Club Q Memorial Art Project pieces unveiled

On April 23, 2024, more than 130 students, staff, faculty and community members joined the UCCS Kraemer Family Library and MOSAIC and LGBTQ+ Resource Center in the unveiling of the library’s newest art collection. The exhibit, mainly grant-funded by the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, consisted of two art pieces that memorialize the lives lost and forever changed by the Club Q shooting that took place on the evening of November 19, 2022.

The project, led by Joseph Bono of the Kraemer Family Library and Rafael Norwood of MOSAIC and LGBTQ+ Resource Center, began in spring 2023. Their intent was to enshrine this moment in Queer Colorado Springs history and all those impacted so they are never forgotten by future UCCS generations to come.

A working group for this project was formed early on, and this project committee consisted of Joseph Bono, Tabatha Farney, Rhonda Glazier, Rafael Norwood and Riho Sakai. This committee met regularly and consulted with departments across campus including Facilities, Visual and Performing Arts, the Galleries of Contemporary Art, Women’s & Ethnic Studies, and the Division of DEI. There was also student representation from Student Government Association, the Queer Student Alliance and QTPOC and Two-Spirit.

“Having art pieces on campus, at pretty popular spaces no less, that are explicitly for LGBTQ+ communities and allies, is extremely important to me as someone who is openly queer,” said UCCS Junior and QTPOC and Two-Spirit President, Kane Ruiz (any pronouns). “In the midst of anti-LGBTQ+ bills and rhetoric plaguing our country currently, displaying these pieces on campus sends the message that queer people at UCCS are valued. It gives me hope that this is just the beginning; hope that LGBTQ+ communities at UCCS continue to persist and be highlighted throughout campus.”

Seth M. Porter, Dean of the Library and Senior Executive Director, emphasized the significance of the Club Q Memorial Art Project to the community, stating, “This project is a crucial part of our collective healing, serving both as a memorial to the victims and a symbol of our community’s resilience and solidarity.”

The exhibit consists of two art pieces. One is called the Progress Flame of Unity: A Community Mosaic designed by artists Cathy Tomovich and Laurel Bidwell. This art piece is in the Kraemer Family Library near the second floor apse and west entry.

The other piece is called City of Shining Queer Resistance, designed and created by artists Wyatt Kent and Z Williams. This piece is in the University Center, on the wall directly across from the entry to the UCCS MOSAIC Lounge and LGBTQ+ Resource Center (UC 110). Both artworks are publicly accessible to UCCS students, staff, faculty and community members during operating hours for both the University Center and Kraemer Family Library.