Asian Arts initiative premieres 'Unity at the Initiative', showcasing art by queer and trans artists of color

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Asian Arts initiative is premiering a major exhibition showcasing art by queer and trans artists of color.

The exhibition is called Unity at the Initiative, and it was inspired by the artwork of Jeffrey Cheung, working with an Oakland, California-based queer skate collective called UNITY.

"Their project and mission, which is to create more space for trans people of color to gather and to learn how to make art, music, convene and skateboarding happens to be a really big activity for them," says Asian Arts Initiative Executive Director, Anne Ishii.

The exhibit includes a skate park that is open to the public along with visual and performing arts and new media.

"Most importantly, posters and prints," Ishii says with the idea that "anybody really can come participate in."

The idea is to celebrate queer and trans-bodies, a topic explored in Cheung's work.

One of the highlights is an interactive capsule set up in the back of the Asian Arts Initiative that is an exact reproduction of the collective's studio.

"We've covered all of the walls in flyers and posters and drawings, pieces made by members of his community and our community.

For Ishii, the project's overarching intention is to increase representation of queer and trans bodies of color.

"It's a much more diverse community than we think, and to be able to share and see the whole spectrum is really important," Ishii says.

Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine Street, Philadelphia, Pa 19107
Through May 1st, reservations required
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