A trail of exhibitions showcasing queer art and culture, ‘New Normal: a trail of queer expressions’, is heading to the Northern Quarter and Ancoats this week. Organised by property developer and investor CERT, some of Manchester’s favourite venues will all be hosting unique celebrations of the city’s LGBTQIA+ community within their spaces.
The New Normal was born at Hilton House in August 2021 where 17 LGBTQIA+ artists exhibited works reflecting their personal experience with identity, sexuality, and artistic ambition. Following last year’s success, the exhibition has expanded to promote inclusivity, equality, and acceptance by creating a trail of artistic expression and sexual freedom across some of the Northern Quarter’s and Ancoats’ most exciting and inclusive venues.
Taking place from August 17-20, the free event will showcase art at Common, Hilton House, Feel Good Club, Foundation Coffee House, UNITOM, Live Well, Kerb Wine, Fierce Beer, Takk and Whiskey Jar. The New Normal trail celebrates art in various forms offering something unique at each venue and has been designed to elevate visibility to queer artists and create more inclusive spaces for people to connect and share experiences along the way.
Stand outs include Tongi Sanchez & Brett Denning’s Homo Structure exhibition at Takk Coffee, Jo Bagpipes All LGBTQ+ Line-up open mic on Wednesday 17th August at Whiskey Jar, the Dance Floor Diaries exhibition at Common and the World’s Queer People photography exhibition by Madeleine Penfold.
Plus, Northern Quarter hotspot, Common will be opening up the dance floor with Queer Mix Club open decks on Wednesday 17th August, a karaoke night on Thursday 18th and concluding with two nights of Manchester’s queer collective Chic DJs on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th August. Parties to celebrate the trails finale will be in full swing across the city on Saturday 20th August with Kerb wine, Hilton House and Live Well all hosting end of trail parties.
Commenting on the upcoming New Normal trail, CERT Marketing Executive and New Normal curator, Johnny Villanueva, said: “Manchester has become my home and creating something like this is my way of giving back to the community that made me feel like I finally belong. I’m truly grateful to be surrounded by so many supportive people.
“I work for a property developer, but I was encouraged for my creativity and self-expression. My colleagues have always been there to listen to my ideas and believed in my abilities to make things happen. I was fully supported when I had this idea last year, and I still continue to get that support organising this year’s New Normal.
“CERT helped me start this journey to promote LGBTQ+ in the most creative way I can think of. I’m hoping that this journey will help develop NQ places to be more inclusive and welcoming to everyone regardless of gender, skin colour, and body shape. A safe place for everyone.”
The New Normal: a trail of queer expressions is a free art event across 10 city centre locations and runs from 17th-20th August. Works include spoken word, art installations, photography exhibitions, DJ sets and much more. Find out more here.