19th And Lexington: Images From San Francisco’s Last Lesbian Bar 1997-2015
This art exhibit shows the vibrancy of the community formed around the iconic lesbian bar.
San Francisco’s iconic dyke/lesbian/queer bar The Lexington Club operated for 18 years before the last drink was served on April 30th, 2015.
Internationally known, “The Lex” was a beacon to lesbians, dykes, bois, queers, and their friends who came to the “Gay Mecca” of San Francisco.
It was more than a bar for many—it was a living room, a cultural center, and a safe space. With its closure, the queer community is left to remember and re-imagine new spaces to come together and experience one another.
Curated by Lauren Tabak and Susie Smith of the Lexington Club Archival Project, 19th and Lexington: Images from San Francisco’s Last Lesbian Bar 1997-2015 exhibits images and ephemera that aims to show the vibrancy of the community that formed around the Lex.
The space transformed and was transformed by its community amidst changing patrons and aesthetics, making the Bay Area not the same without it.
Shooting over 150 images inside the bright blue-walled bathrooms during the final months that the bar was open, Lauren and Susie documented the faces and emotions of the patrons as they came to say goodbye to the beloved institution.
Lauren and Susie said, “While reviewing the selections, we realized that we unwittingly also captured the bar as it physically disappeared. When viewed chronologically, it becomes apparent that the small hole in the bathroom wall is slowly growing, until a large piece is missing.”
Other artists included in the exhibit are Ace Morgan, whose black and white documentary photos capture the opening night and the ten year anniversary party; Molly DeCoudreaux who created many of the images used in promotional materials; Elizabeth Beier, whose raw and hilarious comics recall her adventures in the Lex; and Rebeka Rodriguez & Cody T. Williams, who both shot portraits outside the bar during the closing night parties.
Exhibition Dates: September 2nd – October 7th 2016
Gallery Hours: Wed-Fri 10am-4pm // Sat 12pm-4pm
Closing Celebration: Friday October 7, 2016 6pm-9pm
Location: Qulture Collective, 1714 Franklin St, Oakland, CA