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Maier Museum event highlights expressions of gay artists

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  • LOVE at the Maier - Lucioni

    Luigi Lucioni's "Red Barn in the Hills" is part of The Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College's permanent collection. 

Posted: Thursday, February 6, 2014 5:00 am

The Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College’s annual Love at the Maier event will take a look at the art and loves of gay artists this year.

“The Love that Dare Not Speak Its Name” — a title taken from the last line of the poem “Two Loves,” by Oscar Wilde’s lover Sir Alfred Douglas — will be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Randolph College museum, a collaboration between the Maier’s student docent club, F.R.A.M.E., and the college’s LGBT group, Bridges.

“I noticed that there’s a lot of overlap between the art club on campus and the LGBT club,” says senior Melissa Halka, who has been involved with both since freshman year and currently is president of F.R.A.M.E. “And I’m gay, so I thought it would be kind of a cool overlap, so we could have the two groups work together. … It’s been really fun to work with everyone and get different perspectives.”

“We had this idea,” she adds. “Then we actually had to find artists that identified as queer. And we didn’t want to sort of put those labels on people. But we found four artists that we can say definitely had same-sex relationships. And they’re from different backgrounds and different eras, so I think it should be a good group.”

During the event, members of F.R.A.M.E. (Future Restorationists and Museum Enthusiasts) will give presentations on the four artists: Marsden Hartley, Robert Rauschenberg, Luigi Lucioni and Georgia O’Keeffe, all of whom have work included in the Maier’s permanent collection.

Images of that work will be included in the presentations, but not physically on display (the Maier’s current exhibits are “Fear and Wonder,” featuring recent work by Randolph art professor James Muehlemann, and “Modern Woman: Roles or Reality?” which examines how women are represented in art).

Members of Bridges also are going to dress up as famous gay artists like Andy Warhol and Frida Kahlo during the event, which will include hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, says Halka.

Later in the weekend, from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, will be the Love at the Maier family program, “Birds of a Feather,” which ties in with Muehlemann’s work. Children who attend will make valentines inspired by the prevalence of bird imagery in his exhibit.

“We always try and have the children’s event be somewhat inspired by one of the exhibitions that’s going on, and we thought birds was a pretty easy theme and lent itself to making valentines,” Halka says. “We found some really cute designs for the kids.”

For more information about either event or the exhibits, call (434) 947-8136 or visit www.maiermuseum.org.

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