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Support the first Neon Queen Collective Exhibition!

Raised toward our $15,000 Goal
155 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 29, at 09:00 AM CST
Project Owners

Support the first Neon Queen Collective Exhibition!

What is Neon Queen Collective?


Formed in early 2017, the Neon Queen Collective is a trio of Austin-based curators and UT doctoral students—Jessi DiTillio, Kaila Schedeen, and Phillip Townsend—who seek to present socially engaged art produced by feminist artists of color. Our group focuses on producing visual art exhibitions, workshops, lectures, performances, and discussions.

What are you raising money for?


This Hornraiser would support our first major exhibition project, the beginning of a two part exhibition series featuring the internationally significant Afro-Cuban artist, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons. Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons is one of the most celebrated living artists to emerge from post-Revolutionary Cuba. For over three decades, Campos-Pons has explored questions of race, gender, class and memory within African and Latin American Diasporic communities in lyrical yet historically rooted photography, sculpture, video, and performance. Her work has been featured in the top-tier of art venues in the world, including the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Venice Biennale, the Documenta art fair, and many more.

Maria Magdalena Campos Pons, The Calling, 2008. Large format Polaroid, each 31.5 x 22 inches.  Courtesy of the artist. 

 The opening exhibition, slated for January 2018 at the Christian-Green Gallery in Jester, uses the history of sugar to unpack the United States’ complex relationship with Cuba. While presenting a biographical sketch of Campos-Pons’ family, the exhibition seeks to highlight the United States’ and Cuba’s roles in the transatlantic slave trade, the crumbling sugar trade in Cuba, and the socioeconomic and political impact on the descendants of enslaved Africans living on the island and in the United States.

Why does this exhibition matter?


Campos-Pons has dedicated her career to picturing and exploring the experience of transnational immigration and cultural hybridization, both personally and universally. This focus makes her work especially important in our current political climate, in which immigrants are struggling for human recognition. Bringing this exhibition to UT’s campus will benefit students, faculty, and staff by providing a platform for open, whole-hearted discussion about the immigrant experience. 

Why do you need my help?


As a student-run collective, we are seeking to produce a museum-quality art exhibition independently. We've already raised a substantial amount from the University, but need your help to make this project happen at the scale and level of professionalism we envision. We will be borrowing several artworks from prestigious museum collections in the Northeast, including the Hutchins Art Center at Harvard University and the Peabody-Essex Museum. The piece being borrowed from Harvard, Sugar/Bittersweet, is a large-scale sculptural installation made of blown-glass and spun sugar. This work is beautiful, conceptually provocative, and very fragile, necessitating substantial funds for its careful shipment to Texas.

Maria Magdalena Campos Pons, Sugar/Bittersweet, 2010. Mixed-media installation, including wood, glass, raw sugar, metal, video, and stereo sound; dimensions variable. Courtesy Smith College.  Photograph by Stephen Petegorsky.

Additionally, we plan to use funds raised by the Hornraiser to bring the Campos-Pons to Austin to speak and create a site-specific performance. For the relatively new Christian-Green Gallery, which was renovated and opened in February 2016, such a significant artist will bring statewide and national attention to the gallery and the important work being done at the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies. The exhibition will also be the first time Campos-Pons has exhibited in Texas since 1992!

Choose a giving level


Curious about the Queens

Every little bit helps! A $25 donation Would contribute to the printing of educational materials for the exhibition, including wall labels and other gallery didactics.


Practical Pal

A donation of $50 would go towards covering one hour of museum grade art installation labor to handle the delicate and precious art objects headed toward Austin


Disco Diva Donation

A donation of $75 makes you a real dancing queen! This will support an hour of graphic design work toward the production of our beautiful exhibition catalogue.


Passionate Pledge

A donation of $100 would support the printing of twenty copies of our exhibition catalogue! We hope to start with an edition of one hundred copies.


Yas Queen Yas

A donation of $250 would fully cover the costs to sponsor a graduate student luncheon with the artist. University of Texas students will be happy, educated, and fed!


Fly Queen, Fly!

Fly Queen Magda to us! A donation of $500 would pay for the artist's travel to Austin.


Dedicated Soul Supporter

A donation of $1000 would completely cover the cost of design and production costs for our catalogue! If you give this much you will receive a VIP preview and tour of the exhibition from the Neon Queens before it opens to the public.


Reigning Queen

A donation of $2500 would help significantly with the high costs of crating and transporting a delicate art installation from Massachusetts. If you give this much you will receive a VIP preview and tour of the exhibition from the Neon Queens before it opens to the public.

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