Over the past three years PRIDE PORTRAITS has become the largest LGBTQIA visibility campaign to date. Under the direction of Founder and Sole Photographer Eric Edward Schell, the campaign has traveled the nation, photographed and collected personal stories from more than 4000 individuals around the country including Noble Prize winners, the nation's top political leaders, celebrities and social media influencers. I was lucky enough to meet Eric at the beginning of the project. He commissioned me to create the backdrop and the branding for the campaign. It started off as a local grassroots project and platform for Houston's LGBT community to heal after the Pulse Nightclub attacks in Orlando…. Today the PRIDE PORTRAITS non-profit has followers in more than 46 countries.
In conjunction with the opening of Qollective: Tread Loudly, DiverseWorks is excited to announce the debut of Qollective’s first collaborative performance work, I’m Ever So Pissed. The performance will incorporate elements of contemporary dance, sound art, and drag. Featured performers from Qollective include Aveda Adara (aka Post Modern Sleaze), Frank Hernandez (aka Barbara Coa), and Philip Karjeker. Please join us for this performance on the evening of June 28, 2019, at 8:30 PM. Doors open for the Tread Loudly exhibition at 7:30 PM.
Qollective is comprised of 7 queer artists who work in various mediums from painting to performance and precious metal. Our first exhibition occurred at G Spot Gallery on Saturday, February 2, 2019. The gallery was packed and we had the gallery filled with art exploring the notion of identity. It culminated with an artist talk by Bill Arning.
Fifty Shades of Gay:
Urban Eats showcases work of Pride Portraits artist Hugo Perez.
Houston artist Hugo Perez will showcase 50 pieces at Urban Eats from July 2 through September 30.
The exhibition will include a public reception on August 18.
This will not be the first time the community has had an opportunity to enjoy Perez’s work. More than 3,000 people from all over the world have been photographed in front of the backdrop painted by Perez for Pride Portraits. Heights residents are also familiar with Perez’s Pride Wall mural on the side of Jenni’s Noodle House on East 20th Street.
On Friday night (November 23), vandals wrote on the mural – which was created by Hugo Perez as part of the Be Visible Pride Wall campaign – ‘stop your gay agenda please’ and also spray painted a giant ‘X’ across the pro-LGBT wall.
In 2015, I rediscovered my inner painter. It was born out of the desire to create without the input of a client or to satisfy a brief. I had been working in advertising and as many of you know, the industry has a tendency to drain your creative energy.
The painting became a way to explore another facet of myself. I began painting
large-scale figurative work, mostly faces. The work was heavily influenced by many of the art movements I studied in my undergrad. I went to school for visual communication with a focus on graphic design.
Following the Pulse Nightclub massacre in 2016, Select Skate Shop on Lower Westheimer created what would become Houston’s most prominent “Pride Wall.”
The outdoor mural bursting with the colors of the rainbow flag quickly developed into a popular attraction, serving as a backdrop for “selfies” and other photos.
When the wall was suddenly repainted earlier this year with a black background and 10-foot-tall white letters spelling “Select,” some in the LGBTQ community were disappointed. Houston photographer and LGBTQ activist Eric Schell responded by seeking out a new location to host a bigger and better “Pride Wall.”
Schell partnered with his friend, artist Hugo Perez, to design the mural. Then, longtime LGBTQ ally Jenni Tranweaver offered the large facade at her Heights restaurant, Jenni’s Noodle House, as a canvass.
“…When Houston photographer and LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and others) activist, Eric Edward Schell saw what had happened, he got straight to work on a concept and location for a new Houston Pride Wall. Schell made a post on Facebook about how he felt "this was one more step in Montrose's gentrification and erasure of the deep-rooted LGBTQIA+ history it holds." Jenni Tran Weaver, owner of Jenni's Noodle House read the post and volunteered the wall of her restaurant in the Heights to be the next location for Houston's Pride Wall. "Of course I jumped at the chance to do this," Schell said. He quickly called the artist who painted the original canvas backdrop for his non-profit organization Pride Portraits, Hugo Perez and got him on board. Within 48 hours the project was set into motion.”