Jenny Q and Sam Kirk are the fabulous artist couple behind the gorgeous new mural at The Brooklyn LGBT Center. If you haven’t been to The Brooklyn LGBT Center, please join us at their next mixer on March 1! You can meet your Brooklyn queer family, and check out the stunning mural in person. GO is so excited to spend Seven Minutes in Heaven with Jenny Q and Sam Kirk!
GO Magazine: Who are you and what do you do?
Jenny Q: I am an Afro-Latina artist, born in Brooklyn, raised around the world. I create art through multiple platforms via doodles, painting, crafts and dance.
Sam Kirk: I am a Mixed Race, Latina, born and raised in Chicago with lots of travel and moves in between. As a multidisciplinary artist, I create with a variety of materials, but focus mostly on murals and painting.
Sam & Jenny: Yes, we are a couple. Sometimes we go by “The Quirks.”
GO: What is the driving force behind your art?
JQ: The desire to share stories of marginalized lives through my quirky interpretations so others who don’t fit into mainstream categories can see that they’re not alone.
SK: I want people to be proud of who they are and for differences to be celebrated.
GO: Do you see a relationship between queerness and art?
JQ: Most definitely. Being queer affords me the opportunity to see the bigger picture as an outsider of the hetero-normative universe and beyond. Art is a vast conduit which allows me to express what I see and feel as an outsider and subsequently heal/ thrive.
SK: When I was younger, I used my art as a tool to sort through my identity and in many ways to come out. In high school, I painted a lot about my feelings and all of the things I wanted but struggled to express. For a while, I stopped painting about my identity and it felt like I wasn’t being true to myself. Once I started again, I realized the important role it plays in my work, self- expression, and the impact I want to have on others.
GO: Why are queer spaces like the Brooklyn LGBT Center important to you?
JQ: The Brooklyn Community Pride Center is important to me because while growing up in Brooklyn, places where I could be my true authentic self, was rare to find.
SK: Having a space that is safe, welcoming, and available for us is necessary. Queer spaces are an extension of home for me. Growing up there weren’t many options. Even as an Adult, living in Brooklyn, it wasn’t always easy to get to Manhattan. It’s refreshing to know I can go here and feel accepted, acknowledged, and celebrated.
GO: Where do you go for inspiration when you’re feeling discouraged or depleted?
JQ: The Brooklyn Community Pride Center is my newest discovery, but before that, a few staples were at Prospect Park, my dance studio, my favorite secret hiding spot at the Museum of Natural History and, the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza.
SK: I usually take a walk, jump on the train, or go to an event. People are my main source of inspiration, so anytime I can engage with others I am re-energized and filled with ideas.
GO: Tell us about the process of creating the mural for the Brooklyn LGBT Center.
JQ: We started painting the mural shortly after a gathering held at Restoration Plaza in recognition of World AIDS Day. After witnessing the love held within our Brooklyn community we brought that energy into the following days of painting fellow Brooklynites and the places that make my city so special.
SK: We attended a meditation session at the old location and as artists, were often driven to add beauty to spaces that need it. The old space was small and had a number of white walls. We wanted to add a little color to it. So we asked about a mural possibility. When we met with Floyd he recommended we create a mural for the new location in Bed-Stuy. It was such a beautiful experience. We had a chance to attend some of their events plus meet volunteers and employees at the new location before getting started. This really helps us decide the color-scheme and the energy we wanted the piece to have. Jen leads the direction for the style of the figures to ensure it had that Brooklyn vibe. When people come into the space, we really want them to feel connected to the figures in the mural. We want them to feel like we did a great job at representing Brooklyn.
GO: How can people find you/ view your art/ contact you?
JQ: My work can be viewed at @Quirklyn on all the social media platforms.
SK: My work can be found at @iamsamkirk on all social media platforms or iamsamkirk.com.
S & J: We sell merchandise (t-shirts, prints, pins, and much more) at provokeculture.com and just released a print of the Brooklyn Community Pride Center mural! It is available now and 25% of all profits will be donated to the center.