Oklahoma City University | Art exhibit explores former queer hangouts Skip to content

Art exhibit explores former queer hangouts

Houston-based artists Nick Vaughan & Jake Margolin will bring their groundbreaking interdisciplinary installation, “Rhizomorph: A Queer Family Compound,” to Oklahoma City University’s Norick Art Center. The exhibition will run from Jan. 3 to March 29, marking the artists’ first showcase in Oklahoma City.

The artists will present a “performance lecture” in the gallery at 6 p.m. Feb. 29, exploring the queer spaces depicted in the exhibition and others encountered in their travels. Lecture attendees are asked to RSVP by calling or texting 210-838-7465.

“Rhizomorph” delves into the interconnected spaces that have fostered the queer community for decades. The artists will present an all-new body of work anchored by large drawings. These drawings, created with loose charcoal powder blown onto paper, capture the essence of former queer bars in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas. The ghost-like images at the edge of focus symbolize the ambiguities of fondly remembered and rarely recorded histories of queer folk.

The installation includes a multi-channel video documenting the act of erasure as the charcoal is blown away, coupled with recorded audio fragments describing the interconnected network of queer spaces throughout history.

Vaughan and Margolin are renowned artists whose work focuses on little-known LGBTQIA+ histories from each state. Their ongoing “50 States Project” involves original archival research and collaborations with local LGBTQIA+ communities. With six installations completed and solo exhibitions at prestigious venues, including the Blaffer Art Museum and DiverseWorks in Houston, their work has been featured in permanent collections and group shows nationwide.

The artists, recipients of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and grants from IdeaFund, MAPFund, the Houston Arts Alliance and Mid America Arts Alliance, have also contributed to the Contemporary Art Museum Houston’s “Stonewall 50” and the Blaffer Art Museum’s “Carriers.”

For more information, please visit okcu.edu/artsci/departments/visualart.

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