Cecilia Karoly-Lister is a multi-disciplinary artist who was born in Alaska and raised within a multigenerational kinship-network of blood related and adopted lesbians. She received her BFA in mixed media from Western Washington University, and is now a first-year MFA candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. Cecilia’s work explores notions such as queering sensibilities, food, gender, homesickness, and family.
Dinner Party is about the nurturing potential of queer spaces. Specifically, it \is a reflection on all of the multi-generational parties of my childhood. Raised within a tight-knit community, my family primarily consisted of lesbians from my parents’ and my grandparents’ generations. Gay bars are often not welcoming spaces for lesbians, people of color, or children (and since lesbians and queer POC are generally more likely to have children than White gay men, the exclusion is compounding). Therefore, house parties have had a crucial role in lesbian family networks. My childhood was blessed by the presence of Filipino, Polish, British, Tlingit, Alaskan, and many other cuisines that were prepared and shared by the women in my family. In Dinner Party, I meditate on the crisscrossing corridors of time and space that my moms, aunties, and grandmas had to traverse to find each other, make a family, and feed me and my sister.