Akron Soul Train Shows Colorful Drag Portraits

Wed 1/6-Sat 2/6

Max Markwald identifies as a trans artist; he’s been involved with the Cleveland Kings Action Pack (CKAP), a drag kings ensemble that performs primarily for charity. They also provided some of the subjects for his new exhibit as artist-in-residence at Akron Soul Train called Drag Portraits, opening this week.

As Markwald explains, “For me, gender often feels like heaviness. I have been denied healthcare, denied health insurance, harassed in public, and had my job threatened for being queer.  At a time when gay marriage was illegal, Summit County Probate Court commissioned me for a painting to be displayed above the desk where couples sign their marriage licenses. As an out trans man I donated artwork to Valor Home, a homeless veterans shelter, at a time when there is a ban on transgender people serving in our military. Ohio State IDs have no gender option for non-binary. US Passports have no gender option for non-binary. Federal law does not adequately or explicitly protect the transgender community. And so there is this heaviness.”

But his colorful portraits push back against that heaviness and aimed to celebrate his subjects, who are very out and very proud.

The show will be on view in the Akron Soul Train Gallery Wednesday-Saturday @ 11m-4pm through February 6.


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