The subjects are individuals who have contributed to the diversity of San Francisco’s cultural landscape in such fields as poetry, visual and performing arts, film, rock music, academia and the LGBTQ movement. The exhibition is curated by Tirza True Latimer, chair of the graduate program in visual and critical studies at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
“Portraiture is at the core of my visual art practice whether it is painting or photography — both are employed in my creative process,” notes Chinn. “As a local artist I focus on the depiction of a wide spectrum of people in all their diversity — women, people of colour and the LGBTQ community. Collectively these images are visual narratives that constitute an art history largely hidden from the public’s perception of society and our particular cultural experience.
“My portraits reflect the many overlapping communities in which I move or which I have some connection to,” Chinn adds. “Many are colleagues or friends I have chronicled over three decades, so the viewer will see domestic partners, young men now departed due to HIV/AIDS and people from a wide variety of ethnic groups. Some have been involved in laying the groundwork for changing city policy pertaining to our civil rights, others are from my sociopolitical milieu. Together they have been pioneers in creating visibility and an infrastructure for our communities.”
“Picturing Kinship: Portraits of Our Community” runs June 9 through September 18 at the GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th St., San Francisco. An opening reception on Friday, June 9, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. will feature comments from the artist and the curator along with light refreshments.
For more information on the GLBT History Museum, visit www.glbthistory.org/museum.
Photo Son Cuates (1981); acrylic on canvas. Copyright © Lenore Chinn.