Black, Out & Proud plans art exhibition, fashion show

With Pride month set to begin in Columbus, Black, Out & Proud is already here with a gallery exhibition and fashion show that celebrate queer stories, perspectives and creativity.

“There hasn't always been the opportunity for LGBTQ artists to share, let alone people of color,” show curator Charles Smith said. “This show is about supporting other perspectives and identities not represented in the broader community, the queer art scene and also the black community. Instead of waiting for someone to do it, [Black, Out & Proud] decided we would foster that environment and create it.”

Atlanta-based activist/artist Johnnie Ray Kornegay will join a slate of local artists that includes Lisa McLymont. Smith even chose to end a long hiatus from art making, although with a dramatic shift in style and medium.

“As people were getting excited about the show, I decided to throw my hat in, too,” Smith said with a laugh. But rather than making mixed-media photography/painting work as in the past, “for this show, I'm making fiber art quilts with a more Africentric theme,” Smith said.

Smith said the show gets to the heart of the idea of Pride.

“You want to be proud of our community. Here's one reason why,” Smith said.