Spring has sprung! Though difficult to tell whether we are trying to frolic in a flowerful but frosty breeze or tank top temperature, it’s time for queer Atlanta to celebrate the lush season of wildly romantic release of blossoming trees and upcoming lively activities of festivals, music and art.
Enriching springtime’s local queer art sphere is the Spectra showcase, set for this week from a creative couple new to Atlanta hailing from Los Angeles, artist Cameron Lee (top photo) and influencer extraordinaire Rigel Gemini. They were featured in February’s Love Issue of Q, and as Atlanta newbies, they’ve been enthusiastically connecting with the local arts community since their relocation from the West Coast.
“We were searching for a place that had a relatively warm climate, lots of gay people, social acceptance, and a vibrant creative scene,” Rigel explains. “We visited in April 2017, and Cameron not only agreed, he was ecstatic to see the thriving art community here. From there, Cameron was even more determined than I was to move to Atlanta. We realized that Atlanta is at the center of so much right now, and people in cities like LA and New York don’t even realize.”
The couple moved cross-country to Atlanta in July 2017. By December, they were sure and made their first home purchase. Each with a keen eye for talent, the couple further shows their love for their new stomping grounds by curating the upcoming group show Spectra Queer Art Showcase at Revelator Coffee in West Midtown on Friday, March 23.
Cameron’s own photography and collages will be part of the show. His work ranges from event pics to editorial, fine arts to polished blogging. But style in particular is Cameron’s specialty, including a previous partnership with LA Fashion Week.
Unveiling four new artworks from his galaxy-inspired collection (“Aaron’ this page), the showcase also includes works from Cameron’s “Flores Fatales” series, including this week’s Q magazine cover “Mikayla.” These digital collages combine classical painting with a vibrant, ethereal edge in portraits that are energetically femme and dripping with androgynous ambiance. More of his work can be seen on the following pages to whet your appetite for the show.
Spectra debuts just shy of the Spring Equinox, and true to the season, it showcase five other blossoming, queer-identified, Atlanta-based artists.
Savana Ogburn’s collage style and love of a colorful palette pay homage to Cindy Sherman and Pierre et Gilles but are distinctly fresh with a personal aesthetic all her own. Taylor Alxndr, musician, organizer and founder of Southern Fried Queer Pride, shows her disposable cam snapshots that highlight ATL’s rich genderqueer underground performance community. Local queer photographer and Q contributor Jon Dean, who is also editor in chief at Wussy Mag, is set to show new works featuring Atlanta queens in their homes and in nature.
Shanisia Person, who studied illustration at SCAD and contributes to the queer party circuit as DJ La Cochino, creates strikingly surreal watercolor drawings and paintings that express gender variant subject matter. Photographer and graphic designer LaRue Calliet shows new work from his series En Tissu (French for “fabric”),which highlights his appreciation for beauty alongside studious technique with results that are intimate, sensual and crystalline.
“It came from a time in my life where I felt I had no control and I wasn’t able to be myself,” LaRue tells Q. “I was drawn to using fabric, a big fan and models, athletes and dancers to convey my emotions. With each shoot a little bit of my stress was released.”
Each artist brings a unique approach and use of mediums, so the variation of work and style in the same space, as well as the popularity of the featured artists and Rigel and Cameron’s deft curation, should create a show and an event to remember. Check out some of Lee's work, as well as selections from other featured Spectra artists below.
1 of 4 new “Spectra” works by Cameron Lee featuring Aaron Valenzuela. Each element is photographed individually and digitally collaged. Prints available at rigelgemini.bigcartel.com after March 23.
“James” from Cameron Lee’s “Flores Fatales” series. @cameronleeart
“Amanda” from Cameron Lee’s “Flores Fatales” series. @cameronleeart
“Starchild” by Cameron Lee featuring Dru Morales wearing Del Hacienda. @cameronleeart
More to Love
Spectra showcase also includes work by these and other local queer artists.
Spectra Queer Art Showcase takes place March 23 at Revelator Coffee, 691 14th Street NW in West Midtown. RSVP here for more info and a link to free tickets. For more on Cameron Lee’s work, visit cameronleeart.com. Follow Rigel and Cameron on Instagram @rigelgemini and @cameronleeart.
This article originally appeared in Q magazine. Pick it up around town, and read the digital version below: