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Announcing "The Leathermen Project" by Mike Ruiz, World Premiere Photography Exhibit

We are pleased to announce that acclaimed New York-based photographer Mike Ruiz’s newest collection, The Leathermen Project, will see its world premiere at The Academy, beginning with a celebratory showcase and reception on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.


"Part of our club's mission is highlighting and preserving queer culture and history, and many of the artists we have featured since opening five years ago have identified as LGBTQ+. As prominent and talented as Mike is, we are very grateful that he chose The Academy to premiere this beautiful collection. I can't wait for September 20!" said co-founder Nate Bourg.


Known for his work with celebrities from RuPaul to Beyoncé (and many more), Mike's latest work is "a time capsule that will keep the leather community’s rich history alive for future generations."


The collection will continue on display throughout the fall for viewing by Academy Members and guests, and by appointment only. A portion of the proceeds from each sale of artwork will be donated to LYRIC, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization supporting LGBTQ+ youth.


Below is a sampling of works in the collection:



According to Mike, The Leathermen Project is an effort to demystify a community that Mike has always been incredibly drawn to, and he hopes that this effort will shine a light on the humanity of leathermen and become a time capsule that will keep the leather community’s rich history alive for future generations.


More About Mike Ruiz

Mike’s long list of celebrity clients include Jared Leto, Anne Hathaway, Billy Porter, Neil Patrick Harris, Cardi B, Ruby Rose, Katy Perry, Prince, Kelly Clarkson, Jim Parsons, Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Beyonce, Betty White, and the list goes on and on. He has also directed several music videos for artists such as Kelly Rowland, Vanessa Williams, Erika Jayne and RuPaul, and made his feature film directorial debut with the uproarious comedy “StarrBooty” starring RuPaul.


Mike has also appeared frequently on America’s and Canada’s Next Top Model, RuPaul’s Drag Race, along with dozens of other television appearances as an expert in his field. Mike was recently named creative director and principal photographer for L’Officiel Fashion Book Australia, L’Officiel Fashion Book Monte Carlo and PhotoBook Magazine.


Mike is most proud of his community service, having supported such organizations as The Ali Forney Center, GMHC, The Trevor Project, Housing Works, It Gets Better Campaign, Live Out Loud, Project Angel Food, and GLAAD. He is also on the honorary board of the "Let There Be Hope" research foundation.


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