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Rochester LGBTQ artists get spotlight with queer art market

Art Heads Emporium is hosting the market featuring 16 artists and their work.

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A fiber art piece by Amarama Vercnocke inspired by David Bowie. Vercnocke will be one of the artists featured in a queer art market Thursday.
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ROCHESTER — Leah Bee says she has two main takeaways from establishing queer art nights at Art Heads Emporium.

One, the depth of talent in the local queer community runs deep. Two, the lack of a central venue for queer people hinders queer artists’ ability to connect with each other.

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As a result, Bee, owner of the Art Heads Emporium, decided to hold a queer art night at the studio and store.

Foregoing live music, Bee was able to make room for 16 area queer artists for the event Thursday.

Out Rochester is leading the event. Bee said she and the group had about 40 artist applicants.

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“We were actually really surprised at the number of submissions we had,” she said.

To help her narrow down the selected artists, Bee gave priority to artists in Rochester despite impressive submissions from the surrounding area.

“It was very difficult to narrow it down, but really it came down to proximity,” Bee said. “It would be nice if we were able to host all of them.”

A variety of work including paintings, illustrations, fiber art, ceramics, and more will be on display and for sale. Bee said she is holding the event during Thursdays Downtown in hopes of boosting attendance.

Needle Felted Eye Class AHE
(from left) Angie Pipkoron, Ellen Cascino, Amarama Vercnocke and Zev Felix work on needle felted eyes, part of an art class offered at Art Heads Emporium in Downtown Rochester on Sunday, July 10, 2022.
Tucker Allen Covey / Post Bulletin

“This is a great way to meet new queer artists in town and purchase from queer artists in town,” she said.

Bee said she also wanted to create a market different from other established queer-focused events.

“A lot of events are very much focused around alcohol,” she said. “So it’s nice to see something that’s not, and that people of all ages can attend.”

Bee said she hopes to hold other events and will continue to hold queer art nights at the emporium. She said the events help fill a hole until a queer-centered space does open in the area.

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“In a town of no gay bar and no talk of one, the more pop-up events we can hold, the better,” she said. “There’s a need for more LGBTQ spaces in Rochester.”

If you go

What: Queer Art Market.

When: 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 4

Where: Art Heads Emporium, 317 South Broadway Ave.

How much: Free.

Related Topics: ROCHESTER
John Molseed joined the Post Bulletin in 2018. He covers arts, culture, entertainment, nature and other fun stories he's surprised he gets paid to cover. When he's not writing articles about Southeast Minnesota artists and musicians, he's either picking banjo, brewing beer, biking or looking for other hobbies that begin with the letter "b." Readers can reach John at 507-285-7713 or jmolseed@postbulletin.com.
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