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Queer Houston Artists Respond To Donald Trump’s First 100 Days


Out blogger, collector curates “art demonstration to remember.” 


By Donalevan Maines
“Truth and Justice," by Patrick Palmer
“Truth and Justice,” by Patrick Palmer

Three out Houstonians join fellow visual artists in reacting to President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office in a juried exhibition on display from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 29 at The Silo at Sawyer Yards.

“All political perspectives were invited to participate, but no pro-Trump works were submitted,” explains Matt Adams, the out Houston art blogger and collector who curated the exhibit, which is titled “The First 100 Days: Artists Respond.”

“Artists throughout history have responded to the political environment,” says Adams. “This art show will take its place in political history as the ‘art demonstration to remember.’ It had to happen—so we made it happen in Houston.”

In February, Adams put out a nationwide call for entries in the exhibit, with more than 100 pieces from 60 artists submitted by the April 2 deadline. From those, Adams selected 60 art works by 46 artists, including Stephanie Gonzalez, Patrick Palmer and Janet Roe of Houston’s LGBT community. Their artwork will adorn three walls, while a 50-foot blank wall will demonstrate the dearth of artists promoting a pro-Trump point of view.

“In my painting ‘Truth and Justice,’ I wanted to proudly present the human form of a woman unabashedly walking forward with her arms outstretched,” says Palmer. “Through the body language, I wanted to not only convey strength and confidence, but I wanted also to capture the mood of the famous statue, Lady Justice, but minus the blindfold. According to Wikipedia, ‘Lady Justice is an allegorical personification of the moral force in judicial systems.’ My ‘Truth and Justice’ is purposefully un-blindfolded; she needs to witness today’s justice.”

"In Order To Form A More Perfect Union," By Janet Roe
“In Order To Form A More Perfect Union,” by Janet Roe

Roe is represented by a piece she calls “In Order to Form a More Perfect Union,” which quotes the first three Articles of the U.S. Constitution.

In the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency, Roe says, “Black has become white and white has become white and the balance of power is eroding. Is it over?”

Three mixed media/abstract works by Gonzalez were selected for the exhibition: “PussyGot Brains,” “Reversing The Roles,” and “A Nation Divided.”

“She is a kick-ass artist,” says Adams.

“PussyGot Brains” shows a woman in the 1970s, sitting on a sofa.

“You can tell by her facial expression that something is bothering her,” explains Gonzalez. “I wanted to represent the reaction of an educated woman, a woman who can’t believe the words coming out of the president’s mouth. She wants to fight but she will do it planning and using her brain. I feel like most women nowadays can relate to her, and we are all thinking of what we can do to turn this around. I painted a loose illustration of a brain on her head.”

In “Reversing The Roles,” Gonzalez says, “You see men in line wearing nothing but underwear and shoes and a woman holding a glass of wine staring at the men as if they were meat.”

"Pussy Got Brains," by Stephanie Gonzalez
“Pussy Got Brains,” by Stephanie Gonzalez

About “A Nation Divided,” Gonzalez explains, “I understand that he wants to protect the future of America but the reality is that the future of America is no longer white male.”

The works express realistic, abstract and emotional points of view through painting, photography, collage, digital works and sculpture, says Adams.

Other participating artists are Josh Alan, Agnes Bourley, Daniel Brents, Martha Carson, John Clements, Felipe Contreras, Marti Corn, Angela Corson, Andy Dearwater, Kathy Drago, Reinaldo Egusquiza, Barbara Elmore, Rebecca Finley, William Gerrish, Tom Gingras, Sarah Gish, Marsha Glickman, Joyce Gold, Lisa Goodrich, Nancy Grob, Valerie Gudell, Erik Hagen, Jim Howard, Valentina Kisseleva, Tamara Lee, Reese Lynch, Silvia Majocchi, Sara Mckee, Deborah Morris, Donna Perkins, Anat Ronen, Esmeralda Sanchez, Marlo Saucedo, Tatyanna Scott, Marjorie Silverstein, John Slaby, Becky Soria, Lyn Sullivan, and Gary Watson. 

The exhibit and reception will be held in Room 232 od The Silos at Sayer Yards, 1502 Sawyer St. Houston 77007, in the Washington Arts District.


Don Maines

Donalevan Maines is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.
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