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Charmaine (Charlie) Renee ( they/them):  Midwestern Femme, Queer Mom, Role Model

The month of June is dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ community and culture. This June, featured artist, Charmaine (Charlie) Renee tells why the art of quilting is a representation of queer life and family.


About Charlie:

Charlie is a Midwestern queer mom and interdisciplinary artist who has evolved into the person they are today as a result of not fitting into the “traditional” family values of their conservative Midwestern family. After moving onto college and finding inclusiveness in a queer community, Charlie learned that family is not necessarily related through bloodline.  Each member of a family is chosen and patched together, as a quilt.

As a drawing teacher at Purdue University's Rueff School, Charlie hopes to be a role model for their students, especially those who may be having difficulty fitting into traditional values.


Charlie’s Art:

Quilting is a form of expressionism to Charlie. Quilts are made from scraps of warmth, symbolic of a queer families comprised of those who have been cut from their original families and reassembled into a new one. Each piece of a quilt tells the story of the individual and adds its own element of warmth, safety, and comfort.

When asked what they want the viewer to take away from the piece, Charlie says, "When you make your story well--other people will find parts to relate to." This statement holds true as it relates to the artwork as well as to Charlie themselves, as the artist, teacher, queer role model, mother, and person.


June 2022

Charmaine (Charlie) Renee. “Queering Family Values.” Ohio History Collection, Accessed 22 June 2022.

Charmaine Renee. “Charmaine Renee Midwestern Queer Maker.” Charmaine Renee, Accessed 22 June 2022.