I'm Kenney Mencher. I'm an artist who left a tenured professorship in 2016 to pursue making art full time. This blog is about art, art history, with a emphasis on human rights. I make homoerotic art featuring bears, otters & other gay wildlife.
Saturday, September 30, 2017
California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia's "radio road movie" airs October 1 on BBC Radio 3.
California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia on BBC Radio 3
California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia will be featured in a BBC Radio 3 Documentary episode airing this Sunday, October 1. A "radio road movie" of sorts, the piece offers listeners a 45-minute glimpse into Gioia's 58-county mission to bring poetry to all parts of the California. The episode can be streamed live this Sunday at 10:45 a.m. PDT, then will be available for download. MORE >>
Filing CA taxes in October? Help Keep Arts in Schools!
Did you request a tax extension? Tomorrow's innovators need arts education today. Support California arts education programs when you file your state tax return before October 15. MORE >>
Looking to help shape a creative California? Apply to serve on a California Arts Council peer-review grant panel!
The 2016-2017 Queer|Art|Mentorship Fellows, whose Annual Exhibition opens this month at Leslie-Lohman
HERE'S A CHEERS
Embrace fall with some fantastic events in NYC and around the world this month. Starting downtown, we invite you to join us on October 13 to celebrate the opening of the 2016-2017 Queer|Art|Mentorship Annual Exhibition: “Out from the Past & Into that Fog.” Presented at the Leslie-Lohman Prince Street Project Space, the QAM Annual features two days of art and events by all of the 2016-2017 Fellows: Chris Blue, Anna Campbell, Ashton Cooper, Emily U. Hashimoto, Heather Lynn Johnson, Jamal T. Lewis, Jordan A. Martin, Rodrigo Moreira, Christina Quintana (CQ), and Virgil B/G Taylor.
You can then head over to the Leslie-Lohman Museum's Wooster Street location to check out Evidentiary Bodies, a retrospective of the ground-breaking work of 2011-2012 QAM Mentor Barbara Hammer. And from there, you can stroll a few blocks east to the New Museum and catch Trigger: Gender as a Tool and as a Weapon, which features a number of Mentors and Fellows, past and present. Or if you're looking for a movie night, you can check out the New York premieres of 2013-2014 QAM Fellow Natalia Leite's new film M.F.A. (in NYC at Cinema Village, other cities and VOD) and Vincent Gagliostro's After Louie (with production design by Current QAM Mentor Avram Finkelstein) at the Newfest LGBT film festival.
Julian Schnabel’s riveting adaptation of Reinaldo Arenas’ memoir follows the gay Cuban poet and novelist (portrayed by Javier Bardem) from childhood to death. Stops along the way include copious amounts of sexual exploration, fighting with Castro’s rebels, and an escape from prison (with a cameo assist from Johnny Depp in drag). His struggles continue when he arrives in NYC at the dawn of the AIDS crisis. For our guest presenter, photographer Luna Luis Ortiz, Arenas’ life story echoes his own experiences as “being gay, an artist, Latino and living with HIV." Ortiz’ photos are currently featured in the exhibition AIDS at Home at the Museum of the City of New York.
As always, our screening will be followed by drinks and discussion at Julius Bar (159 West 10th St. at Waverly), the oldest gay bar in New York City!
For more information and to buy tickets, click here
(Left:) Barbara Hammer (photo by Jacqueline Harriet) (Right:) Barbara Hammer, "Double Strength" (still), 1978
BARBARA HAMMER Evidentiary Bodies
Fall benefit/preview: Tuesday, October 3rd, 6pm On view: October 7th - January 28th
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art 26 Wooster St. New York, NY 10013
A retrospective of the nearly 50-year career of 2011-2012 QAM Mentor Barbara Hammer, entitled Evidentiary Bodies, will show through January at the Leslie-Lohman Museum. Bringing together both known and previously unseen works of film and video, installations, works on paper, and material from her archive, this exhibition addresses critical themes that appear in Hammer’s work, including: lesbian representation, subjectivity and sexuality; intimacy and sensation; and conditions and maintenance of life and illness. Hammer will be honored and the exhibition can be previewed at the annual fundraiser for the museum, held on October 3rd.
Hammer will also be celebrated at a very special Queer|Art|Film screening at IFC Center on December 4th, during which Queer|Art will announce the recipient of the first annual Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant.
More info on the benefit/preview and exhibition here More info on the Queer|Art|Film screening here And on the Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant here Read a recent interview with Hammer in Interview here
(Above:) Promotional image for What Would an HIV Doula Do? An Artistic Exploration, (Below:) Virgil B/G Taylor
VIRGIL B/G TAYLOR What Would an HIV Doula Do? An Artistic Exploration
Tuesday, October 3rd, 6:30-9:30pm
CUNY - The Graduate Center, Rm 9206 365 5th Ave. New York, NY 10016
The What Would an HIV Doula Do? collective (which includes current QAM Fellow Virgil B/G Taylor in its ranks) will host a participatory workshop on the interconnecting issues of health, history, identity, culture and care through the lens of the ongoing AIDS crisis. Using oral history, group discussion, a timeline activity, and the art of asking questions, collective members will lead the group in an exploration of future possibilities, current realities, and past impacts. People living with HIV, and those providing related care, are encouraged to attend.
More info and RSVP here More about the Collective here
(Above:) Pamela Sneed (Below:) Brenda Bufalino receives Lifetime Achievement in Dance Award at the 2016 Bessies
Current QAM Mentor Pamela Sneed will present and perform at the 33rd Annual Bessie Awards. The New York dance and performance awards ceremony will be hosted by performance artist/entertainer Shernita Anderson and American Ballet Theatre principal dancer James Whiteside, and will include performances by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, the Trisha Brown Dance Company, and a musical tribute to Baba Chuck Davis, performed by Abdel Salaam and Forces of Nature.
Find out more and get tickets here And on Facebook here
(Above:) Promotional Image for 2016-2017 Annual (Below:) Audience members at the 2015-2016 Annual
Out from the Past & Into that Fog
Opening reception: Friday, October 13th, 6-8pm Special one-night program: Saturday, October 14th, 7-9pm Gallery on view through: Sunday, October 15th
Friday's opening night reception will also include the launch of a limited-edition publication produced in conjunction with the show, with contributions from all participating artists. A special program of screenings, performances, and readings will follow on Saturday. Visiting hours are from 12pm-5pm, Saturday and Sunday.
2013-2014 QAM Fellow Natalia Leite's feature film M.F.A. opens in NYC, other select cities and on VOD on October 13th. Francesca Eastwood gives a breakout performance as an art student who is sexually assaulted at a party. After struggling to receive any support from her college to find justice and cope with her trauma, she impulsively confronts her attacker – a decision that has deadly repercussions. As she tracks down fellow rape survivors, an unlikely vigilante is born.
More on the film and buy tickets/get VOD info here
(Left:) Sarah Schulman (Right:) Still from a previous production of The Freadom Theatre's "The Siege," 2015
Current QAM Mentor Sarah Schulman will participate in a panel discussion with the cast of The Siege, the traveling production by Palestine's The Freedom Theatre. The show is a passionate retelling of the story of the 2002 siege of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, during the height of the Second Intifada. Drawn from interviews with survivors, it is told from the point of view of some of the armed Palestinian fighters who found refuge in the church.
More on the event here And on The Freedom Theatre here
Zachary Booth and Alan Cumming in "After Louie," Dir. Vincent Gagliostro (2017)
The feature film After Louie, directed by Vincent Gagliostro, with production design by Current QAM Mentor Avram Finkelstein, will make its NYC premiere as the Centerpiece selection of Newfest: New York's LGBT Film Festival. The film follows Sam (Alan Cumming), an artist and activist from ACT UP who lived through the early years of HIV/AIDS—a man scarred and still struggling with survivor’s guilt. Sam meets the younger Braeden (Zachary Booth), and an intergenerational relationship blossoms between them—one capable of reawakening Sam’s artistic soul and reviving his wilted heart.
Buy tickets here And check out the rest of Newfest here
The cast of "Room For Cream" (Photo by Andrea Geyer)
JESS BARBAGALLO The Dyke Division of the Two-Headed Calf: Room For Cream
2011-2012 QAM Fellow Jess Barbagallo is reuniting with fellow co-founders of The Dyke Division of the Two-Headed Calf for new episodes of the live performance serial Room for Cream, as part of New Museum's Trigger exhibition. Set in the fictional Sappho, MA, Room for Cream explores contemporary queer discourse in the vernacular of “soap,” simultaneously embracing and critiquing what constitutes popular culture in our current moment. Joining Barbagallo are co-founders Laura Berlin Stinger, Laryssa Husiak, and Brooke O’Harra, as well as other members Sacha Yanow and Barbara Lanciers, and new full-time castmates Becca Blackwell, Mieke Duffly, Rosemary Quinn, and Amber Valentine. New episodes will continue to be performed through December.
2013-2014 QAM Fellow Seyi Adebanjo will be presenting work in the new Fourth AIM Biennial, which features seventy-two emerging artists from the 2016 and 2017 classes of the Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program. Playing in the show will be Adebanjo's teaser for Afromystic, anafro-surrealism docu-fiction film that experiments with ritual, the erotic, and gender representation through indigenous Yorùbá spirituality. It follows five LGBTQ leaders in the Yorùbá tradition into a world rarely seen, where deities change gender, queer priests are heroes and leaders, and deity is born from the love of two womyn.
Cheim & Read presents 2011-2012 QAM Mentor Louise Fishman's 8th solo exhibition at the gallery. Fishman’s new paintings, made in 2016 and 2017, push to extremes the artist’s spontaneous improvisations upon an implied grid, in works that range widely in scale, from 4 by 6 inches to 96 inches in width. The paint can be troweled, squeezed from the tube, diluted into a wash, or pressed on with a sheet of paper and pulled off. The me