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Art aids

Osvaldo Perdomo Emotions, 2013 Oil and acrylic on canvas, 36 x 24 in.

ART and AIDS: Perceptions of Life

Dec 19, 2013 - Jan 05, 2014

Text from a 2013 Press Release

For a fifth year, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art will generously donate its gallery to host, Art & AIDS: Perceptions of Life, an exhibition featuring artists living with HIV and AIDS. One hundred works of art, utilizing diverse media, will be on display from December 19 to January 5. The exhibition is an outcome of work from weekly therapeutic art classes run by GMHC’s Volunteer, Work and Wellness Center. Art teachers donate their time to teach classes for GMHC’s clients (consisting of professional and non-professional artists), and assist in curating the annual exhibition. The work that is sold during the exhibition, allows the artists to increase their financial independence which is particularly important for those who live on a limited income. Plus, the artists are then able to participate in additional art shows as most galleries mandate that artists must have already been part of one show.

“We are honored to be partnering again with the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art,” said Janet Weinberg, Chief Operating Officer/Interim Chief Executive Officer of GMHC. “For many of the artists, participating in the art classes is a healing experience to express emotions about living with HIV/AIDS and the epidemic overall. In fact, for some, this will be the first time ever exhibiting art work in this renowned gallery. We are so appreciative of the museum’s ongoing generosity.”

“AIDS and HIV have been a subject for many gay artists for the last thirty years and have, unfortunately, become a recognized theme in gay art history,” said Hunter O’Hanian, Museum Director. While this work continues to be made, we will be happy to display it. Our relationship with GMHC has been a long fruitful one and we hope it continues for many years.” For more than 20 years as a non-profit organization, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art has provided an outlet for art work that is unambiguously gay and frequently denied access to mainstream venues. Founded by Charles W. Leslie and Fritz Lohman, the museum continues to mount exhibitions of work in all media by gay and lesbian artists with an emphasis on subject matter that speaks directly to gay and lesbian sensibilities—including erotic, political, romantic, and social imagery–and providing special support for emerging and underrepresented artists. The exhibition’s curators, whose artwork will also be featured, offered their thoughts. Volunteering to teach the art classes at GMHC has been very rewarding,” said David Livingston. “It is great to see my students progressing in their artistic endeavors, helping them build confidence.” Osvaldo Perdomo shared: “The exhibition displays prevalent issues as well as hopeful messages from people living with HIV and AIDS. Some of the artists will be sharing their personal truth which is not an easy thing to do. I thank them for their courage.”