“QC Pride Photographs by Andy Abeyta,” an online exhibition through August 2.

Online Exhibit: Through Sunday, August 2

Hosted by: Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA

People gather in celebration with friends and strangers alike on the streets of downtown Davenport while rainbow banners wave behind them. Taken during the 2019 Pridefest, these images by photojournalist Andy Abeyta document one of the many events planned by Quad Cities Unity Pride during its annual QC Unity Pride Week, and can currently be viewed online in the Figge Art Museum's virtual exhibition QC Pride Photographs by Andy Abeyta, on display through August 2.

President of QC Pride Tee LeShoure states that the organization is “dedicated to promoting awareness and visibility of the LGBTQ+ community in the Quad Cities region. Since 2017, our organization has put a spotlight on the LGBTQ+ community, showcasing their talents, stories, and lives." Of the array of events that QC Pride organizes, including a parade, Vice-President Michelle Royal states, “We are celebrating our history, where we are and where we are going … .”

The first pride parades commemorated the 1969 Stonewall riots, an uprising of Stonewall Inn patrons and community members in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan. The community joined in solidarity against pervasive harassment and violence by the New York Police Department. Since then, the pride movement has grown and evolved, remaining rooted in ideals of cultural equality, self-expression, and the continuing struggle for equal rights and representation for the LGBTQ+ community.

Photography is a powerful medium for spreading awareness. Rather than words on a page or a computer monitor, we see people gathered in struggle or celebration – humanizing issues that concern us all. Photography also gives these events a life that lasts long after the crowds disperse. Whether pride parades, women’s suffrage marches, civil rights demonstrations, or events like QC Unity Pride Week, these images speak to our common history and the society in which we live.

The joyous and vibrant photographs on display is QC Pride Photographs by Andy Abeyta are powerful portraits of pride in our community. Abeyta received his BA degree in journalism from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. He was previously on staff at the Quad-City Times, and currently works for The Gazette in Cedar Rapids. As a photojournalist, Abeyta is invested in documenting and sharing the stories of others through his work, and has stated, “I hope for viewers these images reflect the significance of the LGBTQ+ community not only in the Quad-Cities, but throughout society. It is the greatest pleasure of my career to showcase and share the lives of those around me. I would encourage any viewer to seek a new experience in community wherever they may find it.”

QC Pride Photographs by Andy Abeyta will be available for online viewing through August 2, and can be seen by visiting FiggeArtMuseum.org.

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