Prairie Queer

Fri December 7 - Mon January 28, 2019
Prairie Queer

Arts Commons Presents
Lightbox Studio

Prairie Queer
Mike Hooves

Lightbox Studio (Beside the Martha Cohen Theatre) 
Dates: December 7, 2018 - January 28, 2019
Artist Reception: TBD

I want to create portraiture drawings of young queer Calgarians--many of whom are my friends
and acquaintances. I’d like to create this series of drawings to record and honor living LGBTQ2+
artists in our city at this time, and further contribute to the history of the Prairie Queer identity.
The portraiture will be collaborative and intimate, with subjects choosing where they’d like to be
drawn and what objects they’d like involved in their portrait. The size (subjects would be larger
than scale) challenges the power dynamic between viewer and subject matter, while allowing me
to accurately detail the work. I also chose the larger size to challenge myself, as Lightbox Studio
physical studio space will allow me to work in sizes I shy away from due to space restrictions in
my practice.

Work is a step-based process. I will do a preliminary in-person sketch of the subject, refine the
sketch independently, and then create the final drawing. During the first session I’d photograph
the subject for reference and also record our conversation digitally. Throughout this process I will
only be using marker, making process visible throughout the development of the work, while
keeping the essence of the work raw. The zine would include preliminary sketches of each
subject, along with excerpts from recorded conversations. It will be small format, black and
white, and twenty-pages.

To activate the space, living artifacts such as clothing, makeup, literature, and other items
precious to other queer folx would be displayed in the space.

Artist Biography: 

Mike Hooves is a prairie queer artist currently based in Calgary, Alberta. They are an illustrator,
animator, graphic designer, and filmmaker who received a Bachelor of Design in Illustration from
ACAD in 2016. Since graduating, Mike has worked with collectives and grassroots organizations
like Buds Collective, Quickdraw Animation Society, Herland Mentorship Program, Treaty 7 film
Collective and The Calgary Queer Arts Society. Mike’s recent films POLYMORPH and G.E.M.
have been showcased in Feminist Queer festivals like Montreal Feminist Film Fest, Vancouver
Queer Film Festival, Leeds Queer Film Festival, and The Palace International Film
Festival --reaching new audience nationally and internationally. Mike’s artistic practice explores
what it means to exist as a femme inside and outside of their body, and an unpolished
expression through graphic colour to allow for genuine emotion to stay intact, and connected.
When not painting, Mike is an enthusiastic birdwatcher and avid thrift shopper.


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