Four Cal Poly students are showcasing art form local queer and trans artists in Linnaea’s Cafe during National Pride Month.
Cal Poly psychology seniors Ell Hundertmark, Lily Packer, Chloe Fleischer and Lorena Alvarez organized the art exhibit for their senior project. The exhibit began Tuesday, June 1 and will run until Sunday, June 27.
The exhibit is called “No Rainbows” and features mediums like canvas paintings, poetry, photography and digital art.
Ell Hundertmark said Western societies try to profit off of queer identity and turn it into something marketable. This exhibit intends to counter that.
“Don’t make money off our identities, which we struggle to receive equity for,” Hundertmark said. “This is what the queer experience looks like; it’s not just some pride flag that you put up in your cafe or business or on your website to make you look like you’re affirming when you’re not.”
LGBTQ+ locals were encouraged to submit art pieces to the exhibit.
Local resident Charlie Bysshe, 21, submitted their piece, “Clawed out of a Daydream,” to the exhibit after encouragement from friends.
“Being encouraged by so many lovely people that I know to be a part of this show feels like a very important step for me in owning who I am and putting myself out there and putting myself next to other people who are going through similar things,” Bysshe said.
Bysshe’s piece is made from a wooden two-by-four with paint, glitter, googly eyes and clips from memories of a certain time in their life where they felt they gained more ownership over their identity.
“Being a part of this particular show just seems really fitting with what I had in mind for the piece and the things I was exploring while making the piece,” Bysshe said.
The idea for the exhibit came to be after the group was craving interaction after a long year without any, Chloe Fleischer said. They said that an art show seemed very fitting because it connects to the art installation’s theme of creating community by providing a space for people to talk and connect.
The group said they decided on Linnaea’s Cafe for the exhibit because it is known as an informal gathering space for queer and trans individuals. For this particular exhibit, Linnaea’s is donating their 10% of profit from art sales to Tranz Central Coast, a source for education, support and resources for the transgender community.
In addition to the art exhibit, the group is distributing a resource guide for all community members. More information on the resource guide is available at the exhibit.
According to Queer Community Action, Research, Education and Support (QCARES), the resource guide serves to “help LGBTQ+ youth find resources available to them within the SLO county community and beyond.”
Linnaea’s Cafe is located at 1110 Garden St. in downtown San Luis Obispo.