Past Exhibitions

"First Comes Love: Radical Spirits, Civil Rights, and the Sexual Evolution"
by Barbara Proud

June 18 through August 9, 2012

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B. Proud’s sociopolitical exhibit, First Comes Love, presents black and white portraits that rival the beauty of Ansel Adams’ famous works. Her figures, forms, and backgrounds are classically inspired; they demonstrate a masterful range of textures, tones, luminous light, and subtle shadows that are characteristics of Adams’ Zone System.

Proud’s stories and facts reflect a quest for classical ideals … for a pluralistic American Dream that fosters compassion, tolerance, equality, and excellence for all. She explains her vision below:

First Comes Love explores relationships in LGBT communities across the nation, to show that same-gender marriage will pose no threat to the “sanctity of the marriage.” In fact, LGBT couples often consider themselves “already married,” just without the same rights as heterosexual couples.”

Because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same sex couples in dedicated relationships−many for 20, 30, 40 years or more−are denied the 1,138 rights of heterosexual couples (note Del and Harriet, they have been married 42 years.)

These rights include inheritance and tax benefits, health care and hospital visitation rights, equal immigration status, and child adoption and property rights, etc. In states where same sex couples may marry, DOMA denies federal benefits. Every citizen is entitled to equal rights.

This project focuses on the positive nature of same-sex relationships and highlights the similarities, the equality if you will, between heterosexual marriage and the LGBT experience. The project will show a side of the story that has not yet been told…the one that shows already existent long-term dedicated relationships.

“New laws, rulings, and norm changes, combined with support from unexpected sources, are featured in the daily news. Polls suggest a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage rights. Each step, each voice, each critical thought, and each change of mind and heart enlightens the American Spirit,” said James D. Colby, director of exhibitions and galleries.







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