Gender Unbound's Winter Art Market Returns

An afternoon to get close, get local, and support LGBTQIA artists

Winter signifies many things for everyone: a time for connection, the season to buy a bunch of cool shit for yourself and others, a chance to celebrate various holidays. For all that it is, a single definition can’t corner winter, much in the same way as singular definition eludes the qmmunity.

But fear not, Gender Unbound is putting on their second annual Winter Art Market to celebrate the many glittering facets of winter and queer artists alike while acting as both a connection point and an opportunity to buy rad queer creations.

A smaller scale event than Gender Unbound’s all-out extravaganza in September, the Winter Art Market represents a time for the qmmunity to get close and get local. Jae Lin, Gender Unbound’s board president and visual arts curator, points out that this means the winter event is “a lot more laid back with plenty of opportunity for attendees to connect with each other, build community, and just be in a relaxed space, bravely, as themselves.” Put on – with help from Grassroots Leadership, who’s letting Gender Unbound use their East Austin space for the event – the Winter Art Market is a place for queer creators to display and sell art within the community.

While there’s no lack of a queer presence in Austin, there is an element of difficulty in getting your pink dollar to go directly to the qmmunity members and their art. “Queer, intersex, and trans art markets offer our community the opportunity to shop for gifts that are explicitly made by, for, and about them,” Lin explains. “And on the other side of it, art markets are a great chance for our community and our allies to directly support local trans and intersex artists who create meaningful and beautiful work.”

In addition to being great as a way to provide financial support to the community, the Winter Art Market also shows the wide variety of identities within the LGBTQ rainbow and their inspiring creations, especially since many are not often on display. The event taps into the fundamental need for a community to make and share beautiful things as well as showcase important personal narratives. Lin drives home this point by stating that art is “a necessary expression and storytelling tool” for queers. They further explain that art “gives us the power to control our own narratives and share our own voices.” As a place where the sharing of artistic expression is centered on the queer community, be it trans, gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex, or anyone else producing art about their experiences, the Gender Unbound Art Market provides a uniquely warm and close knit atmosphere to do so. “For artists, having community space where our [work] can be highlighted can provide validation and affirmation for our craft,” Lin says. “For community members, being able to see ourselves, our experiences, and our feelings reflected in art can be incredibly healing and powerful.”

There’s much this fab annual event can provide to the queer soul in its second come round, including free hot chocolate and tea (it’s a sober shopping experience), and fresh batches of Gender Unbound’s “hand-crafted trans and intersex-themed ornaments,” which Lin says were “such a hit last year, we can’t wait for folks to see what we’ve come up with this year.”

Gender Unbound’s Winter Art Market takes place Sunday, Dec. 1, at Space12, 3121 E 12th St., from 1-6pm. Entry is free as is the warm beverages.

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Gender Unbound, Gender Unbound’s Winter Art Market, Jae Lin, Grassroots Leadership

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