FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — June is the start of Pride Month, so Fenix Arts and Mount Sequoyah Center got creative this year and held an LGBTQ+ art exhibition for the public.
One young artist Ambrose Henriksen says she’s leaving her mark on the world by creating masterpieces of art at just 13 years old.
“I love the color red, and so, you can see that, and like most of my pieces. And, I always get in the zone where the idea — it’s just like such a fun thing that is creating art,” Henriksen said.
Henriksen is part of the club Fenix Arts at Mount Sequoyah Center which gives LGBTQ+ youth a place after school every Tuesday to get creative.
“I was excited because, you know, I love doing art and I love being queer, I guess so, yeah, it was really exciting to see there was a program specifically for kids like me,” Henriksen said.
Henriksen says often LGBTQ+ youth go unseen, but for a change on Thursday night, it was nice to be the center of attention.
“It was really great to see, like, all the people I love in one room because of me, and they make me feel really seen,” Henriksen said.
Colleen Dantoni the organizer of Thursday’s art exhibition says they wanted to kick the beginning of Pride off right.
“We’re like, let’s make this exhibition about Pride, but about the journey of a queer artist,” Dantoni said.
Thursday’s art exhibition says the LGBTQ+ community deserves a safe space as they have been through a lot this year with book bans, laws, and everyday negativity.
“We uplift, our brothers and sisters who are trans and who are experiencing a lot of negativity currently for who they are and are fighting against that every day,” Dantoni said.
Colleen says safety is a big part of this program so artists like Ambrose can feel secure while doing the work she loves.
“It’s just this big group project to create this safe space, and I think for the kids, they really enjoyed having a place to come where they could socialize with their peers without having maybe these outside stressors,” Dantoni said.