The University of Arizona

Exhibition Features Portraits of LGBT Youth

By La Monica Everett-Haynes, University Communications | September 28, 2010

The work of Los Angeles-based photographer Jeff Sheng is on display at the UA.

An exhibition of portraits of LGBT student athletes is one of several events at the UA commemorating Coming Out Week., Jeff Sheng, who teaches photography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the keynote speaker for UA's Coming Out Week celebration, which will be in October.
An exhibition of portraits of LGBT student athletes is one of several events at the UA commemorating Coming Out Week., Jeff Sheng, who teaches photography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the keynote speaker for UA's Coming Out Week celebration, which will be in October.
An exhibition of portraits of LGBT student athletes is one of several events at the UA commemorating Coming Out Week., Jeff Sheng, who teaches photography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the keynote speaker for UA's Coming Out Week celebration, which will be in October.
An exhibition of portraits of LGBT student athletes is one of several events at the UA commemorating Coming Out Week., Jeff Sheng, who teaches photography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the keynote speaker for UA's Coming Out Week celebration, which will be in October.

Jeff Sheng, a photographer from Los Angeles, began capturing images of openly gay lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young athletes in 2003.

His subsequent exhibition, "Fearless," has received a broad reception, having been shown at more than 40 locations – at schools, the ESPN headquarters, last year's International LGBT Human Rights conference in Denmark and also at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

The exhibition opened at the University of Arizona this month and, in October, Sheng is expected to discuss his work on campus.

Both events coincide with other events at the UA commemorating Coming Out Week, which will be held Oct. 11-17. Also, National Coming Out Day is celebrated Oct. 11.

More than 100 portraits of the LGBT high school and college athletes are included, "almost all of whom stare straight on at the camera, their intense gazes conveying inescapable earnest and passion for their sports," said Marijana Rayl, a graduate student studying art history who also is the Union Gallery's graduate assistant.

Sheng teaches photography at the University of California, Santa Barbara and his work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Time, the Advocate, Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times. 

With his project, “Fearless,” Sheng enlists photography as a means to fight for social equality, Rayl said. 

The exhibition is on display at the UA's Union Gallery, located on the third floor of the Student Union Memorial Center, 1303 E. University Drive.

The gallery is open noon-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon-8 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The show will remain on display through Oct. 22 and Sheng is slated to give a presentation Oct. 14 at noon in Room A of the Student Recreation Center.

The lecture is part of the UA's OUT on the Job series, a monthly discussion with LGBT professionals who speak about work-related issues. 

Also on Oct. 14, Sheng is serving as the keynote speaker for UA's Coming Out Week, said Jennifer Hoefle, program director for UA's LGBTQ Affairs. He will present during another free event to be held at the Union Gallery. 

All events are free and open to the public.

Other LGBT-related events include the Rainbow Family Reception, which will be held Oct. 8, 3-5 p.m. during Family Weekend. To be held at the Union Gallery, the event is open to LGBT students, faculty, staff, their families and allied individuals.

Also, numerous units and organizations will be celebrating Transgender Awareness Week, to be held Nov. 15-20 at the UA.

The week includes a film screening of "Two-Spirit" to be held Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Gallagher Theatre, also located at the Student Union. The film documents the life of Fred Martinez, a Navajo boy who identifies with being a girl. 

Contacts

Mandy Garcia

Union Gallery

520 621-6142

mandyg@email.arizona.edu


Jennifer Hoefle

UA Office of LGBTQ Affairs  

520-626-1996  

jhoefle@email.arizona.edu