Contemporary Expression


Together or Separate?
November 27, 2009, 9:53 am
Filed under: Coming Out

 

Nancy and Joan are together ....

The holidays have been strange for me for about…well 22 years. The idea of spending the holidays  “with family” becomes a complicated one when your family is not welcome by your family, or some of your family … see it’s strange.

In the December 2009 issue of Curve Magazine Victoria A. Brownworth writes about how all of us have to find out what family really means. “This season, consider whether that trip home will make you feel good or bad, affirmed or nearly destroyed. Consider whether the people who share your DNA also share your values and sense of self. Consider whether “home” is a reality or just a word.”

Joan and  I smirk every time we are asked at a restaurant if we are “together or separate?”  It took us way too long to affirm to our families that we were “together”. Together for twelve years in a relationship, watching pronouns and getting separate tabs was exhausting.  Now ten years later having lived and committed to each other for over two decades, every time we say “together” to some unsuspecting waiter or waitress…it’s like, we’ll it’s like coming home.

So, for the record – we’re together.

 

 

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The Pride Portraits – Faces That Made History – Gallery Talk
September 30, 2009, 12:04 pm
Filed under: artwork, LGBT History, Living An Artful Life, NCOD, Painting, Pride

 

I hope that you can bring your lunch to Vandy on the 8th and talk with us about these incredible people. The space is open to the public to drop by all month to view the work and the take away studies on each person featured. Just walk up West Side Row from Sarratt and you will find it.

More on this painting:
Bayard RustinNancy VanReece Acrylic and ink © 2009 Contemporary Expression, a div. of Carpe Diem Copyright Management Inspired by photographs in the J D’Emilo book Lost Prophet, The Live and Times of Bayard Rustin
$300 Call 615-830-8158

What: Nancy VanReece’s “The Pride Portraits” of LGBT faces in history including Del Martin, Phylis Lyon, Urvashi Vaid, Jane Wagner, Lillian Faderman, Lucy Burns, Bayard Rusting showing throughout the month of October as part of LGBT History month along with a Gallery Talk with the artist.

When: Exhibit open October 1-30,
Gallery Talk Thursday, October 8 at Noon.

Where: Office of LGBTQI Life in the K.C. Potter Center.
Euclid, 312 West Side Row

FACEBOOK EVENT RSVP

PRESS :
While many of her contemporaries may be currently obsessed with looking to the future in their expressions, Nashville artist Nancy VanReece has chosen to ground her art steadfast in the present, while looking to the horizons of the past to guide her—and her work—into the future. Meant as a celebration of the 40 year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Nancy’s 2009 Pride Portraits Series is not only a snapshot of where she is as an artist and a person but also the long and bumpy road that brought her to this place. With this work Nancy is showing homage to the fact that throughout history there have always been lively souls who lived boldly for the rights and privileges that we enjoy today. With each portrait in this series Nancy is acknowledging that in the landscape of her life, there is color, texture, movement and light because of the contributions of these seven individuals (Del Martin, Phylis Lyon, Urvashi Vaid, Jane Wagner, Lillian Faderman, Lucy Burns, Bayard Rustin) and many more just like them. In viewing Nancy VanReece’s expressions of abstract portraiture, she hopes to draw the viewer into a story or narrative continuity with her subjects and herself as the artist. “These are people whose unique courage and foresight have influenced not just how I view my world but how the world views me.”
No matter what phase of life she may be in Nancy has learned to always apply a basic principle to her approach to art: She needs color, texture, movement and light or she loses interest.
These fundamental elements form the cornerstone of how Nancy expresses herself and have their origins in her work on the canvas. Nancy began her career in contemporary and abstract expression in the mid- 90’s focusing on elemental and nature themes until a hand injury left her without the ability to paint for over 18 months. A retreat to Santa Fe, New Mexico in spring of 2003 renewed her body and mind with inspiration and guidance from other respected expressionists. This renewed period in Nancy’s life produced many changes in her approach to expression on canvas by encouraging her to create energy and movement in multimedia spaces through multi-layered acrylic and series of antique photographs. Nancy also adopted the method of using water in differing streams of force as well as natural texture elements with acrylic on canvas. These techniques allowed her to more fully express new ideas and inspirations through the use of movement and texture along with color and light. In 2004 and 2005 Nancy applied her new found dedication to these four essential elements to any art to several popular series on behaviors, whimsical animals and large scale landscapes. 2006 saw her interpreting show places in her memory or places she wished existed. Nancy is currently focusing on abstract expressions of people and places of import to her personal continuity and sense of history. Without what she feels to be the essential elements of expression-movement, texture, color and light-Nancy’s art would be severely handicapped. History moves us forward in time. The texture of culture, fashion, ethos and ideas make up the fabric of all history. Color has always been a powerful interpreter of emotion and light has shaped all things by shades throughout recorded time. It is Nancy VanReece’s sincere hope that her approach to the idea that a person is the sum total of all the events, people and places that went before them will resonate in these expressions. If someone walks away having learned that their own journey is an artful one, then she will have accomplished her goal. She will have helped by creating an object that tells us all the story of what has gone before in the past that made us what we are and will continue to shape us as we move forward – by F. Daniel Kent.

 

 

panoramic of portraits at the K.C. Potter Center

 



A decade
July 6, 2009, 12:32 pm
Filed under: Coming Out, Equality

Total solar eclipse of August 1999

A decade has gone by… a decade and some change since Matthew Shepard, a decade to the day since Barry Winchell. Back in 1999 I had also just come out of the closet to friends and family. I had to change my career and I had to start all over again in so many ways. My partner and I had already been together for over a decade and we wanted to start the second one completely out and open.

For me it was Matthew, I just couldn’t bear the grief isolated. I joined the then active LGCJ (Lesbian and Gay Coalition for Justice) in Nashville to see how I might plug in to my activism. Then, in short order, came Barry. Watching the Nashville leadership find a way to be helpful and effective was part of our growth as a community. I still remember the early meetings and the collaboration with SLDN and the Equality Federation.

Now, as a board member of the Tennessee Equality Project Foundation (the educational c-3 arm of TEP) I am proud to see all the work that has been done to stop hate crimes and to see them punished to the full extent of the law. Join the TEP FaceBook Page

Hate crimes are a vicious assault on the humanity and safety of our community. TEP wants to help victims of hate crimes get the justice and protection they deserve. If you are the victim of a hate crime or if you would like to report a hate crime, please complete the form on this page. Someone from our Hate Crimes Task Force will respond to your report.

  • Save this number to your cell phone to call in to leave a message to report of a hate crime in Tennessee:
    615.664.6886
  • If you are in any danger, please call 911 first

—————————————————————————————

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed in the US House April 29, 2009 on a 249 to 175 bipartisan vote.

The bill expands federal hate crime laws to include crimes where the victims were targeted on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and disability. It also would eliminate a requirement that the victim was engaged in one of several “federally protected activities” at the time of the crime in order to be protected by these laws. Under current federal hate crime laws, perpetrators can be prosecuted for violence motivated by race, color, religion, and national origin only if the crime involves a federal activity, such as voting or traveling across state lines.President Obama released a statement on the bill prior to yesterday’s vote. He said “I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on this important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance – legislation that will enhance civil rights protections, while also protecting our freedom of speech and association. I also urge the Senate to work with my Administration to finalize this bill and to take swift action.”The bill was also reintroduced in the US Senate the same week by a bi-partisan coalition. In the Senate, the bill is known as the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.* Previous versions of the bill faced various legislative roadblocks under the Bush administration: similar bills did not make it out of committee in several Congresses between 2002, when the legislation was first introduced, and 2007, when the bill finally passed the House, but was never voted on in the Senate. President Bush had indicated that he would veto the bill if it was passed by Congress.

*Sen Alexander was quoted recently that “state laws are sufficient” when asked about his vote.

————————————————————————————-
A decade has gone by.

————————————————————————————-

  • Gay Bias Killings Highest Since 1999
    Incidents Up By 28 Percent
    MARCUS FRANKLIN, Associated Press Writer
    POSTED: 12:17 pm CDT June 16, 2009

    NEW YORK — The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people killed in bias-motivated incidents increased by 28 percent in 2008 compared to a year ago, according to a national coalition of advocacy groups.
    Last year’s 29 killings was the highest recorded by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs since 1999, when it documented the same number of slayings, according to a report released Tuesday by the coalition.
    “What we’re also seeing, more disturbingly, is the increase in the severity of violence,” said Sharon Stapel, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, which coordinates coalition.
    Stapel theorized that at least some of last year’s violence was backlash against issues that arose during the during the presidential campaign. She cited debates about same-sex marriage, the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and federal legislation that would ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as possible flash points. “The more visibility there is the more likely we’re going to see backlash, and that’s exactly what we see here,” Stapel said.
    Overall, the number of victims who reported anti-LGBT violence in 2008 increased by two percent compared to 2007, said the New York-based coalition of programs in 25 states.
    Coalition officials say their figures are more accurate than those from law enforcement agencies. As an example, they say, the FBI doesn’t record bias crimes against transgender people because gender identity isn’t covered by federal hate-crime law.
    Also, victims sometimes are reluctant to report bias incidents to police because they don’t want to reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity and/or they fear bias from police, officials said.
    Reports of physical abuse by police increased to 25 incidents last year from 10 in 2007, the report said.
    For the new report, programs in Milwaukee, Minnesota, Chicago, Los Angeles, Colorado, Columbus, Ohio, Houston, Pennsylvania, New York City, Kansas City, Missouri, Michigan and San Francisco submitted data.
    Programs in Vermont and the Boston area participated in the 2007 report but not the current one. The program in Rochester, N.Y., participated in 2008 for the first time.
    The largest increase — 64 percent — was in Milwaukee, where the number of reported incidents rose to 18 in 2008 from 11 in 2007, the report said.
    Officials weren’t sure whether reported increases were attributable to more people reporting incidents or an actual rise.
    Meighan Bentz, a victim outreach advocate at the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, which includes an anti-violence project, said, “I think it’s a combination.”
    “Certainly there are more people reporting,” Bentz said, adding that the project started in 2005. “As time goes on there are more people aware of our program as a resource.”
    Bentz added, “I do believe there are ongoing issues of violence and its affect upon LGBT individuals. It’s a vulnerable population.”
    Many of 2008’s incidents made headlines.
    In December, a man was beaten to death in New York City while he walked arm in arm with his brother as their attackers yelled anti-gay and anti-Latino epithets. Two men have been charged with murder as a hate crime.
    In February 2008, 15-year-old Lawrence King was shot to death at school in Oxnard, Calif., near Malibu after enduring harassment after he told classmates he was gay; a classmate is charged as an adult in the killing, which prosecutors classified as a hate crime.
    Last June, a surveillance tape was publicized showing Memphis, Tenn., police officers beating Duanna Johnson, a transgender woman, and shouting slurs in a jail booking area; a public outcry erupted.
    In November, Johnson was found fatally shot on a Memphis street

——————————————————————————–

A decade has gone by.

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Happy Pride Nashville
June 20, 2009, 2:32 pm
Filed under: Coming Out, Equality, flip camera, LGBT History
Riverfront Park 11am-6pm
The Tenessean Feature

2 and a half minutes of Nashville Pride – I giggle a lot.



Pride Portraits Reception Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: F. Daniel Kent
Now! Here! This! Creative Services
Phone: 615.589.5835
Email: fdanielkent@comcast.net

What: Nashville Pride art reception for Nancy VanReece’s “The Pride Portraits” of LGBT faces in history including Del Martin, Phylis Lyon, Urvashi Vaid, Jane Wagner, Lillian Faderman, Lucy Burns, Bayard Rustin

When: Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 5:30p-7p
(This selection, along with 12 other VanReece works, will be on display throughout June)

Where: Ugly Mugs Coffee & Tea 1886 Eastland Avenue in Nashville, TN in the Walden building at the corner of Eastland and Chapel across the street from Rosepepper restaurant.

image: Urvashi Vaid by Nancy VanReece (c) 2009 Contemporary Expression. All rights reserved, Used by permission.

While many of her contemporaries may be currently obsessed with looking to the future in their expressions, Nashville artist Nancy VanReece has chosen to ground her art steadfast in the present, while looking to the horizons of the past to guide her—and her work—into the future.

Meant as a celebration of the 40 year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Nancy’s 2009 Pride Portraits Series is not only a snapshot of where she is as an artist and a person but also the long and bumpy road that brought her to this place. With this work Nancy is showing homage to the fact that throughout history there have always been lively souls who lived boldly for the rights and privileges that we enjoy today.

With each portrait in this series Nancy is acknowledging that in the landscape of her life, there is color, texture, movement and light because of the contributions of these seven individuals (Del Martin, Phylis Lyon, Urvashi Vaid, Jane Wagner, Lillian Faderman, Lucy Burns, Bayard Rustin) and many more just like them.

In viewing Nancy VanReece’s expressions of abstract portraiture, she hopes to draw the viewer into a story or narrative continuity with her subjects and herself as the artist. “These are people whose unique courage and foresight have influenced not just how I view my world but how the world views me.”

No matter what phase of life she may be in Nancy has learned to always apply a basic principle to her approach to art: She needs color, texture, movement and light or she looses interest. These fundamental elements form the cornerstone of how Nancy expresses herself and have their origins in her work on the canvas.

Nancy began her career in contemporary and abstract expression in the mid- 90’s focusing on elemental and nature themes until a hand injury left her without the ability to paint for over 18 months. A retreat to Santa Fe, New Mexico in spring of 2003 renewed her body and mind with inspiration and guidance from other respected expressionists.

This renewed period in Nancy’s life produced many changes in her approach to expression on canvas by encouraging her to create energy and movement in multimedia spaces through multi-layered acrylic and series of antique photographs. Nancy also adopted the method of using water in differing streams of force as well as natural texture elements with acrylic on canvas. These techniques allowed her to more fully express new ideas and inspirations through the use of movement and texture along with color and light.

In 2004 and 2005 Nancy applied her newfound dedication to these four essential elements to any art to several popular series on behaviors, whimsical animals and large scale landscapes. 2006 saw her interpreting show places in her memory or places she wished existed. Nancy is currently focusing on abstract expressions of people and places of import to her personal continuity and sense of history.

Without what she feels to be the essential elements of expression-movement, texture, color and light-Nancy’s art would be severely handicapped. History moves us forward in time. The texture of culture, fashion, ethos and ideas make up the fabric of all history. Color has always been a powerful interpreter of emotion and light has shaped all things by shades throughout recorded time.

It is Nancy VanReece’s sincere hope that her approach to the idea that a person is the sum total of all the events, people and places that went before them will resonate in these expressions. If someone walks away having learned that their own journey is an artful one, then she will have accomplished her goal. She will have helped by creating an object that tells us all the story of what has gone before in the past that made us what we are and will continue to shape us as we move forward.

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The Pride Portraits

The month of June marks a special pride month as it is the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when gays and lesbians fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted homosexuals, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.


The Pride Portraits is a series of 7 paintings that helped lead up to and past that defining moment in 1969. These are people whose unique courage and foresight have influenced not just how I view my world but how the world views me.

Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon
diptych Nancy VanReece
Acrylic and ink
© 2009 Contemporary Expression, a div. of Carpe Diem Copyright Management
Inspired by photograph from the archives of the San Francisco Chronicle

To read more about these works visit: http://www.nancyvanreece.com/prideportraits.htm

A reception will be help by Nashville Pride on Tuesday June 9th, 2009 from 5:30-7pm at Ugly Mugs where these 7 works and others will be on display through out the month.

The works are also committed for display at the K. C. Potter House on the campus of Vanderbilt University in October for LGBT History month.

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It’s been a long ten years
April 29, 2009, 2:00 am
Filed under: Coming Out, Equality, LGBT History

House to vote on Hate Crimes bill as early as Wednesday April 29th.

After Matthew’s death in 1999 I made a commitment to come out of every inch of every closet I had created for myself. Some closets were made for work preservation, some for fear of family abandonment, and some for safety. It’s been a long ten years of hard work for me to get to the point where I can live and work in an open and healthy place.

It’s taken ten years to get to this vote – I hope that you will join me in calling any representative in D.C. that will hear you not only to vote YES on HR 1913 but to celebrate the opportunity to do something long overdue.

Rep Jim Cooper from Tennessee has signed on as a sponsor of this and he needs to hear from you that he is representing Nashville proudly. CALL Now: 202-225-4311

Don’t live in Nashville? Contact your Congressperson now.
You can do this easily by calling 866-346-4611, the House switchboard.

BACKGROUND ON THE MATTHEW SHEPARD ACT:

1. Expands the existing definition of a “hate crime” to include gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability .

(Under existing law, if someone commits a violent crime against someone which is motivated by the victim’s race or religion, then that crime receives a harsher sentence than it would otherwise. HR 1913 simply expands the classes protected by this rule.)

2. Gives federal law enforcement greater leeway and resources to investigate and prosecute hate crimes, in case local law enforcement lacks the resources to, or chooses not to, investigate.

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