WHAT THE PLUS (+) June 20, 2020 – July 25, 2020
Guest curator Giovanni Spezzacatena (RABIDEYE.COM)

(download our press release and Giovanni’s Curator Statement)


  • The exhibition features works recently produced by 17 Powell River artists who self-identify as LGBTQ2+ as well as allies, across various media. The overarching theme is “Gradients” referring to the + in the acronym LGBTQ+ as representing a multitude of tonalities and textures that make up the spectrum of human gender and sexuality. We encouraged the political as well as the personal.
  • This was the first art show ever for 4 of our participating artists!
  • Our youngest artist in the show is 12 years old, but our ages range to beyond 65, all are living in the qathet region right now
  • Because of COVID-19 restrictions and awareness, we have taken the show online as well, through our artist galleries and interactive tour (available after July 25, 2020) at https://whattheplus.wordpress.com/artist-galleries/
  • We feature 2-d and 3-d work as well as sound art and video, colour and black and white photography, mixed media work, textile/ fibre arts, illustration, figurative as well as abstract work in various media!
  • LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — but the plus that is usually included after the acronym encompasses a list of other identities that fall under the queer umbrella. The + aims to include those who identify as queer, intersex, asexual, demisexual, non-binary, gender fluid, pansexual, polyamorous, questioning and many more. Get this handy alphabetical list of LGBTq2+ terms (pdf) or for a more concise list, visit  http://thepbhscloset.weebly.com/a-list-of-genders–sexualities-and-their-definitions.html
  • Essentially the theme is “What is your +?” I.e. What is your place within that spectrum, and what does that colour or range mean to you? What does the very classification mean to you? How do you interpret gender identification in an absurdist so-called late capitalist/ post-postmodern, fourth wave feminist moment in society, and in your art? How does your identity within the spectrum inform what you say and do in the world, and how does this reflect your concerns over your loved ones, your neighbourhood, your culture, the planet and the natural world?”
  • There was no age restriction and while there is a limit of 3 submissions per artist/group
  • Up to three works per artist were considered for the show.


  • We are partners with Powell River Pride Society! Check them out on Facebook and Twitter
  • Many thanks to The Art Centre and the professionals working there for their skills and time – especially Karen Kamon and Paula O’keefe.
  • The BC Arts Council For their support via a festival grant for ‘They Day’ Talk in July 17 at 7pm
  • qathet Community Justice for their generous and enthusiastic financial support without which the show would not have been feasible or even possible
  • Many thanks to The Art Centre and the professionals working there for their skills and time – especially Karen Kamon and Paula O’keefe.
  • Our media partners Powell River Pride Society! Check them out on Facebook and Twitter
  • Many thanks to The Art Centre and the professionals working there for their skills and time – especially Karen Kamon and Paula O’keefe.
  • We thank and acknowledge The Tla’amin Nation for hosting us on their traditional lands.

Important Dates

  • JUNE 20, 2020 is the show’s commencement at The Art Centre ~ Powell River Public Art Gallery – open Tues, Thurs, Sat 12-5pm
  • Online Galleries NOW OPEN.
  • We sought out original works by local artists who see themselves within the LGBTQ2+ spectrum (including allies), and works that evoke the concept of ‘gradient’. One could envision the concept of gradient in many ways; this below is meant as a brainstorming aide only, we look forward to your creative application well beyond these examples. Educators are very welcome to incorporate this show into an appropriate curriculum (let us know! whattheplusart@gmail.com)
    • Visually, possibly by making the incorporating of shades (adding black) or tints (adding white) to colour or maintaining a monochromatic theme can a big part of your visual design; subtleties like crosshatching, shading, anything that evokes the ‘in between’.
    • Colours might be of the tertiary (mixing primary with secondary colours on the colour wheel), drawn images might be doubled up or made ambiguous.
    • Photography might be double-exposed, abstract, using mainly shades or tints to evoke ‘the in-between’ nature of the range of +.
    • Representation (whatever the medium) may be as explicit or implicit as you like.
    • Video/film might incorporate dissolves or double/triple etc. exposures
    • Sound aspects or sound pieces might also involve blending and/or a panoply of sounds to evoke the expanse inherent to the ‘+’ experience (for example using voice – whether documentary style or scripted or experimental, or a mix) . More experimental pieces might focus on removing the beginning and end of a sound profile to create a composition of ‘in-betweens’. Music is definitely welcome, however you define that.
    • Sculpture or 3-d installation and performance might evoke ‘gradient’ and + through multiple views of a subject, or aspects of a familiar object as exploded and reconfigured.
    • Performance might introduce staging or technologies that play with extreme light or dark or even hiding/revealing the subject at intervals.
    • Text based works (including comics, zines, poetry, prose, non-fiction in any language) might play with words to access the ‘in-between-ness’ and uniqueness inherent to the ‘+’ in LGBTQ2+, and especially with poetry, or spoken word, to access the way words or non-words sound when spoken or sung or just read silently.
    • Video/ Film and Animation lend themselves well to developing ‘gradients’ as they are time-based/ audio-visual works that reply on persistence of vision (literally through having the viewer create motion in their own brain through the progression of images at 24/30 frames per second). This is not to mention the endless possibilities in story-telling, sound, mise-en-scène, etc. that may come into play.
    • Origins of the concept:
    • “ [The] deadlock of classification is clearly discernible in the need to expand the formula: the basic LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) becomes […] LGBTQQIAAP (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Allies, Pansexual). To resolve the problem, one often simply adds a + which serves to include all other communities associated with the LGBT community, as in LGBT+. This, however, raises the question: is + just a stand-in for missing positions like “and others,” or can one be directly a +? The properly dialectical answer is “yes,” because in a series there is always one exceptional element which clearly does not belong to it and thereby gives body to +.” SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK THE SEXUAL IS POLITICAL http://thephilosophicalsalon.com/the-sexual-is-political/