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Oklahoma State University

LGBTQIA+ histories uncovered in 50 States exhibition, opening Feb. 12

Monday, February 11, 2019

This depiction of Oklahoma-born playwright, screenwriter and folk artist Lynn Riggs (1899-1954) was created by artists Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin for their Oklahoma, 50 States series. Vaughan and Margolin created the likeness by hand-cutting and layering road maps of Oklahoma they found while traveling across the country.

The OSU Museum of Art will present the historical exhibition 50 States: Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas and Wyoming, a series of installations that explore LGBTQIA+ histories and contemporary experiences in the United States. The exhibition opens Feb. 12 with a public reception Feb. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas and Wyoming represent the first four developments of the ongoing 50 States project. Artists Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin have traveled across the country to inspire their work, retracing historical events and discovering little known LGBTQIA+ histories predating the 1969 Stonewall riot that launched the modern LGBTQIA+ rights movement. The exhibition includes immersive multi-channel video installations, prints, photographs and intricately hand-cut works on paper which layer LGBTQIA+ imagery over “found” road maps the artists came across during their travels.

“These installations explore astonishing people and their stories, and the broader role that LGBTQIA+ folk have played in influencing the identities of each state,” Margolin said. “The 50 States project is an effort to make ballads out of real histories, and to use our power as artists to bring the emotional and complex humanity behind our community’s historical narratives.”

Based in Houston, Texas, interdisciplinary artists Vaughan and Margolin have had solo exhibitions at Devin Borden Gallery, Art League Houston and Aurora Picture Show. They are recipients of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and grants from the MAP Fund, The Idea Fund, and the Houston Arts Alliance. The artists are currently developing 50 States: Arkansas, which will debut March 2019 at The Invisible Dog in Brooklyn, New York.

50 States: Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas and Wyoming is on view at the OSU Museum of Art Feb. 12 - June 29, 2019. In conjunction with the exhibition, performances will explore the themes of each individual state installation. All exhibitions, performances and events at the museum are free and open to the public.

Performance Schedule

50 States: Oklahoma

Feb. 14, 6 p.m. at the OSU Museum of Art

50 States: Texas

March 26, 6 p.m. at the University of Central Oklahoma Melton Gallery

50 States: Colorado

March 27, 6 p.m. at Living Arts of Tulsa

50 States: Wyoming

March 30, 7:30 p.m. at Lake Carl Blackwell in Stillwater

Learn more: https://museum.okstate.edu/50-states

Class Tours: To schedule a class visit, teachers may contact Casey Pankey at 405-744-2781.

This project is provided in part by a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of OH or NEH.

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