Pride Month: Celebrating Art as an Activity for All
June 29, 2023
People of all ages, ethnicities, races, and sexualities engage with art daily. The beauty of the practice is that one can safely explore with uninhibited creation. Many people engage with different mediums as a way to dive deeper into understanding themselves, as well as making sense of the world around them.
This June we celebrated “Pride Month,” an occasion with historic roots, that focuses on acceptance, commemoration, and celebration of the LGBTQIA2S+ folks, also referred to as the queer community. The arts and the queer community have been intertwined since people first began to create art, and this is largely because art is a way to express oneself, and every human regardless of their identity works towards expressing themselves in one way or another.
Cara O’Connor, our awesome Studio Coordinator at the Art Association of Jackson Hole, studied printmaking in college and teaches many classes in the medium in addition to her duties of taking care of our studio spaces.
O’Connor speaks to the positivity that art has on people, “The process of putting something into the world in an intentional way helps one define their own values and their own voice. It helps them take pride in who they are.” O’Connor is excited about the celebrations this month, and agrees that art is a vital element in the queer community.
“Art has always been trying to push boundaries. It’s essential that art is inclusive to all because in any knowledge-seeking endeavor, you never want to close it off to one populous, because then it wouldn’t be true. All voices and points of view need to be included in order for an accurate depiction of our world,” O’Connor says, her words ringing with awareness and validity.
Through the exploration of diverse voices and visions, we are left with a beautiful collective mural of what it means to be a creative community. We are incredibly lucky and thankful to have a space where people with all different identities can come together to create. Artists are visual storytellers of the human experience, and the more voices we can include in our stories, the clearer we can see the world.
When asked how the community of Jackson can work towards making everyone feel safe and accepted, O’Connor says, “It’s the little things like putting up a Pride flag or respecting people’s pronouns that make a big difference.” O’Connor is excited about the Pride events that happen in the area, specifically the Victor Pride parade where she sold her T-shirts in support of Pride Month.
At the Art Association of Jackson Hole, we are proud to be an organization that not only supports, but welcomes all individuals into our studios. We hope that you take a class with us or become a member and add to the diverse story we are telling of Jackson Hole through art!