Midsumma Festival’s Visual Arts Exhibitions to Excite the Creative Thinker

Unearth the eccentricity of artists across the nation with eye-opening exhibitions during Midsumma Festival 2019. The creative focus is on unconventional perspectives on the world and self-actualisation through arts. Some highlights are:

Queer Economies – Call for submissions                                                                                                                                                   

Queer Economies takes its cue from the handmade artworks that queer artist and activist David McDiarmid gifted to friends and loved ones during his lifetime. This open call-out is for a community-led exhibition at St Heliers Street Gallery, Abbotsford Convent, inviting artists and non-artists alike to contribute an artwork ‘gift’ to someone to whom they are grateful. Artworks submitted will be displayed in the exhibition before gifting them to their designated recipients.

Curator Abbra Kotlarczyk said: “The open-call exhibition is an opportunity to invite members of the LGBTQIA+ community to come together, in celebration of queer collectivity, exchange and world-making, resulting in an intimate display of works that are testament to the kinds of non-monetised exchanges that sustain queer communities.”

**All artworks must be registered and received by Midsumma Festival by Monday 17 December 2018. Entry is free, register here. Exhibition: Abbotsford Convent. 21 January – 9 February

Widgets and Doohickies from a Camp Toolbox (pictured: image – Gerwyn Davies)

Curated by Dr Ray Cook and Dr Alison Bennett, the exhibition is about changing the conventional and mainstream hierarchies of value and taste. Transformed by new social attitudes with levels of legitimacy that would be unthinkable only a few years ago, the exhibition uses working models as tools for artists to subdue the traditional toolbox of fatalism, euphemism and exaggeration. RMIT – Project Space. 31 January – 2 March

Personal Touch                                                                                                                                                                                               

Throughout history, self-portraiture has provided a means for artists to examine their place in society. Personal Touch provokes the much-needed discussion on the problematic binaries of gender and identity and explores the evolving nature of selfhood at a time when the political status quo fails to do so. Incinerator Gallery. 22 January – 17 February

Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize                                                                                                                                                     

 Now in its fourth year, the Midsumma and Australia Post Art Prize is a widely recognised award for the visual arts. The collection of queer artists from across the country give insights to their perspectives of the world and their worlds. The competition is open to early-career and established artists working in any medium from all across the country. The finalists’ artworks will be made available to the public for viewing and voting for The People’s Choice award. No Vacancy – QV Gallery. 22 Jan – 3 Feb

Date Night at Heide – Social                                                                                                                                                                         

Heide puts the ‘art’ in heart for a date night in its romantic Heart Garden. The garden invites both couples and arty singles to a night of cocktails and cultured conversations. The night also includes a performance by The Huxleys and an exclusive access to the exhibition House of Ideas, the original home of John and Sunday Reed and incubator of artistic passions. Heide Museum of Modern Art. 10 February 5:30 – 7pm

Let’s Eat Cake                                                                                                                                                                                               

Australians have for more than fourteen years been taking to the streets to march for the recognition of equal rights for marriage in Australia. Melbourne social documentary photographer Maylei Hunt’s photographic series documents the Sydney and Melbourne LGBTQIA+ communities, as well as allies, marching together for the acknowledgement of equal rights. This exhibition will celebrate our first year of YES, while acknowledging that there are those in the Australian queer community who still don’t have marriage equality. The book launch of LET’S EAT CAKE will be held opening night. Melbourne City Library Gallery. 16 January – 9 February

Midsumma Festival is Victoria’s premier LGBTQIA+ cultural festival, made for and by communities who live with shared experiences around diverse gender and sexuality. Midsumma works year-round to provide artists with support and tools to create, present and promote their work at the annual festival.