Wayne State students have founded a student organization with the goal of creating a space for LGBTQ+ students and allies to practice their art in an inclusive environment.
The Queer Creator’s Guild is a queer art student organization with the same leadership as Joining Intersectionality, Gender, Sexuality, and Allies at Wayne, a social queer club.
President Jamie Pittinos said the guild is dedicated to providing a space to practice art comfortably and express themselves freely.
“We saw this availability on campus for an organization that's art-related,” Pittinos said. “So we wanted to create a safe space for people to create art because some don't feel comfortable doing so in a lot of their classes.”
Pittinos and QCG Vice President Laura Rosales said they helped form the organization in this summer.
Rosales said the guild is aimed to support queer students and celebrate their artistic expressions of personal life experiences, without judgment.
“The art guild supposed to be about expressing yourself artistically and having your own voice and your feelings heard; especially within the context of your queerness,” Rosales said. “It’s special because it follows a different story that a lot of people might not know and it allows for like your own unique narrative to shine.”
Simone Chess, director of the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program, said the department is supportive of LGBTQ+ student organizations on campus in the efforts engaging students outside of the classroom.
“What’s nice about the Queer Creator’s Guild is that it’s a space where people can come to be creative and have that artistic time outside of their other commitments on campus,” Chess said.
Rosales said the organization is open to all students of all majors.
“A lot of us are art majors, but a lot of us aren't,” Rosales said. “For people like me, I'm not an art major, so it's a fun way that I can do something different and I find it pretty liberating.”
Pittinos said the organization is currently working on creating a zine, a small circulation of published texts and images, that portrays historical events and figures from the LGBTQ+ community.
Rosales said the zine will include a variety of artistic styles from all its contributing members.
Pittinos said zines are a form of creating art through self-expression and creativity.
“Self-publishing, in general, was just really important in history to gain rights,” Pittinos said. “When we talk about this metaphysical space and meeting physically isn't possible for people; so extending that and stretching out your creativity is really important in creating a zine.”
Pittinos said QCG will create monthly zines and accept most art forms as submissions for zines until Jan. 17, 2023. A celebration will be held a week after to celebrate the completion of the historical zine, Pittinos said.
Rosales said since starting the organization this semester, it has been fun.
“We are able to express our queerness and art through this project and club,” Rosales said. “It’s a nice way to vent, be around people just like yourself and have a good time.”
Chess said the valuable part of having LGBTQ+ student organizations is for LGBTQ+ identifying students to be together and share experiences.
“It’s important to find ways to be together and to celebrate our visions of the world and art is one way we can do that,” Chess said.
Grace Reyes is a contributing writer for The South End. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover photo provided by Laura Rosales.