Art submissions sought for annual Spectra Showcase

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Last year, the Spectra Showcase also featured postcard design and letter writing to show support for LGBTQ youths. (Photo: TGW Studio)

To kick off Pride Month this year, social impact marketing firm TGW (This Good World) Studio is accepting art submissions for its third annual Spectra Showcase.

The public art show celebrates the artistic talents of LGBTQ+ youth in the area, providing a platform for queer youth to express themselves publicly. It will be held on June 7 at TGW Studio on South Avenue, from 5 p.m to 8 p.m.

“Young people deserve to be celebrated and encouraged to keep going, so they can become confident community members and changemakers in years to come,” says Lily Garnaat, design lead at TGW Studio. 

Submissions for Spectra can be in all mediums from artists 21 years and younger and will be accepted until May 26. Although any subject matter is appropriate, pieces that explore topics such as gender, sexual orientation, identity, and other LGBTQ+ themes are encouraged.

TGW suggests a size limit of 3ft x 3ft x 3ft for works and can provide screens for 4D work

such as video. Works should be available for display and dropped off at the studio before the Spectra opening event.

The event itself will display and celebrate Spectra artists while also inviting visitors to reflect on, create, and donate to LGBTQ+ causes. For example, Rochester’s Center for Youth will be collecting donations for Arnett House, an LGBTQ+ and trafficked homeless youth shelter in Rochester.

According to the Center for Youth, up to 40 percent of the 1.6 million youth experiencing homelessness nationwide identify as LGBTQ+. This is while only making up 7 percent of the greater youth population, meaning disparities for this group are disproportionately high.

In 2022, the event raised over $2,000 in donations from attendees. Last year, it also featured postcard design and letter writing to show support for LGBTQ youths.

“Safe creative spaces allow marginalized communities, like the queer community, to explore their complex selves and to embrace what we may have learned to hide in fear of rejection,” Garnaat says.

TGW Studios is LGBTQ+/non-binary/woman-owned and operated and a Certified B corporation, which measures a company’s social, environmental, and community impact. It has worked with the Equal Rights Heritage Center, Trillium, and on the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial anniversary. The Spectra Showcase is one of the ways the studio supports the community.

Jacob Schermerhorn is a Rochester Beacon contributing writer and data journalist. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

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