Mark Takeshi McGregor takes helm of Pride In Art Society as SD Holman steps down

BY JANET SMITH, STIR VANCOUVER

THE PRIDE IN Art Society board has announced that SD Holman is stepping down from its helm after 14 years.

Musician Mark Takeshi McGregor will take on the role as artistic director of the multidisciplinary queer arts organization. Holman announced the exit on August 13 at the closing party of the 2021 Queer Arts Festival, which Pride in Art has run online and in person for the last few weeks.

Holman cofounded the Queer Arts Festival, and then later, in 2018, established SUM, QAF’s year-round programming arm and Canada’s only queer-mandated gallery. (Pride In Art began in 1998 as a collective of LGBT visual artists mounting a community art exhibition.)

“I’m proud of the artistic triumphs we’ve achieved together,” Holman said in the announcement yesterday, “including Jonathan D. Katz’s Drama Queer curation; the 25th-anniversary reunion of the notorious Kiss & Tell collective; Jeremy Dutcher’s first full-length Vancouver concert; UnSettled, the world’s first entirely Two-Spirit-curated festival; the commissioning and world premiere of When the Sun Comes Out by Leslie Uyeda and Rachel Rose, Canada’s first lesbian opera; and co-producing the multi-award-winning world premiere of Lesley Ewen’s play Camera Obscura (hungry ghosts).”

SD will continue as founding artistic director emeritus. 

Internationally acclaimed flute innovator and former Powell Street Festival artistic director McGregor said he was “thrilled” to join the Pride in Art family.

 “As a musician and visual artist, I’ve enjoyed close ties with this organization for over 15 years and I’ve witnessed firsthand how it has grown and evolved,” he said in the press statement. “None of this would have been possible without the passion and tenacity of SD Holman, who leaves us with an inspiring legacy of queer arts and culture… and massive shoes to fill! I’m looking forward to working with our incredible staff, board of directors, volunteers, and community to continue challenging norms, breaking barriers, and inspiring discourse.”

Holman returns to the studio to resume full-time artistic practice, remaining available to the organization for mentorship and organizational history. 

“As QAF and SUM grow and evolve, my hope is that the organization will stay Avant-Garde and Contemporary,” Holman added in the statement. “Life is short and art is long–or as the Guerrilla Girls say, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. This work is a relay, and it’s time to pass the torch. I am delighted to be leaving the organization in inspired and capable hands.”