The Union for Contemporary Art, though still shuttered due to COVID-19, is celebrating Pride into the coming month through a new North Omaha community billboard project, We Thrive in Middle Spaces, beginning July 6 and running through August 2.
With support through the Equality Fund of the Omaha Community Foundation, the UCA has commissioned artist/illustrator Tiana Conyers to design five billboards featuring local exemplars of our LGBTQIA2S+ community.
A UNO Studio Art major, Conyers is known for her bold, cartoon and anime-inspired line art. Her work extends from illustration to portraiture and character design, as well as a range of highly personal expressions employing the language of graphic media. She is ably assisted in this project by artist Ang Bennett, who helped identify the subjects for the billboards.
Conyers’ focus is not on the well-known public faces who represent Omaha’s Pride community but, in the artist’s words, intended to feature those “whose narratives often go unheard and unknown,” particularly those black, indigenous and people of color, like herself, who also identify as LGBTQIA2S+.
As Conyers explains, “Middle Spaces refers to the parts of our identities that overlap. My identity as a Black person and my identity as a queer person overlap—or more specifically, intersect—and better define my experience. (sociobits.org) ”
“Seeing my art displayed so boldly, taking up space in a world that actively works to silence voices like mine, will be a special moment,” she adds.
Tiana Conyers’ We Thrive in Middle Spaces is a commissioned project of the Union for Contemporary Art, 2423 N. 34th Street, and will be on view July 6-August 2. Billboard locations in North Omaha and biographies of the participants will be available on www.u-ca.org and the Union’s Facebook page.