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For Jerry South, the upcoming “Framed For Love” online event is a chance to share his love of night photography and its raw realism.

For Laney McCrary, the event is a platform to share vvid fantasy-driven pieces bursting with color.

“I wanted to create an escape for myself,” said McCrary of her piece “Lore,” modeled after Odette from Swan Lake. “It was wonderful diving into her whimsical nature and reminding myself to breathe and relax.”

Another 20 more artists are showcasing an even broader mix of visual art from now through Feb, 20 — all to raise money for the Rainbow Cafe in Carbondale and its expansion beyond a two-room, strip-mall headquarters.

In addition to offering a myriad of support groups for LGBTQ+ youth, Rainbow Cafe also provides events for adults. Among its latest endeavors: GRIS, a group focused on providing LGBTQ+ Southern Illinoisans age 50 or older a chance to connect with each other.

South’s family has personally experienced the services of Rainbow Cafe. “(It) was a life saver for my daughter when she first came out in middle school in our small conservative town,” South said. “She is now thriving as a sophomore at SIUC.”


You can bid on the 37 pieces up for auction by going to An in-person reception celebrating the arrtits takes place Feb. 13; bidding is open through Feb. 20. For more information, contact Carrie Vine at