image by Loren Britton

Tailgate Projects

Tailgate Projects invites you to a collaborative, multiply-authored truck painting, performance and exhibition in and around multiple venues in the Southern United States. The culmination of this collaborative public truck painting will be hosted by MASS Gallery in Austin, TX as part of the FUSE Box performance festival. “Prime Specimens” artists Silky Shoemaker, Michelle Devereaux, and Kale Roberts of Tailgate Projects will be painting a new mural on the exterior of this truck gallery/performance platform. Devereaux’s airbrushing skills and Shoemaker’s vibrant portraits will point to queering the southern nostalgia of State Fair t-shirts, hats, souped up trucks, and male pageantry. Juxtaposing imagery of womyn in bodybuilding and best in show 1970’s style painted dogs, this mural will explore a coded history of camp and achievement. By honoring these deeply invested fringe niche, the truck mural will be a celebration of bodies and the divine. A series of performances in and around the truck bed will set off the opening of MASS gallery Prime Specimens show. 

The painted truck will drive back across the south, to its home in Tampa Bay to pick up a new sculpture, housed in the truck bed, by artist Lexa Walsh, so it can drop in on Walsh’s exhibition of ceramic award forms “Taking One for the Team” at Still Life with Fruit Gallery in Deland, FL on May 6th. Back in Tampa, working with Parallelogram Gallery, Tailgate Projects will host a tailgate happening on May 13th, 2022, exhibiting its new paint job, “Prime Specimens”, and a new body of ceramic and mixed media works by Walsh and new large scale photographic work by Kale Roberts.

Like an award ceremony marking the beginning and end, Roberts will then adorn the truck’s wheel hubs with sculptures of ribbons and mums, a true calling to the warm contradictions of the south, like jam, like butter sculptures, like pies, homecoming, biscuits, and the absurd achievements of sports culture. 


Tailgate Projects(TGP) Mobile Gallery, a truck in drag, is inherently collaborative and ever evolving. Each season the truck is consistently recreated by artists. The work travels through or resides in public space, a smoke signal for change through conversations and happenings. This platform works to redefine masculinity through a dismantling of: gender as we know it, sports culture, patriotism, truck culture, and the toxicities that have festered in the South. In our six years of running TGP is invested in queering spaces by way of collaboration and embracing of our multifaceted selves within a single object.


Silky Shoemaker  is a performer, visual artist, and community organizer based in the Bay Area. She makes work that explores the absurdity and profundity of queer life thru painting, curation, and slapstick melodrama. Her work has been seen in such illustrious venues as ArtHouse Austin, the Warhol Museum, The Sculpture Center (Queens) and punk houses throughout the USA. She is one third of the performance collective Shaboom! and also dances across the world with notorious post gender punk Christeene. Silky is the founder of GAYBIGAYGAY Music Fest and once curated the world’s first Gay Wax Museum. 


Michelle Devereaux is an artist born and raised in Dallas, Texas and has been living and working in Austin since 2005. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bard College in 2004. She currently works at an Austin-based chainstitch company known as Fort Lonesome. Her performances, installations, videos, and drawings have been shown locally at Monofonus Press, Mass Gallery, Arthouse at the Jones Center, Co-Lab, Domy Books, Okay Mountain, El Cosmico, and Museum of Human Achievement. Other notable shows include a two person show with Matt Furie at New Image Art Gallery in Los Angeles, in addition to a pizza themed group show at Marlborough Gallery in Chelsea. Her recent body of work centers mostly on the media of colored pencil drawings mixed airbrush. 


Kale Roberts explores queer potentialities through community, material, body and performance. As a southern queer, failure and resilience is expanded through explorations of sports culture, community ritual, energy exchange, and the unexpected. With an art as life outlook, Roberts work is heavily seated in materiality as language. Even though these objects and performances can be precarious, they lead with joyful intentions and willful discomfort.

Fusebox Performances