On Jan. 5, InLiquid Gallery debuted beLONGING, its interactive exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of FOCUS, a groundbreaking showcase of American women artists that took place in 1974.
A part of Philadelphia’s Project (re)FOCUS citywide celebration of the anniversary, beLONGING is committed to showcasing LGBTQIA+ Experiences of Self Realization and Finding Community.
What forms a sense of self? What determines a person’s identity?
The program runs through Feb. 24, with an opening reception scheduled for Jan. 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the gallery location at 1400 N. American St.
The InLiquid Gallery’s first exhibition of 2024 features four Philadelphia area LGBTQIA+ artists: Carmel Dor, Abbey Muza, THECOLORG and Meg Wolensky.
Exhibit viewers will be encouraged to create their own personal artistic expressions.
“What makes this exhibition particularly unique is that we invite visitors to contemplate their own sense of identity and community through an interactive zine-making station,” InLiquid founder and executive director Rachel Zimmerman said.
A “zine” is a homemade, personal artistic digital version of a magazine.
“Visitors can use materials from the artists to make their own zine and also check out a pop-up reading room with books and zines that reflect the themes present in the exhibition, which is in alignment with the rich history of self-publication across LGBTQIA+ communities,” InLiquiid program director Clare Finin said.
Each of the four featured artists bring their own unique expression of the exhibits themes.
Dor combines painting, drawing, zine-making and sculpture to express the intersection of queer theories of identity map onto the Jewish Diaspora and Israeli Nationality.
Muza incorporates organza, wool, silk and cotton handwoven jacquard into her tapestries, which express image-making centered in queer identity, haptics and sensuality,
THECOLORG translates childhood memories to her site-specific installations of soft sculpture and plush. Using play as a source of inspiration to express the millennial feminine queer experience.
Wolensky uses oil painting as an aid to C-PTSD recovery.
“Like many of us, my queerness was identified, rejected and suppressed long before I recognized it within myself,” Wolensky said. “My survival depended on queer expression through nonverbal language. Through paint, I reconstruct a home in which my identity is welcome as I meditate on the impact of trauma.”
Visit inLiquid.org for more information on the exhibit, which runs through Feb. 24. ••