You may have seen some of these images at last years Richmond Pride – dinosaurs, in drag, or sipping a cocktail, or rocking cowboy boots.
“After a couple of drinks, we stumbled across the idea of “RawwrVA” – Richmond themed dinosaurs,” said artist Wolfe Hanson, a Richmond native. Hanson was asked by his creative friend, Xtina Finch, if he’d be interested in having a booth at RVA Pride 2012 – as to what he would sell, well, with RawwrVA in the works, gay-dinos became the final product, “It became a gay-dino subset of the collection.”
Hanson, who identifies as straight and calls himself an ally, admits the dinos are based on stereotypes in the LGBT community, but he meant it as a tongue and cheek expression.”I didn’t want to make fun of people,” he said, “I want this to be a celebration of people and their differences… I thought of the types of dinosaurs i wanted to draw, and then think of the personalities that fit those creatures the bets – either being ironic, or just a nice fit.”
When the prints went on sale at Pride, the reaction was great. folks bought them up left and right. “I just wanted it to be fun, and make folks smile… and I guess I hit the mark some how.”
Wolfe remembers one group of students from a local GSA that were particularly interested in the pieces. They were buying print after print, some for home, and some to decorate their class room. At one point, some of the kids parents came over and he got a little nervous. “At one point, the kids parents came over and I thought “Am I gonna get yelled at?” But no, they wanted even more posters – so it was a very positive reaction.”
The RawwRVA theme is something Wolfe continues to develop, he hopes to get a show together in the future that spans more than just the gay-dinos featured here. But until then, you can check out more of Wolfe’s work here. And you can buy t-shirts of the gay dinos here.
Local fashion designer and fiber artist Michael-Birch Pierce will be giving a talk at the gallery he curated named “Manufactured Faces, Performative Spaces” on Jan. 21 at Diversity Richmond. The name of the gallery is “about the queer experience of having to carefully manufacture and create your own identity and your own spaces is in [...]