Semester-long ‘Tomorrow Never Happens’ exhibit wraps up

Ellie Hislop, Staff Writer

Tomorrow Never Happens is this semester’s Samek exhibition exploring “queer futurity and the aesthetics of utopia.” It will close Dec. 4. Public Programs and Outreach Manager of the Samek Art Museum Greg Stuart explained the significance of queerness in the show saying “from marriage equality to ‘bathroom bills’ to the massacre in Orlando, queerness is central to current social and political life.” As a result of unremitting current events, it can be difficult to imagine a future beyond the present status quo.

Art history major Becca Reeve ’17 says that the ominous title “Tomorrow Never Happens” should be viewed less as a pessimistic forewarning for members of the LGBTQ community and more of an uplifting sentiment intended to evoke positive change for the future. 

“I think it means that there is always something we can be working towards in terms of creating a more accepting society,” Reeve said.

Many artists wishing to create a better world for queer communities have recently been asking themselves two important questions: Where do we go from here? In what ways can art be utilized as a medium for communication and influencing broader cultural thinking? Stuart argues that the artwork in Tomorrow Never Happens “represent a diverse range of sexes and sexualities, gender identities and expressions, national origins, and aesthetic sensibilities.” These pieces reimagine gender, the family unit, and social and political organization in a way that takes a long look at our future.

Each work has its own voice that communicates a unique message and points to a utopian world of acceptance and equality.

“Art really makes you think about things in a way that’s different than just voicing opinions, and there is nowhere else on campus where there is a place like this to have conversations,” Reeve said.

When asked why he felt that it was important for both the University and the Lewisburg community to view the exhibition, Stuart said that it’s important for people to be exposed to “new perspectives, especially since the artworks in the exhibition come from all over the world, and from artists across the LGBTQ spectrum.” He went on to say that the goal of the show is not to “present some monolithic, singular vision of the future, but rather one that is informed by many perspectives.”

Many visitors have had positive things to say about the exhibit and have stated that the artwork has made them feel like a part of a community within the University. Following the results of the presidential election, the museum even put out a round table filled with coloring books and other art activities in order to facilitate a group dialogue in a safe space.

While Tomorrow Never Happens addresses many of the rising social issues in the nation “like gay marriage rights and transgender issues,” Stuart says that “it also takes a broader view to a future beyond the near future of our current political moment to imagine a future that is more ‘queer’ for all, regardless of an individual’s gender or sexual orientation.” Reeve epitomized this viewpoint, saying that ultimately, the exhibition vies for a “more inclusive and collective future for everyone.”

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