Where Art and Community Meet: Tulsa’s Queer Art Market

Pictured above: Queer Art Market Organizers Hannah Abert (left) and Kelsey Partin (right)

The idea for a Queer Art Market first came to Kelsey Partin about a year ago. As Partin explained, it started off with a simple premise: “get everyone together so it’s not just a market, it’s a community.”

Partin, with the help of friend and fellow queer artist, Hannah Abert, turned thought into action. What started out as an inkling of an idea has manifested into a real community-based art event that will take place on October 16th in the parking lot behind Whittier Bar. The family-friendly event officially runs from 3-6 pm, though Partin and Abert encourage guests to continue the festivities at Whittier Bar after. The Queer Art Market will feature queer artists and makers peddling their goods, vegan baked items from The People’s Bakery, and a zine stand. 

The Queer Art Market, as Abert and Partin emphasized, is “by the people, for the people.” With this ethos at its core, the market encourages artists to connect with one another and build community. 

“Whenever artists come together, they can share resources and help each other do their own thing,” Abert said. “A lot of artists just don’t have space in the larger art community in Tulsa so we hope to create these little bubbles of art community where artists can get feedback on their stuff and hang out like-minded people.”

Partin and Abert both discussed the importance of communal conversations to the (often individualistic) artistic process.  “Sometimes it’s nice to get out and talk to other artists,” Partin said. “It can help to see through other people’s eyes and make shit together and get positive feedback,” Partin said. 

Queer artists themselves, Partin and Abert both understand the struggle of finding a platform to show their work. With the Queer Art Market, they hope to create a platform from the bottom-up. 

“In Tulsa there are not a lot of opportunities unless you’re in with the arts foundations,” Abert said. “It’s hard for young queer artists to get opportunities. We just wanted to make a space for people to represent themselves and their art.”

Show your support by going the Queer Art Market on October 16th. Show your support to the artists, buy some art, and get some good vegan baked goods while you’re there! 

Hannah Abert (left) and Kelsey Partin (right)