LGBTQ artists announce multi-venue Pride exhibits for June

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Petersburg | Local LGBTQ artists Chad Mize and John Gascot have partnered to curate two Pride-themed art exhibits across three venues during the month of June.

“LGBTQ and ally artists will be painting the town rainbow this Pride season,” the duo announced via press release May 1. “St. Pete Pride is already well-known as Florida’s largest Pride celebration, boasting a massive parade, a variety of performances, concerts and parties, but this year creatives are making the most out of this yearly tradition to adorn galleries and artful spaces with visual celebrations of individuality, diversity and loving freely.”

Beginning June 8, Mize will host “Pride and Joy” at his newly-opened MIZE Gallery. The exhibit is described as “a celebration of life and living free, featuring bright and colorful works by local and out of state LGBTQ+ artists.”

On June 9, Gascot’s “Pride Without Prejudice” will open in both the Cider Press Café and the Emerald Bar. The exhibit “will explore diversity in the LGBTQ community and beyond,” featuring “expressions of LGBTQ Pride as well as [touching] on themes of gender, orientation and racial equality.”

“We didn’t plan it from the beginning,” Gascot says of his collaboration with Mize. “I was going to do two shows up at Cider Press and Emerald and I put a call [out to artists] for that. Then I got the call for Chad’s show. We got to talking and we decided to promote this together.”

“That’s really what Pride is about for me, bringing us all together,” Mize adds. “We have this month of June, this Pride month, but I feel like we celebrate every month. We have this great city, St. Pete. It’s a great city to live if you’re gay. I feel safe here; I feel like I can be who I want to be.”

Gascot says that while obviously the city is known for its Pride celebration, it’s also known for its art. “I think we feel that art should really stand up there with everything else in celebrating Pride,” he says. “It’s us now, but hopefully next year there’ll be others and we can almost really have like an art tour for Pride. So that’s what our effort is.”

Each exhibit is free to attend and will feature original art from local LGBTQ artists and allies. “Pride and Joy” will hold its opening reception June 8 from 7-11 p.m. at the MIZE Gallery, located at 689 Dr. MLK Jr. Street N.

The opening reception for “Pride Without Prejudice” will be held during Second Saturday’s Art Walk June 9 from 6-9 p.m. at the Cider Press Café and Emerald Bar, respectively located at 601 and 550 Central Ave. For more information, contact jgascot@gascot.com or mrchadmize@gmail.com.

Image from Mize Gallery Facebook

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