This year we’re handing WTP over to youth. Tap here for more information and to submit your work or sponsor the exhibition “art of the true self”

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT IS SATURDAY, MAY 21st at qathet Art Centre (12-5pm) above the PR Public Library.

For more information visit or email

Call for Art! Deadlines May 17 (at Brooks) and May 21st (at the qathet Art Centre) Art of the True Self: Youth art exhibition (ages 12-29) opening June 1st at qathet Art Centre (above the PR Public Library)- submissions accepted as well as donations to the youth for materials and more- check it all out at

WTP 2021

Welcome to What the Plus (+) LGBTQ2S+ Festival 2021

Tap the image above for a 3-d interactive view of the 2021 What the Plus Exhibition!
Videos in the 2021 What The Plus Show- Rabideye (music by Treshawn Hudson) followed by Makaila Wenezenki (silent)

Find out more about our 13 participating art exhibition artists – here they are in no particular order.

If you would like to contact any of these artists, please email and I will forward your message.

Alfred Bolster


Alfred bolster is a faggot who lives in Powell river with his husband Kevin and his bear Rufus . He is passionate about lgbt2qia? Community, right, and space.

Description of work
The work is a 3 by 5 feet work consisting of 50 mounted photographs of myself representing different roles and aspects of who I am.

Alfred was a participant in the 2020 WTP Exhibition too!

Earle Thompson


Earle Thompson (they/them) works with restored cameras, expired film and modified processing to express personal explorations of conflict within the mind and body.  Gender ambiguity, disappearing in a blur of misperceptions, and seeking a balance to industrialized rigidity are common themes in Earle’s work.
Previously seen at Gallery 49 (Victoria, BC) in 2017 and WTP (Powell River,BC) in 2020, Earle has studied photography since 1976, holds two Bachelor’s degrees from UVIC, and worked in broadcast media.
Influenced by Alfred Stieglitz, Francesca Woodman, and Ansel Adams, Earle lives in Powell River, BC. using photography to explore gender and cope with brain injuries.

Description of work

The basic idea with these self portraits is that being Queer is partly about being undefined, blurred, and becoming the question itself, and that it is both challenging and enlightening. Either way, it’s OK. Being seen but also being difficult to clearly gender is a struggle between what one can safely show, and what one can’t hide. Having no clear definition brings questions. It’s OK to be a blur.

Earle was a participant in the 2020 WTP exhibition too!

Kate Parkinson


Kate Parkinson (she/her) is a Toronto Illustrator who holds an MFA in Illustration (University of Hartford), and is a graduate of the University of Guelph and OCAD University. 

Kate’s illustrations have appeared in magazines, newspapers, advertising, and is both author and illustrator of a children’s book, ‘Grace’ (Holiday House, 2015). She also draws in support of freedom of expression and human rights and her cartoons have been shared across social media and have appeared in the Washington Post, The Guardian and other publications. and on Instagram

Giovanni Spezzacatena- Rabideye


Rabideye, aka Giovanni Spezzacatena (MFA- Concordia University, Montreal) is a multidimensional human artist living in the qathet region. His background is in experimental/ mixed media animation, and his art ranges from abstract encaustics on wood panel, to graphic design and illustration, to motion graphics and animation. He is curator of the 2020 and 2021 What the Plus Festival. and linktree

Description of work

Various pieces – one digital animation compilation and 2 large 6’ x 3’ panels. Giovanni was curator and participant in the 2020 WTP show too.

Erika Gail


My name is Erika Gail. I am a local designer and textile artist. My work is a reflection of my personality and my dreams. Using imagination and colour, I bring form to the formless and art that you can not just see, but touch and feel as well. My style represents me, a duality of contrasts with an intellectual sensibility. I like to work in bold colours, textures and concepts to engage my viewers. My work has been called unique and charming and I look forward to presenting it at the exhibition.

Description of work

There will be two-three small, round embroidered pieces that are about 12″ in diameter, and one larger tapestry that is about 3’x4′.

Makaila  Wenezenki


Makaila Wenezenki (they/she) is a filmmaker, poet, and multi-disciplinary artist. As a critical human geographer, and settler of British-Scottish-Slovak ancestry, she is interested in anti-racist, anti-colonial, queer, activist, and feminist themes. They view art and geography to be inherently linked and uses both of these fields to influence their work.

Description of work

Makaila’s artwork investigates the relationship between queer identities and bodies, and particularly how queer bodies are produced and interpreted. The pieces for the What The Plus (+) exhibit include a watercolour work and a video work.

Jenny Taves


Jenny Allen Taves is a diverse artist and illustrator working in acrylic, watercolour, gouache, and pencil crayon, and loves experimenting with other mediums.  She is inspired by patterns and colours and uses her art to document and celebrate memories. My pronouns are she/her and I identify as a straight ally. 

Description of work

My self portrait piece will be approximately 36″x30″ acrylic painting on canvas or panel (haven’t decided yet, but may be mixed media as well).

Kathryn Neun


Kathryn Neun (Kath, lesbian)
Resides in qathet
Member of Malaspina Printmakers Society on Granville Island, Vancouver
Printing methods include Wood Engraving, Relief, Mezzotint, Intaglio
Experiment with local organic infusions and mineral pigments
Ink medium: painting and drawing

Description of work

The image will not be digitally altered, rather changed via mixed medium. I expect the size (framed) will be 28 x 35 cm or smaller. One 2D work. Theoretically, through geological metamorphoses; silt and clay provided a fertile environment for DNA. My self perspective emerges from mud, underlying life force. Mud dimensional juxtaposes resemblant motifs of opposite signification: the tree of life and the atomic bomb explosion. The visual interchange communicates creation and destruction within the Anthropocene.  mud dimensional  (Title )  digital, mixed medium     28 x 35 cm    2021

Kath was a participant in the 2020 What the Plus Exhibition too!

The Noise


I am the Noise.  I am a conceptual and visual artist. I am at my core a cultural provocateur. I believe in the free and uncensored nature of art and artistic expression in the larger scope of a free and just society. I work anonymously for objectivity, privacy, and artistic freedom, independence. By pointing a mirror back at the art establishment and its influence both good and bad on creativity I hope to use the lens of culture to focus my viewers on the subtlety and grandiose nature of life. I use any medium at my disposal to try to disrupt the common understanding and spark a dialogue for open and honest conversation. I am THE NOISE, and welcome to the show.

Chris Roberts


I am an oyster farmer and lifelong lover of art. Last summer I took a couple of workshops on drawing and watercolour sketchbook keeping from Prashant Miranda. Early in these times of isolation, I took it as a challenge to draw something every day. I began with a wide range of subjects, landscapes, family photos, birds, animals, and flowers. Lately, I’ve been focusing on portraits, mostly of men. My audience has consisted of my partner, a few locals in my bubble, and friends on instagram , who have encouraged my efforts. I am engaged in developing my own style and expression. I look forward to further exploration, and trying other mediums as I really have just begun.

Chris was a participant in the 2020 What the Plus Exhibition too!

Angelica Hamilton


I am Angelica Hamilton.  I am a 13-year-old queer artist, interested in mixed media and basically, any art form I can get my hands on and experiment.   I’ve lived in Powell River for three years in a tiny forest cabin looking out to the ocean. Nature has fuelled my art since I was young and my days are mostly spent looking outside for interesting rocks or strange mushrooms.

I have been homeschooled for the past two years, but between January and May, I was in a Grade Ten Media class at the high school, which introduced me to digital design. In the future, I hope to help people through art and speak and create pieces that represent how it feels to be a human.

Description of work

Angie created two beautiful pieces.  One is a multimedia collage, based on a year’s worth of sketches.  Interestingly, Angie found it overwhelming to create a one off creative self portrait and decided to make a piece from existing sketches, paintings and  drawings she has created throughout the year.  Looking through her sketches, she saw that they were all connected.  She is making art all the time, everyday.  Her identity and her understanding of the world is a work in progress, just like her sketchbook.
The Second is a small homemade model of a Victorian style bedroom, with two tiny chairs – which she describes as a depiction of her gender identity.

Angelica was a participant in the 2020 What the Plus Exhibition too!

Brian Baxter


1952/he/b. Nova Scotia/NS College of Art & Design (graphic design)/acceptance of queer/partnered at 20 for 33 years in open relationship/moved to Vancouver 1977/commissioned architectural glass artist/life drawing/photography/body electric/radical faeries/yoga/relocated to Sechelt, 2019.

Description of work

My main piece would be a 3D kinetic piece that would approximate my size and would have ‘pages’ of images describing my life. I’m planning on it having 3 sections that can be turned separately to make connections with other parts of my life. Ambitious perhaps but I’d like to try. It would stand separately….6’ x 2.5’ approx. I also have an earlier 2D full-size selfie nude drawing that is a patchwork of different styles of drawing if interested.

Prashant Miranda


Prashant Miranda grew up in Bangalore, studied at the National Institute of Design, India, and moved to Canada in1999. He designed children’s animated shows for TV in Toronto before moving on to pursue his passions as an artist. He spends time in the coastal rainforests on the west coast of Canada now, where he travels and documents his life through his watercolour journals, animates films, teaches visual art, illustrates children’s books and paints murals. Prashant was a participant in the 2020 WTP Exhibition too!
Instagram: prashola FB: Prashant Miranda

Description of work

‘Where’s my forest?’. 43″x33″. Watercolour on an old nautical chart. 2020. 

NOTE: Prash will be giving a presentation at the show’s opening too! Here is a description of that talk tentatively set for 5:30pm on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at The Art Centre~qathet Public Gallery. Details here.


WTP 2020

What the Plus (+) : A Group Art Exhibition by 17 local LGBTQ2S+ (& allied) artists took place June 20-July 25, 2020 at The Art Centre ~ Powell River Public Gallery, in Powell River, British Columbia, Canada. 
Three-Dimensional Interactive viewing of the show created by Sophia Sanford at or tap image above!


Alfred Bolster ~ Fiona Tyler
Amber Friedman ~ rabideye
Sophia Sanford~ Jazz Rico
Angelica Hamilton ~ John Hewson
Blossom ~ Karin Birch
Chris Roberts ~ Kathryn Neun
Daniel Rajala ~ Kevin Wilson
Earle Thompson ~ Prashant Miranda
+ Andrea Bennett (guest speaker)

 Although LBGQT2 stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Queer/Questioning and 2-Spirited, the plus (+) that is usually included after the initialism encompasses a list of other identities that fall under the queer umbrella. Our group art exhibition featured 17 local artists ranging in age from 12 to 65+, working in various media, focusing on the ‘+’ itself, as it indicates a range or ‘gradient’, representing the fluid spectrum of human gender and sexuality.

(download our press release and Giovanni’s Curator Statement)


  • This first LGBTQ2S+ art exhibition in Powell River BC featured works recently produced by 17 local artists who self-identify as LGBTQ2+ as well as allies, across various media. The overarching theme was “Gradients” referring to the + in the acronym LGBTQ2S+ as representing a multitude of tonalities and textures that make up the spectrum of human gender and sexuality. We encouraged the political as well as the personal.
  • This was the first art show ever for 4 of our participating artists!
  • Our youngest artist in the show was 12 years old, but our ages ranged to beyond 65, all are living in the qathet region right now
  • Because of COVID-19 restrictions and awareness, we also took the show online, through our artist galleries and interactive tour at
  • We featured 2-d and 3-d work as well as sound art and video, colour and black and white photography, mixed media work, textile/ fibre arts, illustration, figurative as well as abstract work in various media!
  • The + aims to include those who identify as queer, intersex, asexual, demisexual, non-binary, gender fluid, pansexual, polyamorous, questioning and many more. Get this handy alphabetical list of LGBTq2+ terms (pdf) or for a more concise list, visit–sexualities-and-their-definitions.html
  • Essentially the theme is “What is your +?” I.e. What is your place within that spectrum, and what does that colour or range mean to you? What does the very classification mean to you? How do you interpret gender identification in an absurdist so-called late capitalist/ post-postmodern, fourth wave feminist moment in society, and in your art? How does your identity within the spectrum inform what you say and do in the world, and how does this reflect your concerns over your loved ones, your neighbourhood, your culture, the planet and the natural world?”
  • There was no age restriction and while there is a limit of 3 submissions per artist/group
  • We sought out original works by local artists who see themselves within the LGBTQ2+ spectrum (including allies), and works that evoke the concept of ‘gradient’. One could envision the concept of gradient in many ways; this below is meant as a brainstorming aide only, we look forward to your creative application well beyond these examples. 
    • Visually, possibly by making the incorporating of shades (adding black) or tints (adding white) to colour or maintaining a monochromatic theme can a big part of your visual design; subtleties like crosshatching, shading, anything that evokes the ‘in between’.
    • Colours might be of the tertiary (mixing primary with secondary colours on the colour wheel), drawn images might be doubled up or made ambiguous.
    • Photography might be double-exposed, abstract, using mainly shades or tints to evoke ‘the in-between’ nature of the range of +.
    • Representation (whatever the medium) may be as explicit or implicit as you like.
    • Video/film might incorporate dissolves or double/triple etc. exposures
    • Sound aspects or sound pieces might also involve blending and/or a panoply of sounds to evoke the expanse inherent to the ‘+’ experience (for example using voice – whether documentary style or scripted or experimental, or a mix) . More experimental pieces might focus on removing the beginning and end of a sound profile to create a composition of ‘in-betweens’. Music is definitely welcome, however you
      define that.
    • Sculpture or 3-d installation and performance might evoke ‘gradient’ and + through multiple views of a subject, or aspects of a familiar object as exploded and reconfigured.
    • Performance might introduce staging or technologies that play with extreme light or dark or even hiding/revealing the subject at intervals.
    • Text based works (including comics, zines, poetry, prose, non-fiction in any language) might play with words to access the ‘in-between-ness’ and uniqueness inherent to the ‘+’ in LGBTQ2+, and especially with poetry, or spoken word, to access the way words or non-words sound when spoken or sung or just read silently.
    • Video/ Film and Animation lend themselves well to developing ‘gradients’ as they are time-based/ audio-visual works that reply on persistence of vision (literally through having the viewer create motion in their own brain through the progression of images at 24/30 frames per second). This is not to mention the endless possibilities in story-telling, sound, mise-en-scène, etc. that may come into play.


What the Plus + Art Exhibition and Festival


  • In 2022 we are handing the exhibition over to Brooks Gay Straight Alliance for a youth-oriented show that they will curate. Dates TBD, but you may email for more information.


  • Then in 2021 we were 13 artists producing work in a variety of media (video, sculpture, painting, collage, assemblage, fibre arts) on the theme of Creative Self-portraits.
  • Author andrea bennett presented a fascinating talk on ‘writing the self’- autobiography for the ‘rest of us’ and Prashant Miranda for his wonderful opening night slideshow on how he has kept sketchbooks whilst traveling his whole life. 
  • We had artists from Toronto, Sechelt, and of course local artists involved. Many thanks to our main sponsor Malaspina Art Society, the qathet Art Council, qathet Pride, qathet Community Justice, and the BC Arts Council for their Festival Grant.


  • Our festival’s first iteration happened in 2020: it featured the work of 17 local LGBTQ2S+ artists using a mixture of media from jewelry, to photography, to sculpture, abstract and figurative painting, drawings, audio and video work, collages, assemblages, and textile art that revolved around the loose theme of ‘gradient’ – tap here to view details and artist galleries from our 2020 show. Our 2020 show also featured local writer and visual artist andrea bennet who hosted TheyDay, a Zoom talk on queer pronouns and more: tap here to listen to a short excerpt.

Origins of the concept:

“ [The] deadlock of classification is clearly discernible in the need to expand the formula: the basic LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) becomes […] LGBTQQIAAP (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Allies, Pansexual). To resolve the problem, one often simply adds a + which serves to include all other communities associated with the LGBT community, as in LGBT+. This, however, raises the question: is + just a stand-in for missing positions like “and others,” or can one be directly a +? The properly dialectical answer is “yes,” because in a series there is always one exceptional element which clearly does not belong to it and thereby gives body to +.”


We thank and acknowledge The Tla’amin Nation for hosting us on their traditional lands.


Giovanni Spezzacatena

Guest Curator of What the Plus (+)

Pronouns: him/his