11 Amazing Young Queer Artists You Should Know

By Diane Anderson-Minshall

Originally published on Advocate.com November 04 2013 2:13 PM ET

Founded in 2011 by filmmaker Ira Sachs and Pilobolus co-executive director Lily Binns, Queer/Art/Mentorship, the multidisciplinary, intergenerational arts program that pairs emerging and established queer artists in New York City and supports mentorship, has quickly established itself as a nexus of development for queer artists. Now the group has announced its third round of Queer/Art/Mentorship fellowship recipients, a lineup that offers a glimpse at the next generation of out queer artists. 

Each fellow accepted has been paired with an established New York-based artist within their field for a yearlong mentorship. The relationship that develops aims to support the artistic and professional practice of the fellow as well as to develop community-wide conversations about what it means to generate and curate queer work in New York City and America. 

Here's why you should know this year's fellows:
 

Colin Self & Lain Kay

Colin Self composes and choreographs new trajectories for global queer consciousness. His performances explore aesthetic temperament between vocality, violence, popular culture, and sincerity. Spanning a transdisciplinary lifestyle, Colin seeks to embellish diverse cultures with queer presence and develop a highly stylized language of transnational communication. Through his performance work, community organization, and personal life, Colin exhibits the power and beauty of feminized identities as a constant praxis of collective resistance.

Lain Kay is a cross-disciplinary artist focused in the mystique of identity branding. A graduate of California College of the Arts with a BFA in painting and drawing, he did a senior work portraying multiples of himself acting out appropriated clichés within art history and nationalistic propaganda. Indicative of a tongue-in-cheek punk attitude, these aesthetics inform and modify more recent performance works. Through mostly collaborative, music-driven projects, Lain Kay positions himself as faux pop star with a tabloid tragicality. This playful hypocrisy of ethics invites commodification but intends to perform a mockery of class values in our culture and emphasize the timelessness of power and spectacle.

Self and Kay will be working as a collaborative pair on a multimedia installation and performance on gendered pop culture and consumerism with their mentor, Big Art Group founder Caden Manson.

 

Bridget de Gersigny

Bridget de Gersigny is a South African visual artist based in Brooklyn, N.Y., working primarily in video, installation, and sound. Having grown up under apartheid and experiencing the ripping shift from oppression to democracy in her teens made her super aware of the space between impassioned belief and error — a place where fundamental ideologies collided. She creates interactive multimedia installations, bringing to consciousness aspects of those things, like looking at very long histories or different ways of relations of how things exist and shape our perceptions. Her work engages in the intersection of the queer community and other communities. Gersigny is a 2013 ICP-Bard MFA graduate and holds a BA degree with honors from the University of Cape Town in psychology and literature, and one in art from University of South Africa.

Gersigny will be working with her mentor, visual artist Carlos Motta, on a project that explores queer history and cultural difference in Brooklyn.

Peter Knegt

Peter Knegt is a writer, filmmaker, and blogger born and raised in Ontario, Canada. He was worked primarily and extensively as a film journalist, most notably for New York-based online magazine Indiewire, where he's worked since 2006 and currently serves as senior writer. His first book, About Canada: Queer Rights, a historical account of LGBT activism in Canada, was released in 2011. He is also the cofounder and artistic director of Picton Picturefest, a film festival for youth in rural Canada, and recently completed work on his first short film, Good Morning.

Knegt will be working with his mentor, actor, novelist, and playwright James Lecesne, on a literary work based on his experience at the Pilgrimage, a portable-film-festival odyssey in the Scottish Highlands organized by Tilda Swinton and Mark Cousins.

Ella Boureau

Ella Boureau is a writer, teacher, and translator living in Brooklyn. She runs the online magazine and reading series In the Flesh. You can see her work there, on The Rumpus, and on Fullstop.

Boureau will be working on a play titled Helps to Hate /you a Little with her mentor, actor and playwright Moe Angelos.

Natalia Leite

Natalia Leite is an artist and filmmaker born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. She began her career showcasing art films in galleries in São Paulo and San Francisco. Since moving to New York in 2006, she has directed music videos, documentariss, and short films that have screened in numerous festivals internationally. She is currently working on her first feature film, Bare, produced by Derrick Tseng (Prince Avalanche, Party Monster), Alexandra Roxo, and Dahlia Heyman. She is also codirecting a documentary called Shooting Serrano, produced by VICE, the comedy web series Be Here Nowish, and a pilot for a VICE series called Every Woman. She is a recipient of the Kodak Student Grant Award and a Sundance Screenwriters Lab finalist. Her work can be seen on GotPurpleMilk.com.


Leite will be working with her mentor, narrative filmmaker Rose Troche on her first feature-length film, about a young woman living life to the fullest in Nevada.

Nicole Goodwin

Nicole Goodwin was the recipient of City College’s Riggs Gold Medal Essay Award for 2011, finalist for the Poets House’s 2013 Poets House Emerging Poets Fellowship Program, and a fellow of the North Country Institute and Retreat for Writers of Color. She is the former editor of the Escriba/Write, winner of the 2006 CCHA Eastern Region Small Journal Award. A single mother, she earned her BA in English and Anthropology from City College of New York in June 2011. Recently, she published an article “Talking with My Daughter…” for the New York Times Parents Blog, and she will be featured in the upcoming documentary film Tough Love.

Goodwin will be working with her mentor, writer Jaime Manrique, on a poetic project exploring gender and race identity and homeless LGBTQ youth.

 

Rick Herron

Rick Herron is a curator, artist, writer. and museum worker from Plattsburg, Mo. He has participated in projects with Visual AIDS, Elmgreen & Dragset, Michael Alan Alien, palissimo, Dis magazine, and many others. He recently curated queer performance for the LGBT Center at the Ideas City festival, including artists such as Buzz Slutzky, Ann Liv Young, Becca Blackwell, and Dandy Darkly. Since 2007 he has worked at the New Museum, where he is assistant manager of visitor services.

Herron will be working with his mentor, curator Pati Hertling, on an exhibition about the legacy of Keith Haring for the Spirit Museum in Stockholm.

Seyi Adebanjo

Seyi Adebanjo, is a queer, gender-nonconforming Nigerian artist living in the South Bronx. As a media artist Adebanjoi raises awareness around social issues through digital video, multimedia photography, and writings. Adebanjo’s work is the intersection of art, media, imagination, ritual and politics. Adebanjo has performed with Sharon Bridgforth and appeared at the Walker Art Center. Adebanjo’s work has recently been screened at the Bronx Documentary Center and the Sydney Transgender International Film Festival. Adebanjo has been a Project Involve Fellow and City Lore Documentary Institute scholarship recipient. Adebanjo is currently artist in residence with Allgo working on The Orita Project, an international film and performance endeavor.

Adebanjo will be working with mentor documentary filmmaker Yoruba Richen on a film experimenting with ritual, the erotic, and gender through the Yorùbá religion as both a culture and spiritual practice.

Troy Michie

Troy Michie is a visual artist who was born and raised in southwest Texas. Utilizing the methodologies of collage and assemblage, he investigates the boundaries between race and sexuality. His work has been exhibited at Anna Kustera Gallery, the Stedelijk Museum s-Hertogenbosch, and will be included in "Outside the Lines," an upcoming group exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. He received his BFA from the University of Texas at El Paso and his MFA from Yale School of Art.

Michie will be working with his mentor, visual artist Geoff Chadsey, on a series of sculptures and mixed media works inspired by Jean Genet’s Querelle of Brest.

Xeňa Stanislavovna Semjonová

Xeňa Stanislavovna Semjonová is a poet, artist, and translator originally from Slovakia, now living in New York. Semjonová  has performed in venues such as the Poetry Project, Dixon Place, Interstate Projects, Bowery Poetry Club, Michelle Tea’s RADAR, Panpoly Performance Laboratory, SPECTRUM NYC, Strange Maine, the Lynn Redgrave Theater, Page 22 Poetry Parlor, Happy Endings, GRRRLS on FILM, the Leslie-Lohman Museum, and many others. She is a Poets House 2013 Fellow and is the editor of What Now, an audio anthology of poetry. Her project SHE is upcoming as both a book and a performance in 2014.

Semjonová will be working on writings focused on trans voice and experience with her mentor, performance artist and musician Geo Wyeth.