Italiano (Italian)

MAY 12, 2023 – AUGUST 20
San José Museum of Quilts & Textiles: Turner, Gilliland, Finlayson and Porcella Galleries

Curated by JOHN CHAICH


Queer Threads is a traveling group exhibition and coffee-table book exploring contemporary lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer experiences through fiber and textile traditions. This latest iteration spotlights 35 artists with roots in the American West, Northwest, and Southwest, as well as work from the museum’s collection. From the impeccably finished to the intentionally raw, many works are fully executed through thread-based processes such as crochet, embroidery, quilting, and weaving, while others interact with animation, clay, light, metal, and photography. Each artist’s use of material choices and technical finishes suggest poetic and subversive intentions.

Dating from 1972 to 2023, the works assembled position queerness within the history of domestic crafts and fiber arts while responding to their inherent gender connotations, feminist herstories, cross-cultural intersections, and tactile experiences. Themes of history and futurity, intimacy and topography, physicality and spirituality, vulnerability and security, labor and leisure, as well as individuality and community, emerge across the four galleries. Here, queerness serves as a point of both connection and tension.

Although all of the featured artists are LGBTQ-identified or allies, not all of the content explicitly is—and that’s perfectly queer in this context. By breaking through binaries of art and craft, male and female, gay and straight and beyond, the exhibition embraces differences and encourages experimental approaches to hand and machine textile practices.

Curated by John Chaich with the support of Ryan Patrick and Anke Larsen-Yskapm. Image credits, left to right: Maria E. Pineres, Human Nature, 2018, courtesy of the artist and Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles; Dani Lopez, Tryin’ to hold it together, 2020, courtesy of the artist; Alexander Hernandez, Hide and Seek (detail), 2021, courtesy of the artist.


AIDS Memorial Quilt, Indira Allegra, April Bey, Diedrick Brackens, Craig Calderwood, Chiachio Giannone, Gregory Climer, Lola Corona, Ben Cuevas, Rakeem Cunningham, TJ Dedeaux-Norris, Jovencio de la Paz, Erika Diamond, Ricki Dwyer, Andrés Payan Estrada , James Gobel, Harmony Hammond, Angela Hennessy, Alexander Hernandez, Kang Seung Lee, Aubrey Longley-Cook, Dani Lopez, Richard Johnathan Nelson, Jasmine Nyende, Ramekon O’Arwisters, Joel Otterson, Maria E. Pineres, Robb Putnam, RoCoCo Projects , Erik Scollon, Sunny Smith, Molly Vaughan, Nathan Vincent, Angie Wilson, Mikki Yamishiro.