community,” he said. “There needs to be change all around.”
abOUT Art will run through June 26, which is also Gay Pride Weekend in Chicago. Light refreshments, courtesy of Ellie’s Cafe, will be provided at the show opening, and admission is free.