Friday, July 09, 2010

Queer spiritual art appears in national magazine

“Jesus Appears to His Friends” by F. Douglas Blanchard was published in Tikkun magazine

Four friends of the Jesus in Love Blog are featured artists in the “Queer Spirituality and Politics” cover story of this month’s Tikkun, a major national magazine.

Robert Lentz, Matthew Wettlaufer, Douglas Blanchard and Paul Richmond have art in the July/August issue of Tikkun, which just hit newsstands.

You saw them here first! Tikkun asked me for help illustrating the 33-page special section on queer spirituality and politics. I posted a call for art, introduced Tikkun to our image archive and got busy contacting artists. I’m delighted that four of “our” artists ended up being published on the pages of Tikkun. Congratulations to all four on a real achievement!

The four artists are:

Brother Robert Lentz. His icon of same-gender loving saints Perpetua and Felicity became the cover art for Tikkun’s queer spirituality and politics issue. You can also see it in our post:
Friends to the end: Saints Perpetua and Felicity

Lentz is a Franciscan friar stationed at St. Bonaventure University, in Olean, New York, where he hopes to establish a school of Franciscan iconography.

Matthew Wettlaufer. His “Pieta” makes a point about AIDS activism for the article “The Transformative Promise of Queer Politics” by Alana Yu-lan Price. You can also see it in our post:
New paintings honor gay martyrs

Wettlaufer is a gay artist-philosopher who lived in El Salvador and South Africa before returning recently to the United States.

Paul Richmond. His “Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise” goes with the same article, placed aptly near the subhead “A Cultural Sea Change.” You can also see it in our post:
Noah’s gay wedding cruise pictured

Richmond is an Ohio artist and illustrator who came out as gay after graduating from Columbus College of Art.

Douglas Blanchard. His “Jesus Appears to His Friends” (above) illustrates the article “Dismantling Hierarchy, Queering Society” by Andrea Smith. The painting comes from his 24-part series “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” which shows Jesus as a contemporary gay man. You can see more art by Blanchard in our 2010 Holy Week series.

Blanchard is a New York artist who teaches art at City University of New York and is active in the Episcopal Church.
And there’s a lot more to love about Tikkun’s “Queer Spirituality and Politics” section. It presents 16 articles by such respected writers as Jay Michaelson, Starhawk, Yvette Flunder and Emi Koyama.

The first articles look at “how lesbian, gay, bisexual, same-gender-loving, Two Spirit, and transgender people are moving forward in various mainstream or conservative religious milieus.” The last articles examine LGBT religious and political innovation. Overall they express an impressive religious range, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Native American Spirituality, Buddhism, Judaism and Wicca. With a circulation base of more than 15,000, Tikkun is estimated to reach over 37,000 people.

Our goal here at is to match LGBT-affirming artists with the people who are eager to see queer spiritual art. With this issue of Tikkun, I’m celebrating, “Mission accomplished!” (At least for today.)

A special thanks to those artists who submitted art that was not accepted -- this time. I hope that Tikkun’s high-profile presentation of LGBT-affirming religious art will inspire others to provide a forum for this kind of art in the future.

When Doug Blanchard told his Facebook friends that his art would be in Tikkun, he wrote some kind words about me and my work here. He gave permission for me to quote him:

“Kittredge Cherry is a courageous champion for gay and lesbian religious art. In an age where it is hard for any artist to get visibility, it is especially hard for those who pursue gay/ lesbian religious themes. That such artists are visible at all is almost entirely her work.”

Thank you, Doug. And congratulations to all.

Click here for Tikkun’s online preview with highlights from the queer spirituality and politics issue.

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1 comment:

Turtle Woman said...

This is a huge accomplishment, and Tikkun did an excellent job on this subject. It's so exciting when this level of good quality gay and lesbian art gets out into the world.
Art is about inspiration!! Thanks Kitt for a job so well done as "middle woman"