CNY Emerging Artist: Kevin Carr

I Am a Friend of Dorothy

Kevin Carr explores themes of self-discovery and LGBTQ acceptance through fabric based media. His exhibits at the Cayuga Museum and Schweinfurth Art Center will mirror one another while also playing with the dichotomy of the two distinct display spaces: works on display at the Cayuga Museum are predominantly black and white while works at the Schweinfurth use vibrant colors.

Kevin Carr is the second of two artists whose work will be on display as part of the CNY Emerging Artist Project, a joint exhibition shared in both the Cayuga Museum of History and Art and the Schweinfurth Art Center. Joint passes for access to both museums are available for purchase at both sites.

About the Artist

Kevin (b. 1990) was born in Rochester, NY and grew up on the edge of Canandaigua Lake.  He received his MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his BFA from Alfred University. Kevin’s practice is very interdisciplinary – taking the form of quilts, paintings, drawings, sculptures, and installation.  With an emphasis on color play, material history, process, and queer aesthetics, he finds new ways to communicate love, intimacy, and exuberance.  Carr’s work has been shown nationally in Portland, St. Louis, Chicago, Gloucester, MA, and Brooklyn, NY.  He currently lives in Farmington, NY where he enjoys watching movies with his partner and two cats.

He Came to Me in the Night – 2018-21, Discarded apparel textiles, bleach, thread, and embroidery floss, machine-pieced, hand-tied, 80.5” x 64”

Artist Statement

I am a Friend of Dorothy is about a journey of self-discovery – a realization that you can be yourself no matter where you are and that home is where the heart is. By using the familiar narrative of the Wizard of Oz to inspire a body of work, I create an experience that is both intimate yet nostalgic and relatable. As a queer person, I come out on a daily basis – an act that can create joy and love, but also chaos and fear. The exhibition is a love letter to my adventure through the turbulence and moments of elation.

The title of the exhibition comes from the use of the phrase “a friend of Dorothy” to covertly ask and identify queer people in the 20th Century with use falling in decline in recent decades. This is due in part to LGBTQ acceptance becoming fashionable. However, as an artist, I still feel a stigma when mentioning my queerness in an application. A fear that I face fully and push back against here.

The materials – discarded fabrics, scraps, second-hand objects, and worn clothing – are rebranded and given new life throughout the works. With various and rigorous processes of embellishment, the materials become born anew.


Jun 10 2023 - Aug 20 2023

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Cayuga Museum of History and Art
203 Genesee Street Auburn, NY 13021

Other Locations

Location 2

Schweinfurth Art Center
205 Genesee St. Auburn, NY 13021

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