I Am Here, Studio Montclair

September 15 - October 20, 2023

Montclair, NJ, United States

Studio Montclair (SMI) presents “I Am Here,” an exhibition in collaboration with OutMontclair. The artwork reflects what it means to be queer and the ramifications—both positive and negative–of LGBTQIA+ individuals “being themselves.” The works express the joy and power queer communities feel as they take up space, gather, come together, and make themselves fully known. It reflects the hopes, triumphs, fears, disappointments, and anger of the LGBTQIA+ community in times past and present. This exhibit is a celebration of community, an invitation to gather and come together in support of each other and to inspire the wider community. It seeks to create the space for queer individuals to feel pride with other community members and serve as a reminder that there is strength and beauty in numbers.

Participating Artists:

Mary Apikos, Joseph Boss, Andrew Burger, Joan Cox, circe dunnell, Yolanda Fudora, Krishna Hagman, Matthew Heckart, Kristen Lynn Iannuzzelli, Erin Kuhn, Li Feng, Natania Lyson, Stephen Mead, Kimberly Miller, Samantha Natarian, Nova, John Piccoli, Midori Samson, Sabrina Skinner, Lasha Stewart, Miriam Untorian, Laura Warne, and Andie Wei.

About the Curators:

Jesse Bandler Firestone, a curator and lecturer of contemporary art, is currently the Curator and Exhibition Coordinator at Montclair State University. Previously, he was Assistant Curator at Wave Hill, a garden and cultural center in The Bronx, and Curatorial and Production Assistant at The Shed, a nonprofit dedicated to art and ideas spanning all forms of creativity. Firestone has lectured at Pratt and Harvard University and has organized exhibitions at various institutions and project spaces across the United States.

Jennifer Liseo, Photography Director for Out Montclair, also runs her own studio collective, LISEO+CO. Her work has been published in various editorials and news outlets including the New York Times Sunday Styles section. Previously she was the lead photographer for Anti-Defamation League, where she worked cross-agency directing photography for trainings, rallies, testimonies in the halls of Congress, lobbying on the Hill, missions, press conferences, workshops, and other venues. This work inspired her to participate in a Social Impact Storytelling program at Georgetown University and she consequently founded “Photos For Good” as a way to bring together her passion for community engagement and telling stories through photography and art.

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