Salon des Refusés
From the roots of the Queer Arts Festival, this open visual art show honours our founder, Two-Spirit artist Robbie Hong and 21 years of Pride in Art organizing.
We have many, many, many brave LGBT people who came before us to thank for where we are today, and to remind us that we have to continue the work that they began. This work features a select few who inspire me as an artist and queer person. The print style conveys the boldness that made these people so extraordinary as activists and icons.
alexander murphy is a 17-year-old from Squamish BC. He is barely an artist, although he is very passionate about the intersection of art and activism. In high school, he participated in many art classes as well as extracurriculars that promoted activism, including an LGBT Diversity club and an anti-racism group. He is attending the University of British Columbia for Liberal Arts and pursues fine art in his free time.
Although my work (as far as inspiration and subject matter) is firmly rooted in the natural world,I do not by any means consider myself a traditional painter.
Abstract art often has no identifiable reference to real objects, utilizing line, shapes, color, texture and pattern to create a rhythmic image. My work starts from a place of realism, an experience of nature, of the cosmos,of a real place and time; allowing the truth of a place to speak to me. I then in turn allow the media itself to create an impression of feelings, thoughts or experiences. I attempt to capture the spirit of a place, the essence that all nature holds, the sacred spiritual unseeable essence.
My inspirations are the study of the natural world, the cosmos, and the mythologies of many religions and cultures both past and present.
brian ball is a BC based Artist and Designer.
Born and raised in Newfoundland, he completed his BFA in Visual Arts from Memorial University where he also fell in love with the world of Theatre.
After completing his BFA he moved to Victoria BC to complete his MFA inTheatre set and Costume design at UVIC(Victoria). In 1994 he moved to Vancouver to work in both Theatre and Film industry.He successfully ran the paint department of a scenic shop for many years, as well as painting and design projects in Interior residential/commercial design, set decoration for film, and painted backdrops and scenic elements for touring bands( Barenaked Ladies, Sarah McLachlan,The Tragically Hip).
Recently he has returned full time to his original love of Theatre design,and has been working non-stop in BC and across Canada for the past five years.
Apart from his Design work he is also a practicing Visual Artist, Painting the landscapes of the East and West coasts of Canada. He has shown in galleries across BC and Newfoundland, and has works in private collections from Johannesburg, London ,Barbados, as well as across Canada.
The Sanssouci Suite is part of an ongoing creative practice that investigates the interrelationship between the local and the global: in particular how history, society, and culture determine our experience of place. The Sanssouci Suite series of drawings document an interesting nexus of power and sexuality. In 2016, I had the pleasure of visiting Sanssouci, Potsdam, near Berlin. Built by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, was his summer palace and a private residence. The palace’s name (sans souci), which translates as “without concerns’ ‘, meaning “without worries” or “carefree”, symbolizing that the palace was a place for relaxation rather than a seat of power. Frederick the Great was homosexual and many of statutes that adorn the palace gardens reflect this with their references to classical mythology and history.
edward bader was born in Lethbridge, Alberta and has had a passion for visual culture in the form of comic books, commercial illustration to traditional fine art. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Lethbridge (1974-1979) and holds a Masters of Fine Arts, (Drawing/Painting), from the University of Calgary (1993) and Interdisciplinary MA in Popular Culture with Distinction from Brock University (2007). He has taught at the University of Calgary, The University of Lethbridge and The Alberta College of Art and Design. Since 1998, Edward has been a tenured instructor at Grande Prairie Regional College teaching art history, drawing, and digital media.
For the past 40 years Edward has exhibited drawings, paintings and new media projects throughout the Province of Alberta, Canada and internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions including the Alberta Biennale of Contemporary Art 2000, White Wall Gallery, Toronto, 2012, Paul Kuhn Fine Arts, Calgary, 2016, Artspace, Montreal Fierte, 2017 and 2020, SLAM, Seattle Leather Arts Media, Seattle Washington, 2018, Pride in Art, Queer Arts Festival, Vancouver, British Columbia, 2018 and 2020, and DENCKER+SCHNEIDER Gallery, Berlin, 2019.
His work is represented in the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Collection, The Canada Council Art Bank, the University of Lethbridge, The City of Calgary, Art Gallery of Grande Prairie plus numerous private collections.
david camisa is a British-Canadian Artist based in Vancouver, BC. His work has been showcased in exhibitions across Canada and worldwide, including Thumbprint Gallery in San Diego, Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco, Penumbra Gallery in Portugal, and most recently Clouds Gallery in Tokyo. His professional repertoire in the world of fine art has recently expanded to include illustration and murals, and in the summer of 2020, he was hand-selected to participate in the fifth annual Vancouver Mural Festival to create one of sixty new murals that would be adorning the city. His illustration work has been featured in publications such as THIS Magazine and SAD Magazine.
CUT HERE explores how gender cuts into the body and the long, slow process of healing through re-embodiment.
Inspired by the Tibetan saint Milarepa, who submitted to his demons by placing his head in its mouth, CUT HERE explores submission as a form of healing. If we have a hunger to know what is true, fear of the unknown can be transformed into an invitation to see ourselves more clearly. CUT HERE invites the viewer to find their own clarity.
A second story unfolds in CUT HERE. Once I decided to have gender-affirming surgery, my breasts became mere tissue and lost their erotic meaning, at least for me. But that was only my story. Despite being deep in Stanley Park’s woods, two adult males managed to “stumble upon” me and photographer Emmett Race, taking their time to gaze upon my flesh. I fantasized about delivering my severed breasts on a plate, inviting them to enjoy them for eternity. CUT HERE submits to the demon of the unwanted gaze.
CUT HERE is an opportunity for nonbinary and trans people to see themselves and have their own experience affirmed, while also acknowledging the complexity of gender affirming surgery, particularly for female-coded bodies. I hope it will also facilitate deep conversation about the relationship each of us, regardless of gender, has to our bodies.
Other works in this series include two 30-second videos – “Inside Out” and “Look Mom! No Boobs!” – a short, one-act play, and a photographic work-in-progress on healing historic wounds that incorporates prosthetics.
Over the course of my career I have maintained a deep commitment to producing forms of representations that are affirming while also revealing the complexity of human experience. We want triumphalist narratives of gender affirming surgery but the stories our bodies tell are never that simple. My aspiration with this series is to capture the fullness of that experience.
“Hope for flowers” is about being stuck inside because of Covid restrictions, wanting to be outside, wanting freedom, but being trapped in my head, but still seeing the beauty in life, represented by the flowers.
“Abstract me” is an abstract self portrait. Spending more time alone during Covid times led to a lot of self-reflection and feeling at times like my identity is fractured like a Picasso painting.
“Peaceful Waters” was my first experiment with Impressionism. During Covid times I used painting as a way to feel peaceful and calm, and painting flowers and calm water put me in a calm place.
I feel grateful to have displayed my art at the Queer Art Festival for two years, and I am excited to display again this year. I have displayed in small venues previously in Winnipeg. I love exploring different mediums. This group of paintings, I enjoyed experimenting with acrylic and watercolour.
holly steele is enjoying having her midlife transformation in Vancouver, after moving here four years ago from Winnipeg.
Being single, queer, and Jewish she enjoys challenges and discussions around social justice issues. Her current experience working at a non-profit helping people overcome barriers to employment has given her a venue to pursue her passion for social justice. She embraces the eccentric and energetic vibe of Vancouver.
This work is a return to ancient traditions, and a contemporary, urban take on the most ancient form of survival and self expression. I hand form these pots in a single piece, smooth, sand, polish with a smooth stone, and burn in a wood fire, just once. Many do not survive.
Shipwreck Pitcher, 2021
This pitcher is wheel thrown and faceted stoneware. The handle is a carved piece of teak decking from a small sailboat wrecked on Kitsilano Beach in 2020, secured with brass wire. Inside is melted beach glass.
Crabtown Cauldrons, three ways, 2020-21
My lockdown project: made from clay I dug near my home in East Vancouver. The pots are burnished (polished) with a smooth stone, and left unglazed. I fire them once in my backyard with wood gleaned from my neighbours fruit trees. The colours are from the naked clay, the woods used and bones I burn with them. These little pots are pieces of the city I love. Crabtown was a community of mill workers — displaced by gentrification. Before that, this clay was mined for brick to build a new city. Before that *probably* crabs were cooked in pots made from the same clay, by people who were displaced and erased. So… I stole a piece of earth that was stolen, stolen before, and stolen again.
Gentle Men (2018)
While origins of tattooing are varied and diverse, historically North American tattooing in the 20th century has predominantly been a straight male occupation. One where women, queer and transgender artists have had limited access and visibility.
Today there are a number of talented female, queer, non-binary and transgender artists working in the medium. This is a result of their hard work and undeniable talent, as well as discussions around toxic masculinity, gender stereotypes and queerness within the community.
These discussions are becoming more common, with representations of gender being brought to the forefront; images of women being vulnerable, physically restrained, showing affection, or crying are romanticized in all forms of art. Popular culture has become comfortable reinforcing a link between femininity and emotions, and emotions with weakness. Conversely sentiments like ‘Be a man’, ‘Man up’, and the more aggressive ’Don’t be a pussy’ imply emotions are the antithesis of masculinity, that men shouldn’t be seen as emotional lest they be considered weak.
As a queer artist, my focus has been to challenge these beliefs by creating images exploring vulnerable masculinity and gender stereotypes. Tattooing as a medium and occupation has the unique potential to dispel normalized ideas of gender as well as create safe spaces for both artists and clients. Giving both individuals a place to express their own ideas around queerness and gender, transforming the way they see their own body, and in turn becoming a reflection of that to other people.
james lauder is a UK born, Canadian raised Artist, Illustrator + Tattooist living in Vancouver Canada. Their practice ranges from 3 dimensional light pieces to drawing, multimedia, screen printing and tattooing. The direction of their work has been deeply influenced by queer and tattoo culture with a focus on creating images that explore vulnerable masculinity and challenge gender stereotypes. They are the co-founder of Homebody Tattoo, a queer focused tattoo studio located in Vancouver.
jason russell young
To see more of my work, Follow me on Instagram:
Abstraction, Spontaneity, and play are integral to my art-making process. My art practice is focused on creating automatic, abstract portraits of queer people. Using the energy of the moment and the intimacy between the subject and viewer, I seek to find new ways of conveying identity, emotions, and narratives through deconstructed portraiture.
My portraits explore the concepts of ‘the other,’ the uncanny, and the (queer) gaze. My work explores how people fit together in society and how we situate each other through the act of looking. Each portrait is also a quest to unravel the subject’s identity by transcribing the physical and psychic space between the subject and viewer through mark-making and color.
I am a self-taught, queer, differently-abled, multi-media, outsider artist. I have experienced lifelong mental health challenges, which continue to be a source of inspiration, understanding, and insight. It is only by exploring the human connection that I find my art (therapy) and my images. My art practice teaches me the potential that human connection has to heal the individual and society.
My passion for art started at an early age with drawing from cartoons and comics. Later, I went to Emily Carr and studied graphic design from 2002-2008. There have been many years that my creativity lay dormant due to mental health challenges. It is only since working at DeSerres (the art supply store) in the past three years that my art has taken off. Working at DeSerres has been educational and inspirational; the chance to talk daily about art with folks has pushed me to become a self-taught artist.
I have hosted and facilitated five life drawing workshops to act as a safe space for queers to come together and explore their creativity collectively. Over the past year, I have also taught ongoing private zoom art lessons.
josie boyce is a Trans woman from down home (New Brunswick) originally, who for the last 28 years has lived, worked and created art in East Vancouver. She has been a projectionist, a filmmaker, a movie reviewer, underground cartoonist, a poet and self publisher, with 3 books of poetry, and a few comic books to her credit. More recently Josie was involved for several years as a member of the organizing committee of the Vancouver Trans March, a member of the Board of REACH Community Health Centre, and a member of The DOXA Documentary Film Festival screening committee. You may recognize her from many years of service at Black Dog Video on Commercial Drive, or harmonizing with the Femme City Choir.
As a fat, queer woman in a society that values neither, my relationship with my body has been difficult. Despite many years of working to feel at home in my skin, it is still a daily struggle to love myself, and to allow myself the pleasures that this body desires. This series is inspired by a quote from Mary Oliver’s poem Wild Geese:
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
May we all learn how to let the soft animals of our bodies love what they love.
joyelle goldbard is a middle-aged baby gay, living her best queer life even amidst a pandemic. She believes in the power of art to transform our greatest wounds into our biggest strengths, and is always up for a piece of quality dark chocolate.
The pieces I’ve chosen to submit reflect my desire to constantly challenge myself when it comes to sculptural fabrication and my love of rust. Given the theme of this exhibit, I thought of my favorite pieces that I’ve created, and these three came up as particularly worth submitting.
The Asymmetric Dodecahedron began after several other pointed geometry sculptures were created. I wanted something that would have the right number of vertices to make a good asymmetrical form. I was trying to create a sense of balance and instability at the same time. It’s a dance of the heavy spikes floating over the small ones, like a creature trying to tiptoe through existence, perhaps somewhere in the ocean. Its organic nature is somehow frozen in the hardness of steel. Though tricky to fabricate, it was totally worth the result.
When I saw the rusted flank of the box car at the Squamish Train Museum, I was moved by the colours, the layers and interior shading of the batteries. I see these pieces as delicate layers of age slowly disintegrating from the hard, rusted train, leaving beautiful layers like leaves in Autumn. While these Blue Rusts can be purchased individually, they are intended as a diptich.
lesha koop has been making art since she could hold crayons. Having grown up in the forests of BC, she’s been instilled with a keen love for the natural world. She enjoys making sculptures, particularly using metals. A steel fabricator and welder by trade, she’s taken arts courses in blacksmithing, metal casting, photography, printmaking and textiles. These skills, along with her curiosity and observations of the surrounding world, inform her art practice.
Trapped in Freedom
“Trapped in Freedom” is a chapter as part of the “Flamboyant” project. It represents the mind traps Queer people can be in, living “freely” but with a sense of shame that can guide actions, create fear and traumas. My personal inspiration for this creation is how the shame coming from growing in a Catholic environment, with these voices in my head that brings shame.
Concept:Olivier Salvas | Photography Rory McLeod
An Exercise in Self-Exploration
“An Exercise in Self-Exploration” is part of the “Flamboyant” project where I recreated old paintings where men were flamboyant in the paintings for their fashion, attitude or queerness. In this photograph, I act as Van Gogh’s self-portrait. He called his self-portraits “An Exercise in Self-Exploration” which resonated with me as a queer person searching for who I am and questioning my identity or having it questioned by others.
Concept: Olivier Salvas | Photography Rory McLeod
“Flamboyance” is one of the paintings created for the “Flamboyant” project. “Flamboyance” is a piece that showcases that Queerness can be in your face and it is ok. It was done after I was reflecting on how many times some friends and I have been told to “tone it down” at work, basically telling us we were too flamboyant and that it wasn’t good for business. The colours used are inspired by the Pride flag and it is meant to be an explosion of colours that you notice from a far as a big “Fuck You I’m Here”.
olivier salvas is an artist and educator who specializes in arts education and the maker movement in a second language setting. Originally from Montreal, QC, Olivier moved to Vancouver, British-Columbia shortly after completing his Bachelors of Education in Teaching French as a Second Language from University of Montreal. As he embarked in his Graduate Studies in Media Studies and Curriculum at the University of British-Columbia, Olivier merged his two passions of artist and educator and he began to create artistic work based on educational research. Olivier uses abstract paintings, photography and various media to bring light to social causes and to foster conversations about identity and arts education. Olivier’s area of research and of creation are inspired by graffiti art, street art, and urban culture. When Olivier begins an artistic collection based on his findings, he thinks of a topic in the world that resonates with him. Then, he creates a story with this event and he creates a main character. He asks,”What would this character do, think, or say?”. Subsequently, Olivier pairs up with a photographer to create a visual story, which inspires him for the the direction he wants to take artistically with his message. Olivier was chosen an ambassador for the the BC Culture Days 2019 where he presented his project “Rebel With a Cause”, a reflection on the maker’s movement and it’s impact on learner’s identity within the school system. Olivier has collaborating with Vancouver Biennale as an educator for the Big Ideas in Schools project since 2015. Olivier recently joined the team of the ARPORT_making waves curated project We Are Ocean Vancouver, as an artist educator collaborating with artist Cease Wyss on a youth project on climate change and the ocean with a strong focus on Indigenous principles of learning. This project is part of the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development by IOC Unesco and it is showcased this summer as part of the BIKEnnale/WALKennale. You can catch Olivier on the show OutlookTV on OutTV, reporting on LGBTQ2S+ artists and causes across Canada. You can currently catch Olivier’s work at Lost Lagoon Gallery, HangArt Vancouver, Pacific Arts Market in Vancouver, The Hallway in Victoria and Flamingo Market in Toronto.
It is difficult for me to talk about each work independently. Indeed, my work is a whole. Each creation tells a story, but the whole tells a struggle.
My works are meant to be offbeat, kitschy, excessively colourful, sexually sprinkled and inspiring. A world revisited, fantasized, openly queer/feminist and also gently provocative.
My characters are marginalized, excluded or singled out (gays, women, transsexuals, drag queens…) who, for a single shot, become heroes/fighters. Most of my protagonists are men whom I like to sexualise. Why do I do this? Simply to divert the codes and because I think that art should surprise, amaze, shock but also excite.
Moreover, I work a lot on weariness and the body. The body is everywhere on social networks and in magazines, it becomes, for many, an addiction to the race for perfection and this allows me, in my photographs, to gently sexualize the bodies of men.
Sensuality is present in each of my pictures, I like to fantasize the world, to put the finger on what disturbs and especially, I want to make people dream. A shared voyeurism.
It was important for me to keep the magic in my stagings, to trivialise homosexuality and to affirm my identity, while bringing strong messages, without falling into pathos or melodrama with dull colours.
I am romain berger, an openly queer photographer from the French scene, born at the end of the 80s in Normandy.
With a background in film and theatre, I have long been fascinated by images, popular culture, stereotypes and gender issues.
My work is very important to me, I have a lot of things to tell, in a very positive way and I try to make mentalities change at my humble level.
I am also an art director, I build my photographs from A to Z (theme, decor, lighting, casting, shooting, retouching etc…). My past artistic experiences are very present in my creations, like cinema for example.
Since last January, several magazines have devoted articles or interviews to me: Garçon magazine in France, The Advocate in the United States, MGT in Canada, The MYP, Männer, Schwulissimo and soon Juturna in Germany and this week the Spanish media Belfusto. In addition, last February I won second place in the Best Gay Photographer 2021 competition. As an artist, this is really rewarding and gives me a lot of strength to continue.
rose anza burgess
The series is a refusal to look at the heteronormative and conformist ways of being. As an artist, I am drawing on formal elements of composition making a play on words, images, and the performance of memory.
Wolf portrays the image of the male artist, placed on a pedestal by the historical narrative of art. Shown from the vantage point of one of the many hands of artists whose presence and contributions remain unacknowledged. The image represents the rubble of dirt, the discards, the invisible remains of those who are unworthy of representation.
It is a formal composition that reflects on the rhetorics of display founded in the performance of rituals in churches and religious institutions. It draws the viewer to bow, kneel, or genuflect. Yet, the wheelbarrow, situated in between the space of the viewer and the pedestal, discourages the viewer to engage in the act of ritualistic performance.
Wireless Illusions is a colourful play on the idiocracy of technology which is often attributed to the idea of progress. As technology evolves into the ultra fast narrative of speed, power and usage, these mechanisms, by and large, contribute to a staggering amount of greenhouse gas emissions. We are collectively drawn to shiny new gadgets and devices without fully understanding its profound environmental impact. The towering vertical lines represents an industry that is exploitative, by nature, preying on land, natural resources, and hands of workers from underdeveloped countries who dig through the rubble of earth’s dirt to get these precious materials into our hands for technology.
Pipeline is a representation of our affinity to self-affliction. The image of the pipeline is a play on the vanishing point that is similarly depicted to that of a grenade that is ready to explode. Although the object speaks, it induces the viewer to think with all or no meaning at all while asking the viewer to engage in a performance of obeying the principles of defiance.
rose anza burgess is an interdisciplinary writer, artist, and emerging scholar. She earned her MA from the School for the Contemporary Arts, and was a TEDx Speaker taking stage at the Vancouver Playhouse in 2019. She has a background in academic and public engagement, sharing her research at academic conferences in BC, and the United States. She is a professional in higher education, serves as Vice-President for the Arts Council of New Westminster, and above all a dedicated wife.