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  • Allison McDuffie

Tomboy and Old Salty – Queer Art at the Bus Stop Gallery through July

See details below and stay tuned for more information on upcoming events for the Queer community to be held at the Bus Stop Gallery in July, including a Queer poetry reading and an artists meet-and-greet. In an effort to connect the Queer artist community and profile artists via a new Arts blog coming soon, please join our Artists Group!

It’s here, and it’s Queer. Through July, Tomboy and Old Salty, a year's worth of image-making, is on display at the Bus Stop Gallery (4895 Broadway, Boulder) with support from the Nobo Art District.

Growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s as a Tomboy in the gritty, blue-collar town of Springfield, Ohio, I so wanted a Fox Condor minibike, I would have sold all of my brothers for one. I probably still would. I spent a lot of time running around shirtless, climbing trees, constructing bike ramps for epic skidmark competitions, playing basketball, listening to R&B music, bowling, pondering the theory of an infinite Universe, practicing my kissing skills on Shelley Miller, trying to evade sketchy Chester-the-Molesters, making trips to the ER for stitches, collecting lightning bugs – and drawing.

Tomboys, headless chickens, cardinals (the Ohio state bird and my grandmother’s favorite), rattan and jelly lawn furniture (where Shelley I and spent endless summer hours planning our escape from boredom, and Springfield), bird nests, miniature donkeys, Jiffy Pop, a coveted bowling trophy, and old coin-operated mechanical horse rides are just a few of the elements that make appearances in the exhibition. These objects help to evoke/embellish the retelling of childhood experiences, friend and familial relationships, and turn societal shame into a celebration of queer/gender identity and expression. Some also touch on the themes of poverty and consumerism, exploring the ways in which our society’s obsession with material possessions can both connect and isolate us.

As an artist, I strive to explore the intersections between memory, identity, society, and resilience in my work. I often use humor and satire to subvert the seriousness of these topics. Throughout my life, my images have attempted to speak to the way personal experiences, and memory recall of those experiences that can morph over time, shape our understanding of place and the world around us. My most successful pieces are simplified forms that hint at a deeper emotional resonance. They are reluctantly optimistic; simultaneously an exploration of hardships and a celebration of the beauty in our contradictory society. They are comical and poignant.

I invite you to join me at the gallery.



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