The powerful group show Art AIDS America is a special sneak preview of the first comprehensive overview and reconsideration of 30 years of art made in response to the AIDS epidemic in the United States. Art AIDS America is on exhibit at two neighboring West Hollywood venues—the West Hollywood Library and ONE Archives Museum & Gallery—through September 5. It coincides with ongoing celebrations marking WeHo’s 30th year as a City.
A special walk-through tour with co-curator Jonathan D. Katz is set for Saturday, July 18th at the West Hollywood Library and One Archives Museum and Gallery.
At the opening reception, West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath said, “We are honored to present a preview of the momentous Art AIDS America exhibit as part of our 30th Anniversary of Cityhood. Artists are so often on the forefront of social change and activism. So while we continue to mourn those we lost too early, we also celebrate the artists who brought AIDS to the attention of the world as artistic protest and call to action.”
This groundbreaking exhibition offers a sneak peek of 47 works exploring a wide range of creative expressions, from the early years of AIDS through the present day. The pieces installed on the second floor of the library spotlight artists from across the country, and ONE’s selections focus on California artists. Among the highlights are a 1985 portrait of Ken Meeks by Alon Reininger, 2014 self-portraits by Kia Labeija (who was born with HIV), art by Brian Buczak, the collective fierce pussy, recent work by Tino Rodriguez and Ann P. Meredith, and previously unseen photographs by Catherine Opie.
While Art AIDS America is up through September 5, there is a special walk-through tour of the exhibition on Saturday, July 18 with co-curator Jonathan D. Katz, Ph.D. Those interested should meet in the community room on the ground floor of the West Hollywood Library by 1PM. Katz will make introductory comments, and then lead viewers through the works at the Library until 2:30. At that time, the group will make the very short walk to ONE for the second part of the tour, which concludes at 3:30.
Katz will also moderate “Art AIDS America: Celebrating Artists We Lost,” taking place Sunday July 19, 2-4:30PM, at the Renberg Theatre at Los Angeles LGBT Center, a co-presenter of the program along with California LGBT Arts Alliance, ONE, and the City of West Hollywood through its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission. The afternoon will include performances and presentations, including one from Joey Terrill, and artist featured in the Art AIDS America exhibition. For more information: http://calgbtartsalliance.com/upcoming-events/
The ONE Archives at the USC Libraries notes, “Surveying the early 1980s to the present, this exhibition reintroduces and explores a spectrum of artistic responses to HIV/AIDS from the politically outspoken to the quietly mournful, considering how the disease shifted the development of American art away from the conceptual foundations of postmodernism and toward a more insistently political and autobiographical voice.”
The full iteration of Art AIDS America will open at the Tacoma Art Museum in late 2015 before traveling to New York and Georgia in 2016. Art AIDS America is organized by Tacoma Art Museum in partnership with The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and co-curated by Dr. Jonathan D. Katz, Director, Visual Studies Doctoral Program at the University at Buffalo (State University of New York), and Rock Hushka, Chief Curator at Tacoma Art Museum. Generous support provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, and Gilead Sciences, Inc. The presentation of the preview exhibition Art AIDS America is supported by the City of West Hollywood and The David Geffen Foundation.
For more information: www.weho.org/pride
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