Artist Talk | Sarah Zapata

Sarah Zapata: In So the roots be known
August 18, 2023 – July 24, 2024
Kemper Museum, Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Video (35:23): Artist talk by Sarah Zapata about her queer art exhibition ‘In So the roots be known’.

Kemper Museum writes: ‘In So the roots be known,  [Sarah] Zapata centers local lesbian and feminist histories from her research at the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. In part, this installation pays homage to Womontown, a group of primarily queer women who established a revolutionary community in the Longfellow (Dutch Hill) neighborhood of Kansas City in the late 1980s. Zapata’s use of abstracted tulip forms and shades of lavender draw inspiration from the Womontown banner while simultaneously evoking histories of queer resistance, as the color lavender came to be associated with gay and lesbian communities, and thus stigmatized, in the mid-twentieth century. Ladders — a recurring motif in Zapata’s work alluding to ideas of fantasy and transitional spaces — here make reference to the national lesbian magazine, The Ladder (1956–1970), founded by the Daughters of Bilitis and later operated remotely by recognized writer and publisher Barbara Grier in Kansas City.’

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