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By John Wright
Mayor Sylvester Turner’s LGBTQ Advisory Board has erected 10 Pride Portraits in the main lobby of Houston City Hall, marking the first time a queer-specific project has been displayed in such a manner.
The Pride Portraits campaign, by photographer Eric Edward Schell, is the subject of OutSmart’s June cover story. The portraits went up at City Hall on Wednesday and will remain on display until June 26, after the Houston Pride parade.
“I saw another art project on display in the rotunda earlier this year and thought having an LGBTQ-specific display during Pride Month would be great,” said Brad Pritchett, an Advisory Board member who spearheaded the project. “As far as we know, this is the first time an LGBTQ-specific project has been on display in City Hall.”
Schell is currently in Washington, D.C., for the Equality March for Unity and Pride on June 11. He was invited by the Human Rights Campaign to photograph march participants for Pride Portraits.
Schell noted that in addition to 10 individual photos and statements, the City Hall display includes a placard explaining the project that features portraits of both Mayor Turner and former Mayor Annise Parker.
“Being Pride Month, I’m ecstatic to see all of the enthusiasm from the city of Houston as they embrace our LGBTQIA community so openly and boldly by displaying faces and stories in the lobby of City Hall,” Schell said.
In addition to the Pride Portraits display, the LGBTQ Advisory Board plans a Pulse vigil and a town hall during Pride month.