A review of the exhibition Stonewall 50 at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston, originally proposed by Bill Arning and re-structured by Dean Daderko upon Arning’s departure from the CAMH.
In late June of 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a prominent gay bar in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. This raid sparked a series of demonstrations by an outraged, oppressed community, often referred to as the Stonewall Riots or Stonewall Uprising, that are seen as the precursor to the Gay liberation movement and the continued fight for LGBT rights. 50 years later, the Contemporary Arts Museum hosts Stonewall 50, an exhibition conceived by Bill Arning and later curated by Dean Daderko that purports itself to be “a snapshot of the complexion, interests, and activities of a diverse group of queer and allied artists.”
While the exhibition seemingly accomplishes what it sets out to do, it falls a bit flat and feels only vaguely linked to its namesake, becoming more of a group exhibition of notable Queer artists when perhaps there should be more dialogue between the work and the events.