Unraveling Identity ~ Denise Duarte

Denise Duarte’s current exhibition at the Sahara West Library is at once mesmerizing and intriguing. “Unraveling Identity” examines the metaphor of the botanical universe to discuss the language of human sexuality and gender identity.

My guy and I were able to stop by for a brief peek at the exhibit during Denise’s “Artist Walk and Talk” last week. We unfortunately did not have the length of time required to fully appreciate this important work.

Denise spoke of the glossary she has compiled of terminology to explain and understand the various human gender and expression identities.  As with all language, it is constantly changing and evolving.  Started in 2012, it currently contains over 250 terms.  A sample of the glossary is displayed on several large fabric panels for guests to read and ponder. You can access the full glossary with this link:

Click to access 519d34_ed708d63a3834bc4af6dee478d3b1eb9.pdf

I was surprised to learn the sculptures in this display are window screen mesh; the translucency is a reference to the history of invisibility of the LGBTQ community.  One thinks of window screen as functional; Denise’s creations are flowing and have an ethereal quality to them.  

A community loom invites visitors to participate  by selecting two or more ribbons of 16 colors with which to identify their own gender identity and sexuality and weaving them in with the others.  

Denise has regularly engaged with her visitors during this exhibition. Her final “Artist Walk and Talk” event will be Saturday, July 20 at 4pm.  “Unraveling Identity” is in The Studio at the Sahara West Library, 9600 West Sahara Ave, Las Vegas 89117.

3 thoughts on “Unraveling Identity ~ Denise Duarte

  1. Thank you!!! I appreciate your posting and kind words regarding the exhibit and the shout out for Saturday’s last event. FYI, they are fabric panels, not vinyl though.


    1. Thank you, Denise. I’m sorry it wasn’t a better post. I wish we’d had a lot more time in the show. I debated whether to post a little or nothing at all. I hope lots of people go to listen to you speak tomorrow. And I’ll edit the piece. I think I saw vinyl in one of your pieces.


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