May 8-June 10
Artist’s reception: Thursday, May 10; 5:30-7:30 pm
Location: SomArts, 934 Brannan St @ 8th St
The exhibition’s approximately 20 pieces will offer a collective portrait of the queer community as it has developed over the past 30 years. The May exhibition will include Chinn’s newest work—a portrait of the late Bernice Bing, who was a noted Bay Area pioneer artist of the Beat era, a founder of SomArts, and its first executive director. Like most of Chinn’s other subjects, Bing was a local queer artist and activist. This event is cosponsored by the National Queer Arts Festival and the United States of Asian America Festival.
Lenore Chinn began painting when she was growing up in San Francisco’s Richmond District and began focusing on portraiture as her primary expressive medium during the sixties. She held her first solo San Francisco exhibition at the famed Lucien Labaudt Art Gallery in 1980, and her first group show was at the San Francisco Art Commission’s Gallery that same year. Several of Chinn’s portraits were included in-group exhibitions of the late ‘80s AIDS era. In 1990 Chinn co-curated her first lesbian/gay arts exhibition at San Francisco’s City Hall. In 1998 she co-curated FACE: Queer Expression through Self-Portraiture and in 1999, she co-curated They Hold Up Half the Sky, which included a Bernice Bing retrospective. Chinn uses acrylics to explore the super-realistic depiction of a wide spectrum of people of color, lesbians, and same sex couples.