William Way LGBT Community Center recently opened its 12th-annual Juried Art Exhibition, which features the talents of local and emerging LGBT artists.
This year’s show, curated by David Acosta and on display through Oct. 27, features dozens of artists working in various media, and whose works fit under the umbrella theme of “family.”
“In a way my work does tie in with family because I feel like our community is a family and we also need to try to be more like a family,” said artist Devon Reiffer, whose drawings are among the pieces included. “I feel like if I looked at all the works [from the other artists], I would see a similarity because we’re all addressing this theme. In terms of style, I think mine is very different because I draw on canvas and I work in black and white.”
To further the point of Philadelphia’s LGBT community being a family, Reiffer uses local people as the subjects of her sketches and artwork.
“I use all local people,” Reiffer said. “Most of the models come from our community. Ty is a bartender at Tabu. I met a few other people from around this area. It’s not necessarily about their stories; it’s about giving that story a face and a name so people can find a connection and not just look at a person in black or white terms.”
Most of the works featured in the exhibition by Reiffer are part of a set of works for series “The Grey Area,” but she said one of the works belongs to another, different-themed series of her art.
“There’s one that has hints of color,” she said. “I’ve been working on a new series, ‘Prism,’ but the idea stems from you can’t understand color until you understand the broad spectrum of gray.”
Reiffer said that being included in this exhibition at the center is important to her both as an artist and as a member of the community.
“I feel like William Way is the core of our community. When I first moved to Philadelphia, the William Way Center was where I went to start learning about my community and connect with others. I feel like it’s a hub of connections and my art is all about connections. The fact that they want to help emerging queer artists as well is very important to me.”