Rick Darnell grew up in North Carolina, and has made art since he was a youth; Mr. Darnell holds a BFA in Theater Design and Technology from UNC-Greensboro and was a teaching assistant while in the MFA Studies Program at Bennington College. He danced with the HIGH Risk Group 1983 – 1999, and toured nationally and regionally, often performing in venues as diverse as the SF Opera House, abandoned buildings, protest events and in many cities’’ streets.
From 1995 through 1998 Mr. Darnell was the Facility and Production Coordinator for the Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts. The Sims Center was then home to the San Francisco Gay Pride Marching Band, and presented the original AIRSPACE, the original Queer Artist In Residence (AIR) program. Mr. Darnell worked at Hospitality House’s Community Arts Program for 10 years, as a studio assistant and later as the program manager. From 2009 -2011, Mr. Darnell was the Gallery Curator for the North of Market/ Tenderloin Community Benefit District. Currently Mr. Darnell is the Project Coordinator for the new Tenderloin Art Lending Library, TALL.
Sapphic Lasers is a queer, dapper punk long-haired butch/boi with country roots and a citified mouth and is one half of queer electro band, GAYmous. She is a songwriter/musician and performer with over 17 years of experience in composition and performance, both solo and in groups. Her music has been featured on MTV's Road Rules, XLR8R.com, KAWL, KPFA, KPSU in Portland, The SF Bay Guardian's “Noise” music blog, The SF Chronicle's “Off the Record” blog, SFStation.com, Berkeley Community Media TV, and has recently been licensed in Kink.com's Foot Worship: Lesbian Footdance film, as well as Scary Cow Production's Up and Out. As frontperson of Bay Area band, Elle Niño, SL was selected as a finalist for the San Francisco Music Video Race in 2012. In 2013, she was commissioned to write and perform a hymn for Annie Danger's acclaimed performance art piece, The Church of the Holy Fuck presented at CounterPulse. SL was selected as a featured performer for the 2013 Butch Voices conference in Oakland, the largest annual gathering of masculine-of-center queers coming together to explore issues that affect masculine-of-center communities.
Elizabeth “Oscar” Maynard
Elizabeth “Oscar” Maynard has a self-designed B.A. in Visual Art, Psychology, and Gender Studies from Antioch College. They have an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in Printmaking. Self taught and formally educated, Oscar has historically made stencil & spray paint pieces looking at gender within the queer community. Their work has been shown at Somarts, Mission Cultural Center, and in a number of the National Queer Arts Festival shows. They are a proud Queer Cultural Center Grantee for a 2014 show called Breaking Code, looking at mental health and madness through a queer lens. They are an intern at Kala Art Institute as well as studio artist at the Compound Gallery & Studios. In their spare time they nerd out about gender, feed wild animals in local parks, carve gourd luminaries, and make new things from the Southern Living magazine recipes section. You can see more of their own work at: www.countrycounterculture.com
Lex Non Scripta
Lex Non Scripta is a cut-paper artist, printmaker, illustrator, activist, and independent curator, with a creative focus heavily informed by social justice/practice/responsibility, transgressive and liberatory politics, and community building. Lex is co-founder of Aorta Magazine: for/by/about women and queers in the arts, former resident artist at Million Fishes Arts Collective, and a former fellow in the Emerging Arts Professionals SF fellowship program. For the past several years, Lex has focused their energy on creating free, collaboratively-produced, community focused art events, acting as a key organizer for Bring Your Own Queer/BYOQ: a free art & music festival in 2009 and 2010, the Mission Queer History walking tour in 2010, Dirtstar 2011 in conjunction with the National Queer Arts Festival and Luggage Store Gallery/Tenderloin National Forest, and Best Revenge, a multi-venue, single day spectacular on community resistance that featured 35 artists, musicians, and performers for the NQAF 2012. In July 2011, Lex was awarded a residency at Signal Fire Arts in the Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon. In 2012-13, Lex sat on the coordinating committee for the Transformative Arts Practice Space – a hub for creative practice in which participants are invited to examine the roles of artists in intersections of activism, as part of the Allied Media Conference in Detroit. Lex curated Passage & Place, an exploration of borders, migration, incarceration, and freedom for National Queer Arts Festival 2014 – and is an active participant in Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' Field of Inquiry: Body Politic think tank. www.lexnonscripta.com
Manish Vaidya is the founding Artistic Director of Peacock Rebellion, a group of queer and trans cultural workers and healers who make art for social justice. Check them out at www.peacockrebellion.org.