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Celebrating Queerness in Philly’s Public Spaces: Announcing “Queer in Public”

September 2, 2018

For a community that had to spend countless generations in the closet, putting art created by queer individuals in the public space is a truly revolutionary act…

Streets Dept and Mission Taqueria are excited to announce​ Art at Mission’s Fall 2018 exhibition, Queer in Public.

Queer in Public​ celebrates the work of Santiago GaleasMarisa Velázquez-Rivas, and Ryan Psota, three queer Philly artists who create work in our city’s public spaces.

Queer in Public – Exhibition Opening
WHEN: Tuesday, September 18th from 5-7pm
WHERE: Mission Taqueria, 1516 Sansom Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102
HASHTAGS: #ArtAtMission, #QueerInPublic

The artists featured in ​Art at Mission​’s fall exhibition are among only a small handful of LGBTQ artists that currently have work in the public space around Philly. With our exhibition, I hope to highlight the work of these three brilliant, up-and-coming artists as well as to inspire keyholders, those with the access and ability to hire artists for public arts projects, to hire more queer artists in Philly!

Running this blog the last seven and a half years, it’s always truly bummed me out how few queer street artists and muralists there are showing and installing work out around Philly. And as I have hopefully begun to illustrate this year with my Pride Month Instagram post and Caldera Magazine article, as a gay man myself I’m becoming more and more aware of how little I’ve used my own platform to highlight my own queerness.

As a curator, I have been so in awe of the work and drive this past year of Santiago, Marisa, and Ryan. And thanks to this unique opportunity that Mission Taqueria has afforded me in allowing Streets Dept to curate art in their outdoor courtyard, we’re able to work with these incredible artist to build Queer in Public!

Santiago Galeas 
Santiago Galeas was born to parents from Peru and El Salvador, and currently lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His work uses a diverse range of subjects that address varying concepts in portraiture, often including LGBTQ and racial issues. Galeas believes that the contemporary figurative painting scene is severely lacking in its diversity and his work brings a light to those who are often underrepresented. Many of his figures dissect the diaspora of Latino race and culture, and question our place within American culture. Galeas has exhibited in a number of group and solo exhibitions in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Colorado, and has an upcoming exhibition in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Recently he was invited to attend artist residencies in Mexico, Ecuador, and Philadelphia. Aside from exhibiting, several media sources have been showcasing his work including The Huffington Post, the cover of Poets and Artists Magazine, and the Streets Dept blog.

Marisa Velázquez-Rivas
Marisa Velázquez-Rivas is a digital artist and graphic designer born in Puerto Rico and raised in Venezuela. She received her BS in The Art Institute of Philadelphia where she met a lot of talented individuals—teachers and students alike—and currently works as Senior Designer in a marketing agency where she’s garnered multiple awards for digital campaigns she’s art directed. Having lived thru a deadly dictatorship in Venezuela, countless disasters that go unnoticed in Puerto Rico and Trump in the USA, Marisa has found comfort and safety in illustration and is now sharing this with the public through her wheatpasting. Though new to the game Marisa intends to continue inspiring people to pay attention to the social and political issues that revolve around us daily thru her illustrations and street art.

Ryan Psota
Ryan Psota is a painter/illustrator/designer living in Philadelphia, PA. Ryan works with a variety of mediums to create illustrations and fine artwork that combine urban textures with fresh, contemporary subject matter. His mural work, under the moniker “Lemon Sparkle Fantasy,” can be seen in several locations across the city. His eclectic style has been applied to an array of visual markets and appeals to a diverse clientele. He received his BFA from the University of the Arts where he studied illustration. His inspirations include urban art, natural patterns, lasers, drag queens, old man skin, pyramids, ancient scrolls, ornate sweaters, seaweed, and the aurora borealis.

Please join us for our opening, and invite your friends too: Check out our Facebook event page here!

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