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Robert Giard, 1985. Photo: Toba Tucker. Courtesy of the Estate of Robert Giard.

Queer|Art and Robert Giard Foundation Launch Grant for LGBTQ Photographers

Queer|Art has partnered with the Robert Giard Foundation to revamp its signature fellowship. Established in 2008 to support the creation of new work by emerging LGBTQ photographers, the prize was awarded to artists Sonali Gulati, Molly Landreth, Carmen Oquendo-Villar, and Ka-Man Tse, among others. Applications for the new $10,000 grant can be found on QueerArt’s website| and will be accepted from September 30 to November 24. The recipients of the relaunched award will be chosen a panel of judges comprising Los Angeles–based artists Paul Mpagi Sepuya and Guadalupe Rosales; artist and Brooklyn native Elle Pérez; and artist, writer, and curator Efrem Zelony-Mindell, and will be announced in March 2020.

Born in 1939, Giard photographed more than five hundred LGBTQ writers and activists over the course of his career. A selection from this project, “Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers,” was published in 1997 by MIT Press and lead to a groundbreaking exhibition at the New York Public Library the following year. Giard’s work can be found in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, the San Francisco Public Library, the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and the Schlesinger Library; his complete archive, including work books and ephemera, can be found in the American Collection of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.

“Some have compared being gay to being left-handed,” Giard wrote in the introduction for Particular Voices. “I tend to believe that sexual orientation cuts a little more deeply into your life. How can it not count to recognize at some level, no matter how submerged or close to the surface, that for many people you are somehow less—less man or less woman, less human, less serious, less significant, less deserving? Can it really make no difference realizing that some feel subtle or downright contempt for who you are, even hate you, and are convinced that you have no history, no story worth telling or worth listening to, that you are not even out there in the world, existing? . . . I want the world to know that we are here, have a past, and many stories to tell.”

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