Pride in Art

Happy Pride! 5 LGBTQ+ Events and Exhibitions to Help Get You into the Pride Spirit.

Written by Meg Parrott

A richly diverse city of makers, the microcosms within Manchester’s creative scene embody progressiveness of social attitudes, acceptance and change: and LGBTQ+ inclusion is no exception. Pride – for us queer identifying people – is a protest, a celebration, an opportunity to relish in freedom that has been strenuously fought for, and is being continued to do so. (On a lighter note, Pride is for us to have a bloody great time.) Throughout the year, and on Pride in particular, LGBTQ+ artists in Manchester are imperative arteries pumping blood into our thriving creative communities. Their art is as varied as those who make it; the minorities within minorities, the often underrepresented and the sometimes misunderstood.

Here are some of the events showcasing the works of these loud and proud individuals. They are multifaceted, unapologetic artists, activists, and incredibly talented people. They represent past, present and forthcoming queer creatives, who deserve our recognition and support during Pride, and always.

Rainbow Noir Exhibition Launch

A frequently underrepresented community, Rainbow Noir provides a welcoming space for, and by, queer identifying people of colour in Manchester, offering a platform for inclusion, art and activism. The exhibition, launching on August 24th at 4:30pm, collates image and language, resulting in an interactive installation. Alongside this, the collective also meet on the 2nd Thursday of each month on Sidney Street’s LGBT+ Centre in the heart of Manchester City Centre.

Manchester Central Library – August 24th – September 14th. FREE

Pearl Alcock

Credit: Whitworth Art Gallery

Exhibited by The Whitworth Gallery until January next year, is a body of work by Alcock in the forms of illustrative, textural pieces which convey a lifetime of creative making. Alcock, an openly bisexual POC artist (People Of Colour) and once illegal bar owner, was also a Windrush emigrant from Jamaica and the exhibition is her first stand-alone show in over ten years.

The Whitworth Gallery, from May 18th 2019 – January 12th 2020. FREE

Young Enigma: Workshops for Emerging LGBTQ+ Writers

Although this isn’t a visual arts based initiative, we are going to include it anyway! Superbia is a Pride run initiative that continues throughout the year, aiming to support, showcase and supplement creative LGBTQ+ events throughout Manchester. Taking place on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month until December, the Young Enigma writing workshops aim to provide a platform where people can network, socialise and write, in an LGBTQ+ inclusive space.

Tuesday 11th June – Tuesday 10th December 4:3pm – 5:30pm. Commonword, No. 3 Planetree House, M11JG, Manchester. FREE


Gracing the walls of The Weavers Factory till early September is Sina Sparrow’s ‘Poppycock!’. The faces of disco diva’s and pop art porn prints showcase the work of London DJ and illustrator. I won’t say too much, as a thorough review can also be found on the Cotton On MCR blog! A lively, animated exhibition, it shows the reality for many gay men, peppered with accents of humour and scandal, and content aside, bloody good art.

Due to the nature of Sparrow’s work, the show (and the review) is strictly 18+.

Saturday 3rd August – Sunday 1st September, The Weavers Factory, Oldham, OL3 6AU. FREE

Superbia Gallery: Artist Tour and Talk

Another community based event by the pride run initiative Superbia, the artist tour and talk offers a chance for local artists to promote and discuss their work to the public, in addition to a guided tour of the works in The Superbia Gallery. The event will feature accompanying performances and readings, and seems the perfect chance to support and discover queer artists; it will be sure to impress, and will be a great part of the round off to the Pride celebrations.

Sunday 25th August, 70 Oxford Road, Exhibition Space, 3pm – 4:30pm. FREE

Many other events can be found on the What’s On Calendar, as well as the websites and galleries mentioned above. From everyone at Cotton On MCR, we wish you a Happy Pride!

Our guest writer is Meg Parrott, a writer, art director and student at the Manchester School of Art. Her area of interests stem from subculture and British youth in particular, as well as the artist communities around her. Follow her on Instagram.

Featured image Credit: Manchester Pride

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