Textile artists Leo Chiachio, Daniel Giannone create huge Pride Flag

Leo Chiachio and Daniel Giannone Pride Flag

Leo Chiachio, left, and Daniel Giannone are creating a giant Pride Flag stitched of textile panels with messages about diversity. Photo: Museum of Latin American Art.

LONG BEACH — At the Museum of Latin American Art, textile artists Leo Chiachio and Daniel Giannone sew and stitch cloth squares that represent the fabric of the LGBTQ community.

Those squares will be sown into large panels that will be stitched together for a gigantic, 100-foot by 30-foot LGBTQ Pride Flag.

“We want to build a big, big, big flag,” Chiachio said during an interview at MOLAA.

Pride Flag

The enormous flag,  a collaboration between the museum and the Long Beach AIDS Food Store, will be displayed during the Long Beach Pride Parade May 19. The flag also will be carried in the LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood June 9.

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Since mid March, Chiachio and Giannone, a gay couple visiting from their hometown of Buneas Aires, Argentina, have invited the public to the museum to collaborate on the project by writing messages about diversity on textile squares.

“This project is democratic and inclusive,” Chiachio said. “It’s an important opportunity to create art and celebrate diversity.”

Leo Chiachio Daniel Giannone

Leo Chiachio, right, and Daniel Giannone work on the giant Pride Flag that will be displayed in the Long Beach Pride Parade. Photo: Museum of Latin American Art.

Chiachio & Giannone

The LGBTQ Pride flag is part of “Chiachio & Giannone: Celebrating Diversity,” a work-in-progress exhibit on display at MOLAA through August 4.

The exhibit also includes a series of textile mosaics called “Familia a seis colores/Family in six colores,” a reference to the six colors in the LGBTQ Pride Flag. In each work, the family is represented by a constellation of creators who are united by art and being a part of the LGBTQ community.

During their time in Long Beach, Chiachio and Giannone want to create three mosaics that pay tribute to LGBTQ artists from California and other parts of the United States.

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Pride Flag panels

Some of the large, colorful panels that will be used to create the huge Pride Flag  are displayed along the museum’s walls.

Some of the messages people have written include, “Love will conquer hate,” “stand up for LGBTIQ rights,” “I matter,” “feminism is queer,” “gay revolution,” and “What part of equality don’t you understand?”

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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