Artwork representing the LGBTQ+ community was displayed Tuesday during the Arts Fest as part of Pride Week.
The artwork shown was created by members of the LGBTQ+ community and Marian Grata, a freshman art major with a concentration in graphic design showed her pieces at the event.
Grata had three pieces for the campus community to see. Two of the pieces were previously created and portrayed drag queens, while the third piece was inspired by Taylor Swift’s music video “You Need to Calm Down,” which is about the LGBTQ+ community.
“It’s something that I had become interested in,” Grata said. “Since I am artistic, I wanted to display drag queens since they are very artistic in themselves.”
The concept of drag queens is well known to Grata as they know a drag queen through a mutual friend and asked to paint them.
“I wanted to paint a local queen rather than someone who was super famous,” Grata said. “She’s more relatable and like any normal person. I wanted to share her and get people to know her.”
Grata’s inspiration comes from being involved with the LGBTQ+ community. They get ideas by scrolling through their phone and following the LGBTQ+ community online.
“Most of my artwork is a force and expression of myself,” Grata said. “I like to put down what I enjoy. Normally, I would paint and draw the things that I like.”
Though, this is not the first time that people have seen Grata’s artwork. They did art shows in high school. Grata won an award at a juried show for their big drag queen piece, the first drag queen that Grata had drawn.
“I’m very proud of that,” Grata said. “It was my first drag queen and is probably one of my best pieces to date.”
Grata felt that the Arts Fest wasn’t just an art show, they saw it in an entirely new context with the LGBTQ+ theme and felt happy to have their artwork displayed in that way.
“For this Arts Fest, it was a special category of what I liked,” Grata said. “It focused on LGBTQ+ and I really like that as an outlet. Normally I’ve painted drag queens before and no one gets it. This I really liked, because people actually understood it more and could appreciate it in a different sense.”
The feedback on Grata’s work has been positive so far. They said people usually appreciate the details and tell them how good or cool their piece is.
As a freshman, Grata said that they are just beginning to get involved and hasn’t been involved in any LGBTQ+ organizations before RockOUT. Grata was glad that they were able to submit artwork to the Arts Fest, because they know that there wasn’t a lot submitted.
“I’m really glad that I was able to submit some things,” Grata said. “I want to keep being involved in the future because I think we need that.”
Grata hopes to keep contributing to RockOUT and the LGBTQ+ community in the future, with hopes to work on another piece to be displayed next year.
“I’m really glad that I was able to do this, be a part and contribute to it,” Grata said. “It means a lot. To see what it’s like, I definitely want to keep doing this in the future.”
To follow RockOUT and their events and meetings, follow them on Twitter @SRUrockOUT and on Instagram @srurockout.