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50 States: Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, and Wyoming

February 12, 2019 - June 29, 2019


Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin explore the connections between LGBTQIA+ histories and contemporary queer experiences in the United States. 50 States is an ongoing series of installations made in response to little-known LGBTQIA+ histories from each state predating the 1969 Stonewall riot that launched the modern LGBTQIA+ rights movement. This multi-decade endeavor engages critically with perceptions of history and community in a time where our culture’s views of gender and sexuality progress at an astonishing pace while provoking deeply troubling social and legislative backlashes. Their research draws from recent groundbreaking academic work, the artists’ archival research and significant time spent learning from and collaborating with local LGBTQIA+ community members.


In addition to their installations, the two artists create intricately hand-cut works on paper in which they layer LGBTQIA+ imagery over found road maps then selectively cut away the layered “land” to reveal a delicate system of roads and waterways beneath.  Inspired by anatomical drawings of the human vascular system, the cut maps assert that the iconography of the LGBTQIA+ community has a deep, corporeal connection to the nation’s geographies.

About the Artists
Based in Houston, Texas, married couple Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin have introduced local solo shows at Devin Borden Gallery, Art League Houston, and Aurora Picture Show. The artists have also revealed their work in non-traditional venues such as community college campuses, libraries and queer bars—reaching audiences that may have limited opportunities to experience cutting-edge contemporary art. The artists are currently developing 50 States: Arkansas, which will debut March 2019 at The Invisible Dog in Brooklyn, New York. 
Left: Artists Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin. Photo by Jeremy Charles.
Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin


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    Ok Humanities logo

    This project is provided in part by a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities (OH) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of OH or NEH.


    Additional funding comes from Malinda and Dick Fischer, Mary Ann and Ken Fergeson, the OSU Museum of Art Advocates, the Raymond & Bessie Kravis Foundation, and the OSU Museum of Art Founding Patrons and Charter Members.



    Oklahoma State University: Gender and Women’s Studies, Department of History, School of Architecture, Department of Art, Graphic Design, and Art History, Oral History Project, Office of Multicultural Affairs, EQuAL, OSQ&A and GSSO.

    Community: Tulsa Equality Center/OKEQ, Payne County PRIDE Fest, PFLAG Stillwater, Living Arts Kitchen, University of Central Oklahoma Melton Gallery, University of Central Oklahoma Women’s Research Center and BGLTQ+ Student Center, Herland Archive, Living Arts Tulsa and Tulsa Artist Fellows.


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