Mighty Real/Queer Detroit, the month-long, multi-venue LGBTQ art exhibition scheduled for June, has been postponed until next year.
"In keeping with public health directives, the Mighty Real/Queer Detroit exhibition has been rescheduled for June 2021, once again coinciding with the month-long celebration of LGBT Pride," read a statement on Facebook from MR/QD Project Director Patrick Burton. "We deeply regret that assembling in June 2020 for the exhibition is no longer possible. However, given the strong response to our initial efforts, including over 100 participating artists, the postponement has created new opportunities."
Burton's announcement went on to say that the extra year of planning would allow the project team to increase the number of participating galleries, call for additional submissions and undertake studio visits, target the youth community and its artists with special outreach, develop special online programming in conjunction with this year's Pride, and expand the Detroit Institute of Art's exhibition programming of performance, film and panel discussions.
Burton, who had already lined up six spaces for the exhibition, including Collected Detroit, Galerie Camille, Hatch, M Contemporary, The Scarab Club and the Cass Café, said that each space had agreed to take part in the exhibition next year. He also said that the project team would work throughout the next year to raise awareness of the exhibition.
"In the year ahead, we will regularly post information of interest," Burton continued. "Our GoFundMe campaign to cover exhibition expenses, including the catalog, will be relaunched later this year. Those who are able to give at this time may still do so if they wish. These efforts will help us to build an audience for the exhibit and to increase its chance for future success, benefiting the greater Detroit art community."
In a previous Between The Lines story announcing the exhibition, Burton promised it would "explore queer art by emerging and established Detroit artists [and] it will celebrate LGBT artists, past and present, from Detroit and its metropolitan area, whose works manifest distinct but intersecting backgrounds."
The idea for the exhibition, Burton said, came to him while attending an opening at the Scarab Club and talking to BTL columnist and Scarab Club Board Member Charles Alexander.
"… There were so many artists that came to my mind as I started thinking; I had maybe 40 artists I had identified on a piece of paper. I said why don't I do three galleries. So I continued to reach out to galleries I had a connection with or some kind of relationship with the gallery director and it just kept expanding," he said. "That's when I realized it was too much for me to do myself, so I started talking to other artists about being involved in the planning. … It was really Charles Alexander who pushed me into doing this."
And even if the COVID-19 crisis has caused the show this year to be canceled, Burton said the need for art is greater than ever.
"Art is a constant reminder of the preciousness of life, and this reminder offers us hope."