Binghamton University’s on-campus LGBTQ resource hub, the Q Center, is in the process of putting together a gallery of artwork submitted by members of BU’s LGBTQ community. Gallery Q will debut March 15 in the Q Center’s conference room, located in Library South Ground 549 of Glenn G. Bartle Library. The Q Center, which hosts lectures, mixers and workshops aimed at LGBTQ students and faculty, decided to create the gallery as an initiative to showcase the community’s talent on campus.
Q Center Director Kelly Clark conceived the idea for Gallery Q after looking at what is offered on other college campuses.
“I noticed that there are a couple of other LGBTQ centers on college campuses around the country that use some of their space to support student artwork, and I thought that that was a nice idea,” she said.
At first, Clark wasn’t sure how to fit a gallery into BU’s Q Center, which is already very colorful and heavily decorated. Last semester was a big success in terms of filling the area and creating a welcoming environment — the center had new furniture and a new television sent in — leading the staff to think about how they could more effectively and creatively use their space. While trying to figure out how to incorporate art from the community into the center’s new design, Clark brought up the idea of a gallery as an alternative to generic posters or pictures. The staff decided that the center’s conference room, with its four blank walls, would be a perfect spot to display artwork.
Clark’s intention is for a miscellany of groups and organizations across campus to use the conference room, not just members of the Q Center. The room is already occasionally used by the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion staff, and she hopes even more people will use it once it is converted into a gallery.
“We want people who come in for meetings to see the talent in the community,” Clark said.
The gallery’s debut will include a public reception, and the Q Center staff hopes to see members of the campus community coming together to enjoy the art. Because the gallery is new, Clark speculates that they’ll only be able to have one show this semester. She hopes that for the fall, once the project gains some more traction, they will be able to commission submissions twice.
The staff of the Q Center emphasizes that they are dedicated to support the success of not only LGBTQ students but also faculty and staff, and will accept submissions from them as well.
For now, the gallery is in need of two-dimensional drawings, paintings, photographs or mixed-media works from BU’s LGBTQ community. The gallery may evolve to incorporate three-dimensional pieces as well, but for the time being, the staff of the Q Center aims to hang submissions on the walls of the conference room. The staff encourages students and faculty members with varying degrees of artistic expertise to submit pieces to the gallery.
“You don’t have to be an art major,” Clark said. “There are a lot of people who do their own art just for themselves and we’d love to see what people can do even if they’re not studio art majors.”
Members of the campus community who want to get involved but don’t want to submit a piece of art are also welcome to contact or visit the Q Center for more information. Students and faculty or staff members who can advise in arranging the pieces or planning exhibitions are encouraged to help out.
“People who might be interested in museum curation and art galleries, who might be considering those things as a career,” Clark said. “We would love to have the help.”