By: ARTogether Staff Writer
On a vibrant Friday evening, I found myself amongst a warm, intimate crowd at the ARTogether Center, gathered to celebrate Pride Month and the powerful voices of queer artists of color who are also part of the immigrant community. The night was alive with joy, resilience, and the spirit of Pride as we listened to three phenomenal artists: Chetna Mehta, Mihee Kim, and Houyee Chow. All three panelist artists, along with Papo Rebolledo, had their artworks exhibited at ARTogehter in celebration of the PRIDE month.
Chetna, with her heritage tracing back to Indian and South African diasporas, spoke with fervor about her journey as a queer artist and the role her identity plays in her expressive healing arts. Each word she spoke was a burst of color, painting a vibrant image of her endeavors to champion peace, love, and freedom through her art. Her resilience, despite the challenges of being a queer immigrant artist, was inspiring.
Next, Mihee, an accomplished poet and artist, shared her path to publishing her first book of poetry. Her narrative was a profound testament to the challenges and triumphs she faced, reflecting her strength and unwavering dedication to her craft. Her story underscored how her queer and immigrant identities have informed and enriched her work
Finally, we heard from Houyee, a multidisciplinary artist who fearlessly tackles themes like social justice, gender inequality, and mental health in her art. Her candid portrayal of her experiences as a queer, mixed-race individual growing up in America stirred the audience. Her work was a bold and vibrant kaleidoscope of experiences that cannot be confined to a box.
The evening moved onto a lively panel discussion. The questions from the audience sparked rich conversation, creating a bridge between the artists and the audience, all united under the banner of Pride. The intimacy of the gathering allowed for a candid exchange of ideas, making everyone feel heard and included.
Looking back at the celebration, it was truly a spectacle of pride, resilience, and community. Each artist, with their distinct narratives as queer artists of color from immigrant backgrounds, painted a unique hue onto the vibrant canvas of the event. The gathering was not only a celebration of Pride Month but also a celebration of diversity, authenticity, and the shared experience of being queer immigrant artists. Their stories left us with a profound understanding of their struggles and triumphs, which served as a potent reminder of the transformative power of community, art, and authenticity. This memorable evening has left me eagerly anticipating future gatherings, each promising to be a vibrant celebration of diversity and resilience.