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Southern QTBIPOC Artists Uplift Their Communities in ‘Vanguard Social’ Collective Art Exhibition

[Fayetteville, North Carolina] – With the hopes of empowering and uplifting the QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous People of Color) experience, Southern Equality Studios (SES) and the Arts Council of Fayetteville|Cumberland County (Arts Council) have partnered together to highlight the works of 20 Southern QTBIPOC artists with Vanguard Social: Visions of Southern Queer Resistance exhibition on display May 27 through June 12, 2022, at The Arts Center, 301 Hay Street in Historic Downtown Fayetteville. This exhibit is free and open for public viewing.

Vanguard Social emphasizes the pivotal role of Black queer and trans creatives in the push for liberation. Their work builds upon the legacy of resistance, underscoring the need for solidarity throughout communities that are unequivocally marginalized by way of systemic oppression.

Modeled in tandem with a multimedia arts-based initiative (of the same name), the Vanguard Social exhibition empowers QTBIPOC communities and their allies to generate creative practices that are grounded in decolonized and queer-normative frameworks. The initiative delivers an intersectional and intergenerational approach to dismantling various forms of oppression that exist in society by employing transformative solutions that call for our collective liberation, all through creative means.

Both as an exhibition and an initiative, Vanguard Social recognizes the increasing need to generate creative spaces for communities that have been historically marginalized and disempowered by paying homage to the basic understanding that creativity can not only be used as a means of exploring the intersections of identity, but also as a catalyst to affect substantial change within society. Viewers of the exhibition are encouraged to thoroughly consider the role they personally assume in relation to movements that call for the decolonization of our social structures and the empowerment of underserved communities.”

Southern QTBIPOC Featured Artists

1. Angela Davis Fegan (she/her), Asheville, NC

2. Ayeola Omolara Kaplan (she/her), Atlanta, GA

3. Beaux Xavier (they/them), Atlanta, GA

4. Charmaine Hurst (she/her), Atlanta, GA

5. D Gonzalez (they/them), Asheville, NC

6. Demetria Marie Mosley (she/they), Columbia, SC

7. Gabby Groos (all pronouns), Tampa, FL

8. Gemynii (she/her), Durham, NC

9. Jae House (he/they), Tallahassee, FL

10. Joseph Campbell (he/him), Mebane, NC

11. Josiah Walker (he/him), Fort Washington, MD

12. Kassamira Carter-Howard (she/her), Washington, DC

13. Kenyatta Bosman (they/them), Louisville, KY

14. Lena Gray (she/her), Blacksburg, VA

15. Lennie Vernet (he/him), Smithfield, NC

16. Shaïna M. Caceres-Doliny (they/them), Greensboro, NC

17. Shanisia Person (they/them), Atlanta, GA

18. Terrell Washington (he/him), Atlanta, GA

Exhibition Curators

Carolyn Rose-Grayson


Fayetteville, NC

Carolyn Rose-Grayson is an emerging interdisciplinary artist whose work aims to explore the human condition and the intersections of identity in an ever-changing landscape. Carolyn’s latest project, Strange Fruit Zine, features a collection of works made by her and other artists that address themes of transgressive resistance in QTBIPOC communities.

Liz Williams


Asheville, NC

Liz Williams is the Director of Southern Equality Studios. Through means of photography, digital mixed media, and graphic design, Liz seeks to collaborate with the BIPOC communities to create work and conversations reflective of LGBTQ identity, as well as the nuances of our existence and resistance. In doing so, she hopes to create work that is a catalyst for empowerment, resiliency, and positive change.



Several artists and the curators featured in the Vanguard Social: Visions of Southern Queer Resistance Exhibit will be on-site and available for interviews during the Opening Reception on May 27 from 6p-8p at The Arts Center. ALL MEDIA IS WELCOMED TO ATTEND. Upon arrival, you’ll be introduced to the exhibit curators for guidance. To RSVP, contact Christy McNeil, Director of Marketing for the Arts Council, at for assistance.

Additional Information and Artist Bios:

Download Promotional Materials: Vanguard Social Exhibit Promo File

If you are unavailable to attend the Media Day but wish to gather statements from the artists or curators, contact Christy McNeil, Director of Marketing for the Arts Council.



Southern Equality Studios, an art-based program of the Campaign for Southern Equality, is a project that explores how the arts can be a catalyst and force in achieving lived and legal LGBTQ equality across the South. Since 2011, we’ve worked at the intersections of personal narrative and political organizing, working with LGBTQ people and families to share the stories of their lives, whether through the written word, film, or photography. We’ve seen the power that storytelling has had on changing hearts and minds here in the South and nationwide, and it’s a vital tool as we continue our work to build a South where all are free and affirmed to live as their authentic selves. Art and storytelling have long played a powerful and central role in movements for social justice, and we’re honored to be a part of that long legacy in our region.


The Campaign for Southern Equality is a non-profit based in Asheville, NC working to promote full equality for LGBT individuals and families across the South. The Campaign for Southern Equality is working to build a South where LGBTQ people are equal in every part of life. A South where your zipcode doesn't determine your rights. Where all of us are free to be who we truly are and love who we truly love.


Southern Fried Queer Pride (SFQP) is an Atlanta-based (on Muscogee & Cherokee land) organization empowering Black queer and QTPOC centered communities in the South through the arts. Southern Fried Queer Pride (SFQP) was born out of a lack of space for Black and brown queer folks to build community, a lack of queer art, and in opposition of the established narrative of Southern queers. The South is home to the country’s largest population of LGBTQIQAP2+ individuals, yet we’re confined to a narrative of stigma, statistics, and struggle. SFQP fights that notion, and is aiding in uplifting a honest narrative of resilience, rich history, and vibrance. SFQP envisions a world where Black and QTPOC artists and leaders are employed and owners in the regional South. Black and brown queer folks are often the drivers of culture, but often lack the autonomy and resources needed to support themselves and their communities. Our mission to uplift them, give them the platforms they need, and help create an environment and culture that sustains them.


The Arts Council of Fayetteville|Cumberland County is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization based in Fayetteville, NC that supports individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development, and lifelong learning through the ARTS. As a primary steward of public and private funding for arts, cultural, and historical activities in the Cape Fear Region, all affiliated programs of the Arts Council exemplify our 5 core values: Excellence, Accountability, Transparency, Collaborations, and Innovation.

Grants, programs, and services of the Arts Council are funded in part by contributions from community partners, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.


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