First FriGAY: Butch Cordora’s Three-Show Retrospective

Plus: stadler-Khan displays Mad Men-era kitsch and photographer Rob Lybeck shows at Highwire Gallery.

On the first Friday of every month, I roundup up gay centric art openings. This time around, Butch Cordora hosts a retrospective, Highwire displays gay art in an open call and Alex Stadler honors the work of unsung ceramics master Waylande Gregory. If you have LGBTQ-art tips for future First FriGAY posts, email me at jmiddleton@phillymag.com.

In the Name of the Father by Butch Cordora

Butch Cordora Artist Retrospective: In 2011, jack of so many gay trades Butch Cordora decided he’d dabble in the art community. His first exhibit, “Straight and Butch,” which featured a series of photos of him naked with straight men, was a great success. It spawned supplemental calendars and a documentary that was screened at that year’s QFest. From there, he just kept going — each time experimenting with different forms of art and ways to titillate the observer. For “Absolution Lab,” he drew inspiration from Andy Warhol to produce a set of digital prints representing various pop-culture episodes from the last few decades (think Marilyn Diptych -ish interpretations of Princess Di’s car wreck, porn star Jack Wrangler, etc … ). His latest was last summer’s “Hot and Busted,” a photographic collection of blown-up mugshots of 13 of the “most striking male arrestees” he could find.

For this show, he’s giving gallery hoppers a look at work from all three exhibitions, as well as a first-time peek at his new art space, gallery. He took over the former Ven and Vaida spot about a month ago, and will begin rolling out exhibitions from other artists March 1. For now, though, take advantage of this rare opportunity to see all of his works in one big space — and to get a drink from the event’s “mad hot bartender Robert,” who Corodora says is going to “try real hard to keep his shirt on … but I can’t promise anything.” Oh, Butch! 6 p.m., free, gallery, 18 S. Third St.

Waylande Gregory Exhibition: Local gay designer, author and illustrator Alex Stadler has curated a colorful exhibition of works by “unsung twentieth-century modernist ceramics master Waylande Gregory” at his charming retail space, stadler Kahn, in Rittenhouse. Stadler, who has been collecting works by Gregory for years, explains  that the “small and whimsical” tabletop pieces on display were crafted during the “1940s and 50s and most people have never seen them before.” Many of Gregory’s avant-garde works were sold at high-end stores and designed to “fit easily into a domestic setting, and often featured natural imagery as its subject matter.” The pieces will be on display through Feb. 26. 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m., free, stadler-Kahn, 1724 Sansom St.

New Day Dawning by Rob Lybeck

Open Call: For their February exhibit, Fishtown’s Highwire Gallery put out an open call for local artists to contribute work. They got a “great and varied” response from 35 craftsman, who contributed everything from paintings and sculpture to fiber art. Three of the participating artists are gay photographers: Rob Lybeck, Ray Cavicchio and Jeff Stroud. Lybeck says he’s showing three pieces, including a stunning shot of the Seaside Heights, N.J. roller coaster that was flooded during Hurricane Sandy. 5 p.m.-9 p.m., free, Highwire Gallery, 2040 Frankford Ave.

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