LGBTQ Iowa Archives & Library


Currently on view:

Long Lost a gallery show by Quelle. April 15th -May 15th, 2021

Show Introduction

Do you know when you are home?

For the nearly 300 million tons of municipal garbage generated in the United States per year, home is ambiguous. The products we purchase often only share our space for mere minutes before they are consumed as intended and disposed of, averaging 4.9 pounds of waste per person each day. These objects already have lives lived and stories to tell; objects that visit us all briefly, but never deemed worthy to collect and cherish. Yet many of our most prized belongings are comprised of materials identical to the junk, but are perceived as valuable simply because we have assigned a different meaning to them. Anything deemed worthless, regardless of whether that is empirically true, is left to lie forgotten beneath our feet and at the bottom of the ocean. What happens when we stop wasting, and begin making space for what was to be wasted? All that which would have been lost, could find their way home.

As part of its 2021 programming, The LGBTQ Iowa Archives and Library (LIAL) is operating a small gallery space. From January 15 through July 15 of 2021, the gallery hopes to host one solo show of visual artwork per month by an LGBTQ-identified Iowa artist.

What do we mean by “Iowa artist”? Artists from or living in the state of Iowa.

What do we mean by “visual artwork”? Media include, but are not limited to, painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, installation, book art, and performance.

What do we mean by “LGBTQ-identified”? Artists who identify as queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual,  pansexual, and/or transgender, non-binary, agender, intersex, bigender, two-spirit, or gender fluid.

What do we mean by “solo show”? A body of related works by a single artist.

Curation: India Johnson (she/her) has volunteered to curate our first six months of gallery shows. India is an Iowa-City based artist who holds an MFA from the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

Information about the space:

Located at 120 N Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52245, our gallery space was previously a room in the Public Space One Press Co-op. We patched and re-painted the walls in January 2021; however, the space is not as refined as some gallery spaces. Here are photos of the first show we installed in the space, by Iowa artist Anne S. Rogers. Please review these photos, and the gallery map below, to assess whether the space is a good fit for your work.

Artist compensation: 

LIAL is applying for grants in order to pay an honorarium to artists. In the meantime, this is not a paid exhibition opportunity.

However, LIAL will support exhibiting artists in the following ways, if desired:

  • Installation assistance from trained art handling and library professionals
  • Lunch delivery on installation day
  • Printed exhibition labels
  • Poster design & printing
  • Promotion of show on LIAL’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, and through our email and snail mail newsletters
  • Documentation of show (artist will receive raw + edited files)

Artists commit to:

Providing LIAL with the following info about two weeks before opening:

  • Brief artist bio (about 50 words)
  • Show title
  • A few of images of the artist’s work

Providing LIAL with info for exhibition labels about one week before opening:

  • Title and medium of each piece the artist is likely to include
  • Any additional wall text the artist wishes to display, such as an artist statement

Installing and de-installing their work

    • De-installation process may include spackling + sanding
    • We have spackle, paint, and an orbital sander for this purpose

In alignment with the mission of LIAL, we kindly request that each artist who exhibits with us participate in an oral history interview to help us capture a breadth of queer experiences in Iowa. If the artist consents to be interviewed, an oral history volunteer from LIAL would conduct a recorded interview with the artist.

Depending on their preferences, the artist may also wish to give an artist talk. However, artists are not required to do so. To a greater extent than in other settings, some artists who exhibit at LIAL may wish to address aspects of LGBTQ identity and experience in relation to their work, although an artist talk at LIAL may focus solely on the artist’s work.

Exhibiting at LIAL is probably the best fit for emerging artists who:

  • Desire the experience of installing a solo show, perhaps for the first time
  • Would like to practice giving an artist talk in an informal, inclusive community setting
  • Desire connection to the queer community in Iowa
  • Are interested in exhibiting adjacent to a library and archives space

There is no formal application process. If you are an LBGTQ-identified Iowa artist who is interested in any of the above dates, contact our volunteer curator (currently, India Johnson) at You may wish to include a link to a website, if you have one, or send her a few images of your work. She will then set a time to discuss with you via phone or zoom.

To download a PDF version of this page, click here.


120 N. Dubuque St.
Wesley Center – Lower Level
Iowa City, IA 52245

Monday 1-8pm
Tuesday 4-8pm
Wednesday 1-8pm
Thursday 4-8pm
Friday closed
Saturday 11am-3pm
Sunday 11am-3pm

Mailing Address
PO Box 2779
Iowa City, IA 52244

(319) 512-5615

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