Q’s for Creative LGBTQ’s 2020

Q’s for Creative LGBTQ’s 2020

This June, in celebration of Pride Month, The Paseo Project partners with Taos Pride in reaching out to five of our creative LGBTQ’s with some inquiries into what inspires them.

1.

  1. What’s your name?

Yavanne Jaramillo ( YC Spicy )

  1. Describe who you are and what you do.

I was a stainless steel welder and have been welding for 30 years. I turned my welding into Art. I make metal furniture. 

  1. Tell us about your most fulfilling achievement or something you’ve done lately that you’re proud of.

Well I work hard. I just purchased my second home and I am putting up a studio. 

  1. Favorite ways to celebrate your queerness and community?

I celebrate my gayness by being proud and loving who I am. 

  1. What’s been top of mind for you lately?

I am sad to say, what’s been in my mind is losing my best friend, my number one fan, my Mom, my number one supporter.

  1. Talk to us about your immediate queer community/support systems. 

My number one support system is myself accepting you for who you are and who you have become and my family and friends. 

 

2.

  1.     What’s your name and pronouns?
    Salman Lee. My pronouns are she/her/they/them
  2.     Describe who you are and what you do.

I am a Taoseña. I consider myself a Jill of all trades/Renaissance women, but my forte is singing.

  1.     Favorite ways to celebrate your queerness and community?

My favorite way to celebrate my queerness is putting on my outfit for the day. It’s is usually a long process but there is something about adorning my body that gives me much needed gay joy. 

  1.     What’s been top of mind for you lately?

Top of mind certainly has been the systemic injustice and racism against black people and specifically trans people of color. I am doing my best to raise funds and awareness here in our small town. Every voice counts.

  1.     In the communities that you’re a part of, what are you hoping to see shift in the future?

I’m happy to say that we are seeing change in our lifetime with the passing of Title VII, granting trans and gay folks federal protection within the work place.  I would love to see other stigmas around queer rights addressed as well, specifically the right for gay people to legally donate blood. Happy to say we are getting there!

  1.     Who or what has influenced you in your life, or just lately?

The biggest influence I’ve had lately has been starting my hormonal transition. It has given me both fear and courage, specifically courage to stand up for what is owed as a basic human right: safety. I will continue to fight for my rights until I can feel like I can walk my dogs without fear of violence. 

  1. What has been your favorite queer streaming binge, music, podcast or video? 

My favorite podcast to listen to right now is Marsha’s Plate, a black trans centric podcast that highlights the sociopolitical issues that directly affect black trans folks. It’s a real Kiki too. 

3.

  1.       What’s your name?

Kathleen Brennan

  1.       Describe who you are and what you do.

I am a photographer and filmmaker. I tend to document the things we don’t like to talk about. Like illness, death, the dying environment, etc.

  1.       Tell us about your greatest achievement or something you’ve done lately that you’re proud of.

Directing and co-producing “Agnes Martin Before the Grid” (2015) with Jina Brenneman was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I have just finished a short doc, “Last Supper Stew,” for the ‘Contemporary Art/Taos2020’ exhibition [at the Harwood]. It documents a woman’s last days as she voluntarily stops eating and drinking.

  1.       Favorite ways to celebrate your queerness and community?

I love spending time with my women friends…..eating, hanging at the river, dance parties or just visiting.

  1.       What’s been top of mind for you lately?

Reorganizing the shed, gardening, and watching my baby chicks integrate with the big hens.

  1. Who or what has influenced you in your life, or just lately?

That’s a long list, but some of my favorite photographers are Diane Arbus, Bernice Abbott, Michael Kenna. Other great influencers have been my mother, Pema Chodron, Amma and my spouse, Kat Duff.

  1. What has been your favorite queer streaming binge?

    Ferron on spotify.

 4.

  1.     What’s your name and pronouns?

Max Jones — he, him, his.

  1.     Describe who you are and what you do.

I am an abstract painter. I work intuitively creating layers of color washes that result in soft ethereal abstract works. I started painting when we opened our first gallery in Dallas in 2002.

  1.     Tell us about your most fulfilling achievement or something you’ve done lately that you’re proud of.

When our Taos gallery closed (along with everyone else) during the pandemic, I committed to painting a painting per day in isolation. During the closure I painted 76 “Isolation” pieces. Many have sold and a batch of them are heading to a gallery in Dallas for a “Facebook live exhibition” in July. The remaining paintings are now being featured in our gallery.

  1.     What’s been top of mind for you lately? 

Lately I’ve been thinking about how the pandemic and racial unrest will affect our future. I’m hopeful that we will come out of all of this in a better place. It sure puts things in a new perspective. I feel fortunate to live in a community that already feels emotionally healthy. My fingers are crossed that the rest of the country will move the marker of peace and inclusiveness in the right direction this time. The recent Supreme Court decision protecting LGBTQ workers is promising. I guess I’m still optimistic that things can get better for everyone. 

  1.     Who or what has influenced you in your life, or just lately?

There are many, but Agnes Martin has been my muse of late. I wish Agnes could have experienced the general acceptance that we now get to enjoy as queer people. I relate to Agnes artistically. I, like Agnes, try to work with an empty mind. It is almost like a meditation when I paint. I think even though our style is completely different, the destination for each painting is the same — a place of calm and universal emotion. Rest in peace, dear Agnes.

5.

  1.     What’s your name and pronouns?

Price Valentine, they/them

  1.     Describe who you are and what you do.

I am a creator, artist, activist, friend. I am a student. I am a nature lover. I love and treasure my queer community.

  1.     Tell us about your most fulfilling achievement or something you’ve done lately that you’re proud of.

I am proud of receiving a scholarship from The Art Academy of Cincinnati. I am proud of staying true to myself. 

  1.     Favorite ways to celebrate your queerness and community?

I love being with queer people , it’s liberating and positive. I love to celebrate my friends and our wellness. Eating meals, sustaining one another, sharing, leaning on one another — themed brunches, time together outside. Creating meaningful life-affirming moments together. 

  1.     What’s been top of mind for you lately?

Black Lives Matter — all conversations with friends have orbited this movement. I have been reading The New Jim Crow and navigating a lot of information.

  1.     Talk to us about your immediate queer community/support systems. 

Queers are everywhere! I have loved seeing Salman Lee perform on SecoLive out of Parse Seco Gallery. Nikesha Breeze is an amazing artist and activist in town — their performance art is incredible. My close circle is always finding ways to support other queer people with housing and food. I’m so proud of all the queers I know. 

  1.     Are there ways you think queer artists, makers, and art workers could be better supported?

Yes, I think Taos businesses and organizations need to be louder in support of the queer community. Many queers are in danger simply by existing. Taos is a fantastic place and often is unsafe for queer people. We all need to address the seriousness of this. 

  1.     In the communities that you’re a part of, what are you hoping to see shift in the future?

I hope, right now, the community can address racism, transphobia, homophobia and housing issues. We need to talk about these very real issues. I would like my friends to feel safer, I would like to see more queer-centered events. I’d like to see more shared table events. I’d like bigoted people to be held accountable.

  1.     Who or what has influenced you in your life, or just lately?

Having a supportive environment under Art Department head Sarah Stolar at UNM Taos allowed me to be myself in a lot of really important ways. Having someone believe in you and invest in you can be very pivotal. I am inspired by trans activist and artist Alok Vaid-Menon and queer artist Wednesday Holmes. 

  1. What has been your favorite queer streaming binge, music, podcast or video? 

Alok Vaid-Menon does lots of live Instagram videos with other queer people. Recently I watched their interview with queer comedian Benito Skinner — they talked about the gender binary and personal stories. It was very touching and fun, loved it. Alok also interviewed LaSaia Honey Wade, founder of Brave Space Alliance — I enjoyed this interview and it was very thought provoking. Popstar Nima makes hilariously awesome dance music you can’t help but smile to!