Homophobic Vandals Damage Philly Artist Rachelle Lee Smith’s Speaking OUT Exhibit

Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus

by Brian Buttler
Philadelphia Magazine
March 9th, 2015

By Brian Buttler
Philadelphia Magazine
March 9th, 2015

Philadelphia artist Rachelle Lee Smith‘s traveling exhibit “Speaking OUT: Queer Youth In Focus,” which caused quite a positive stir in town when it was exhibited on the corner of Broad and Walnut in the now-defunct Robinson Luggage store (some of the prints are still there), has fallen victim to homophobic vandals during an exhibit in Connecticut.

Assailants allegedly broke into the display at the University of Connecticut‘s student union art gallery and used markers to damage the pictures. The exhibit was to be part of the upcoming True Colors Conference, according to Smith.

“There was a binder [left in the exhibit] that says ‘God hates the gays,’ two prints have penises on them and I was given a mustache,” says Smith. “If the prints themseleves get damaged, it’s a big deal. They are one-of-a-kind, handprinted in an almost obsolete darkroom machine. And each image comes with a  handwritten message by the subjects, some up to 13 years ago.” She shares some of the vandalized images below:


Back to Rachelle Lee Smith’s Author Page