Tom of Finland Foundation announces its 25th Art & Culture Festival: Plugged In

Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) is proud to announce its 25th Art & Culture Festival: Plugged In. This year’s Festival will be hosted on a custom website, starting the second weekend of this month: December 11, 12 and 13, 2020.

“It’s so important to continue the Tom of Finland Art & Culture Festival — even virtually, because this year is Tom’s 100’s birthday. This festival is not only a platform championing queer art and queer artists, but also a gathering place where all queer communities can come together,” said Rubén Esparza, Festival Coordinator and Founder of the Queer Biennial.

The Festival is one of the key public events the Foundation does each year and 2020 is also the 36th anniversary of Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF), a Los Angeles-based organization founded by Tom of Finland and Durk Dehner. ToFF’s mission is to protect, preserve and promote erotic art. The Foundation is located in Echo Park, in TOM House, a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.
This digital Festival aims to support artists by providing them an avenue to present and sell their works. The Festival will feature artist “booths” and virtual events throughout the weekend. Attendees can connect with artists, see performances, watch video installations, draw, and listen to panel discussions.

The Foundation has created a website especially for this online event, which can be found at tomoffinland.org/artfair. Most of this event is free and open to the public; donations to the Foundation gratefully accepted during this difficult time and ToFF members get early access.
“As a community, we have faced so much: experiencing the devastation of HIV/AIDS, fighting the rampant censorship of how we create and express ourselves, and now maintaining connections during great social change and COVID-19,” said Durk Dehner, “Being able to come together at this moment is so vital for us.”

Visual arts segments during the Festival will include shorts submitted by artists and trailers from the Men.com x Tom of Finland series. Artist and filmmaker Bruce LaBruce’s has said,” I am thrilled and delighted to be participating in the annual Tom of Finland Art Festival. In 2019 I was honored to be invited to make a short movie based on Tom of Finland’s Kake comic Service Station in collaboration with Men.com, and I hope to be invited to do it again next year so that I can make one with Mounties based on the Kake comic Kake in Canada. They don’t call them the ‘mounted police’ for nothing!”

Festival Highlights:

Announcements of the 2020 Tom of Finland Emerging Artist Competition winners and the 2020 Tom of Finland Foundation Awards recipients.

Life Drawing Sessions

Plugged In Panels include:

History of Leather and Fetish Talk with Durk Dehner and special guests including Jon Wright and John McConnell

Artist’s Corner: Queer Art Practices with Rubén Esparza and Jordan Green, speaking with BlackManWhiteBaby, Suzanne Shifflett, Seosamh “Joe” Lily, Anka Connolley, and Vicente Urgecheta

Overlaps: Art + Identity + Activism with Ron Athey, Cassils, and Rafa Esparza

Around The World With Tom’s Men with Stuart Sandford, Brontez Purnell, Slava Mogutin, and Matt Lambert

DJ sets from DJ Kita and Lethal Amounts

Spoken word by Steven Reigns

Performances and video playlists featuring artists ¿La Pregunta?, Aimee Goguen, BlackManWhiteBaby, Brontez Purnell, Bruce LaBruce, Candy Pain, Cassils, Dynasty Handbag, Emily Lucid, Heldáy de la Cruz, Josh Paul Thomas, Lior Shamriz, Peter Kalisch, Rechsteiner, Ron Athey, Rubén Esparza, Seosamh “Joe” Lily, Seth Bogart, Slava Mogutin, Sob Sister, and Travis Hu

For further details about the 2020 Tom of Finland Art & Culture Festival, visit here.

ABOUT THE TOM OF FINLAND FOUNDATIONIn 1984, the nonprofit Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) was established by Durk Dehner and his friend Tom. As Tom had established worldwide recognition as the master of homoerotic art, the Foundation’s original purpose was to preserve his vast catalog of work. Several years later, the scope was widened to offer a safe haven for all erotic art in response to rampant discrimination against art that portrayed sexual behavior or generated a sexual response. Today, ToFF continues in its efforts of educating the public as to the cultural merits of erotic art and in promoting healthier, more tolerant attitudes about sexuality.

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