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Queer|Art|Prize in Recent Work Awarded To Stefa Marin Alarcon

The event took place on Thursday, November 10th.

Queer|Art|Prize in Recent Work Awarded To Stefa Marin Alarcon

On Thursday, November 10th, a radiant crowd of LGBTQ+ artists and allies convened in-person at The Whitney Museum of American Art for Queer|Art's biggest event of the year: The 2022 Queer|Art Annual Party. This year's grand celebration took the form of a hybrid event, with 150 members of Queer|Art's vibrant community of artists and supporters attending in-person and many more tuning in virtually via Zoom. Activist and drag artist Junior Mintt guided attendees through a dynamic awards program and an uplifting graduation ceremony that honored the outgoing Fellows of the 2022 Queer|Art|Mentorship program cycle. The night concluded with a dazzling afterparty emceed by advocate, organizer, and storyteller Cecilia Gentili, and DJ sets by Body Hack artists Cisne and NYMPH.

This year's slate of awards (made possible with generous support from HBO Max) celebrated luminaries and emerging artists alike within queer creative communities across the country. The 2022 Pamela Sneed Award for Black Queer|Art|Mentorship Artists and Organizers offers a $10,000 prize to a Black Mentor or Fellow from the Queer|Art|Mentorship (QAM) community for uplifting foundational histories of Black queer mentorship. In its second year, a judging panel of celebrated artists- Justin Allen, Stephen Winter, and Pamela Sneed-bestowed the honor to multihyphenate writer, educator, and activist, Alexis De Veaux.

The 2022 Queer|Art|Prize Award honored the New Orleans-based freedom singer and community leader, Wendi Moore O'Neal, along with multidisciplinary artist, stefa marin alarcon with $10,000 prizes, each recognizing their significant contributions to queer culture and community. Moore-O'Neal was acknowledged in the category of Sustained Achievement, a category that serves to highlight art practices that have significantly impacted queer community and contributed to its endurance and expansion. alarcon received the award for Recent Work, a category that recognizes an outstanding work created by a US-based LGBTQ+ artist between Pride of 2021 and Pride of 2022, for their transdisciplinary opera, Born With An Extra Rib.

Alexis De Veaux, 2022 Pamela Sneed Award Winner

The Pamela Sneed Award for Black Queer|Art|Mentorship Artists and Organizers was founded by BlaQ, Queer|Art's Black LGBTQ+ Artists Group to acknowledge Black QAM Mentors and Fellows who uplift critical histories of Black queer mentorship and exemplify steadfast commitment to values shared by the QAM community. The judges selected Alexis De Veaux as the award's second annual recipient for her "invaluable contributions to the queer community across mediums."

Judges remarked, "Alexis De Veaux is a pioneering force within the LGBTQIA community. Her expansive practice is wide-ranging: from poetry and journalism to children's literature. Alexis has made invaluable contributions to the queer community across mediums. As a writer, educator, and public speaker, Alexis's longstanding dedication to mentorship is clear across fields and generations. To be in the presence of her generous wisdom and infectious spirit is to be inspired."

Upon accepting the award, De Veaux remarked, "I'm really, really just thrown by this opportunity and this award. I'm grateful to the judges, to all the other nominees, to this entire community that I am part of... I'm also deeply thankful to all the people up here that you may or may not see that may or may not be visible to you, but they are here with me. These are my ancestors and my future, and I introduce them to you tonight so that you can bear witness to their presence and so that you don't see me as singular. I am not singular. I am part of a great and grand community."

WENDI MOORE-O'NEAL, 2022 Queer|Art|Prize Winner in Sustained Achievement

In the area of Sustained Achievement, the award was granted to Wendi Moore-O'Neal. As she welcomed O'Neal on stage, 2022 Sustained Achievement judge Alicia Grullon spoke to her significant impact: "Wendi Moore O'Neal implores her audiences to create an irresistible possibility of what can be. What would the world look like if at an atomic level, generosity and love so central to Wendi's work and the queer community were the motivations to creating the future?"

During her acceptance speech, O'Neal shared, "I come from a tradition of congregational singing, and it's a practice of experiencing our collective power... When I sing it's not for performance, it's a call for us to charge the air together and feel what it feels like to be together. Kwame Ture would say our work as organizers is not to convince people that they need to be free; it's to show people what we can do when we organize and that's what congregational signing practice does for me." She then invited audience members to join her in call and response verses, enlivening The Whitney Museum's auditorium with an inspirational chorus of song.

STEFA MARIN ALARCON, 2022 Queer|Art|Prize Winner in Recent Work for Born With An Extra Rib (2021)

In the area of Recent Work, the award was granted to stefa marin alarcon for Born With An Extra Rib, a transdisciplinary opera emerging from the questions behind the artist's upcoming record "Born With An Extra Rib." Using video collage, live music, and ritual performance, they ask their most pressing, embodied questions to engage in an emergent process of collective liberation.

2022 Recent Work judge Baseera Khan explained the adjudication panel's decision: "My heart was drawn to a particular artist that reminded me about where I came from and how important music and night culture is to a femme, to a queer, to a marginalized, to a black and brown community, to build confidence in these communities, and to learn about desire because desire is essential and is part of our very being."

alarcon's acceptance speech touched on the power of being uncategorizable: "I want to start by saying this may be my biomythology, my origin story, but this honor belongs to many hands and many hearts. There's no such thing as a solo artist and creating this work reminded me of that over and over again. I got to work with the most incredible team of visionaries, many of whom are my friends and my chosen family... I made this opera, I made this film, I made this installation and this ritual because being uncategorizable has actually protected me and there is power in being uncategorizable. Isn't that queer art? ...I hope to continue learning, to continue investing in myself, my spirit, and my practice. I hope this is one of the many times we come together to hold up our queer artists and our community. Thank you for this honor."



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