SAN DIEGO–There are moments in history that define and change us as a nation. People are witnessing such a moment right now as they confront the ongoing issue of structural racism and police brutality.
In June of 1969, the Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ community in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village. The riots are widely considered one of the most important events leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States. Every summer, LGBTQ Pride events are held throughout the world to mark the Stonewall riots. Since 1974, San Diegans have recognized this moment of monumental change through celebration and activism thanks to San Diego Pride.
San Diego Art Institute will celebrate Pride by supporting regional LGBTQ artists through their new program, RAM: Regional Artist Market. Launched in April in response to the pandemic and the need to provide programming and support artists digitally, RAM is an online marketplace for functional art created by regional artists. This curated collection of items from regional artists are tailored to the moment we are living in. To truly reflect “Art of the Moment,” RAM: PRIDE will focus on Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Middle Eastern LGBTQ artists. From June 11 to July 22, there will be an opportunity to purchase original, functional contemporary art from selected artists that reflect their relationship with Pride.
This year is very different. While organizers are unable to gather as a community, the San Diego Art Institute is committed to celebrating and recognizing LGBTQ creative artists and strengthening its long-term commitment to this community.
“The inability to gather provides an opportunity to reflect on what Pride means and how we can support this community every single day,” said Jacqueline Silverman, SDAI Executive Director. “Supporting queer artists and sharing their stories and experiences is a meaningful way to celebrate diversity and honor the communities who made so much progress possible.”
RAM: Pride items include handmade and hand-dyed scarves from Egyptian American artist Yasmine Kasem that celebrate Muslim and Arab American queer identity; powerful prints celebrating queer Latinx communities by Hector Silva; and beautiful masks by Indigenous artists Maggie Thompson (Ojibwe) and Jolonzo Goldtooth (Dine) and trans-Latina artist Angel Divina that celebrate their unique cultural heritages. New queer artists and items will be added regularly throughout the month.
The artists receive 60% of every sale through RAM. In addition, SDAI has provided every participating artist with a micro grant to cover the cost of materials. Each purchase supports San Diego Art Institute’s ability to continue funding micro grants to queer artists.
Items range in price from $15 to $65 and can be purchased online at https://sandiegoartinstitute.company.site.