“I am always thinking about new ways of being able to support our queer artistic community, and different venues or opportunities for them to showcase their work,” says Kimberley Bush, director of arts and cultural programs at The DC Center. “I had started an art market in Alexandria when I was on the board of Del Ray Artisans. And it was pretty successful for five years. And I thought to myself, ‘Why not bring that same opportunity and model to the queer community, and one-up it by making it a monthly market?'”
The result, “Arty Queers,” takes place at The DC Center on the second Saturday of every month. Artists set up at tables to display their works, with most pieces reasonably priced.
“I put out a call for artists on Twitter, Facebook, everywhere,” says Bush. “What that has brought is an amazing, diverse mix of artists — jewelers, textiles, pottery, photography, graphic design, paintings. A lot of the artwork is not only spectacular, but very affordable.”
Artists who wish to participate must apply online, submit three hi-resolution photos of their work, and pay $20 for each month they wish to display. If artists sign up for three or more markets at a time, they receive a discount of $15 per market. All participating artists are asked to donate 10% of sales back to The DC Center. The event is free and open to the public.
“I feel like queer art gives a different perspective and different expression,” says Bush. “And this is an art market that’s by, for, and about LGBTQ artists. Support in the art world can be really hard to come by, and if you’re queer, it can be difficult to get your foot in the door. Here, you get all of that and the chance to share your work with the community and make some money from it.”
Arty Queers, D.C.’s LGBTQ+ Art Market, is held on the second Saturday of every month from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The DC Center, 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105, inside the Reeves Municipal Building. The next market is Saturday, May 11. To register as an artist, visit www.thedccenter.org/events/artmarketregistration. For general information, visit www.thedccenter.org.