Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community showcases twenty-nine artists who are moving through the narrow space that is gay or straight, biological or social, craft and fine art and doing so explicitly through their work in fiber and textile. Loaded with gender connotations and power hierarchies, fiber-based handicrafts such as crochet, embroidery, knitting, macrame, quilting, and sewing provide a fitting platform for examining tastes, roles, and relationships socialized within and around gay and lesbian culture, as well as our reactions to the traditional home and cultures in which we were raised. This book evolves from an exhibition of the same name, that John Chaich curated in 2014 at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art in New York City, the first dedicated LGBTQ art museum in the world with a mission to exhibit and preserve LGBTQ art and foster the artists who create it. While other recent, high-profile fiber and textile exhibitions have featured several of the artists in Queer Threads, the Leslie-Lohman exhibition marked the first time these works were shown together to specifically examine the works queerness. To further examine how queerness informs each featured artist’s work in fiber and textiles, or vice versa, this book features interviewers from the worlds of music, fashion, media, dance, museums, and scholarship who are makers and thinkers themselves, many members of the queer community if not powerful allies. The resulting dialogues are as fun, challenging, personal, and universal as the ideas in the works discussed.
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