2 Effective Ways of Celebrating Pride Through Art

Art With Purpose

2 effective ways of celebrating pride through art. Candita Clayton Gallery’s “Emerging Collectors Series” is celebrating with Pride. The Emerging Collectors Series was born from a desire to make fine art accessible to all, and Candita has crafted the perfect way to both spark interest in collecting and provide motivation to art enthusiasts to make that first step.

In celebration of Pride, KJ Shows has donated a piece that will be sold as a part of the series while a portion of funds from sales will be directly donated to QUEER|ART. QUEER|ART was launched in 2009 to support a generation of LGBTQ+ artists that lost mentors to the AIDS Crisis of the 1980s. By fostering the confident expression of LGBTQ+ artists’ perspectives, stories, and identities, Queer|Art amplifies the voice of a population that has been historically suppressed, disenfranchised, and often overlooked by traditional institutional and economic support systems.

2 Effective Ways of Celebrating Pride Through Art

KJ, who is a queer woman, found herself as a young person in a world that was not accepting of LGBTQ lifestyles. She often remembers a moment from her youth where she pleaded with her parents for a new pair of shoes that they wouldn’t buy her because they seemed “gay.”

This idea of a garment or accessory having the ability to encapsulate an entire part of someone’s essence (be it accurate or not) stuck with KJ.

After growing up into the successful artist and painter we know today, she confidently bought the shoes she wanted all those years without fear or trepidation. After having those shoes and watching them get slowly torn up, paint splattered and soul-worn, KJ saw an inherent beauty, and set out to use this inspiration for her continuing art practice.

KJ describes this ongoing series as: “paying homage to a variety of contemporary artists worldwide and being able to connect with them personally. Creating art is my greatest purpose, yet it can become isolating. This series gives me the opportunity to connect with other artists all over the world. To date I have painted over 100 shoe portraits of both world renowned and obscure artists who’s work I personally love. Including: Jamie Wyeth, John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Holzer, Mark Hogancamp, Ann Hamilton and Billy Childish and the list keeps growing.”

The “Pride for Lily” shoes painting was originally a commission by Candita Clayton herself to gift to her daughter, Lily, to celebrate pride and to begin Lily on her own art collecting journey.
To view more of KJ’s Shoe Portraits series, you can view her portfolio online here http://fearnoart.net/

KJ’s dedication to create portraiture via object is matched by her appreciation for the LGBTQ+ community. We thank KJ for sharing and donating her art to champion a cause that aids queer art and artists of all mediums, while also honoring her own personal narrative!

The “Pride for Lily” and “Love is Love” Shoes prints by KJ Shows are now available for purchase through Candita Clayton Gallery’s Instagram and   website and will be on sale all of June for Pride month. Each print will be offered in three sizes:11×14 in for $95

16×20 in for $27520×26 in for $495
The print is archival quality and will be hand signed. For every print sold, part of the proceeds will be donated to QUEER|ART. With multiple sizes and price points, Candita Clayton Gallery and KJ Shows hope to engage art collectors and enthusiasts, and to support this incredible cause that will aide other queer artists.

Be sure to follow CCG’s instagram to get your Pride month started with this fabulous print!

Pride Of Lily


KJ Shows was born in Seabrook, Texas in 1965.

In 1983 Shows enrolled at the Art Institute of Houston to study Visual Communications. After graduating in 1985 she worked for a silkscreen company in Houston, Texas. After four years Shows relocated to Sacramento, CA and worked for Anne Bruce Inc. Advertising as their Assistant Art Director. Shows was drawn to the creative environment and contemporary art scene in San Francisco so in 1989 she relocated there and worked for David Neuman Enterprises as a silk screener.

In 1990 Shows took a job with American Airlines as a Ramper so she would have flexible hours allowing her to devote more time to her painting. The job with American also had the added benefit of allowing her to travel the world to experience different cultures and draw inspiration from international art shows and galleries. During her time living in San Francisco, Shows participated in a number of group and solo exhibits, immersing herself in the cities art scene.

In 2001 Shows moved to Kennebunk, ME, located just over an hour north of Boston. Her new environment, home studio space and proximity to Boston invigorated her creative exploration. Shows began devoting more time to painting and participating in solo and group exhibits across the country. In 2012 Shows retired from American Airlines and now pursues her art full time.