The Multicultural Student Center kicked off an inspired exhibition Wednesday at their gallery in the Red Gym to celebrate black queer joy as seen through visual art and creative works and kick off Black History Month.
The exhibition featured an assortment of pieces from queer and trans people of color as a way to focus on the accomplishments and talents of artists with these specific, unique viewpoints and identities.
The name, “Let’s have a Kiki,” comes from an allusion to the Scissor Sisters’ single of the same name, which has become popular in many queer spaces. Kiki, or rather the congregation of friends for laughter or ‘chit-chat’, is a slang term popularized by both the African American, queer and Latino social cultures.
In many ways, this name represents the overall feeling behind the exhibition, which promotes joy, inclusivity and belonging through the creative works of people of color in the LGBTQA+ community.
The exhibition aimed to show the contributions LGBT people of color have made to the history of creative arts, by referencing a number of pioneers in their fields, including Audre Lorde, RuPaul and Laverne Cox, among many others in music, theater, film and visual art.
Through recognizing the strides made in pop culture and art specifically by queer and trans people of color, the exhibit reveals the beauty and joy in these otherwise marginalized identities.
The exhibition kicked off with an opening reception for people to gather, view the works and enjoy refreshments. As a “Kiki” of sorts, this opening reception allowed attendees to find inclusivity, and to collectively bask in the glow of black queer magic.
The exhibition will be on display for the entire month for those who were unable to attend the opening reception, as a means to present black queer beauty and accomplishments all month long.
This exhibit is but one of many Black History Month events the MSC planned for Feb., including a number of daily panels, lectures and social events—such as “Trap Yoga” and a “Just Bust!” open mic. Through working with a number of organizations like the LGBT Campus Center and the Wisconsin Black Student Union, the MSC has provided ways to celebrate this special month every single day.