Visual AIDS utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over.
Statement of Values
Visual AIDS is the only contemporary arts organization fully committed to HIV prevention and AIDS awareness through producing and presenting visual art projects, while assisting artists living with HIV/AIDS. We are committed to preserving and honoring the work of artists with HIV/AIDS and the artistic contributions of the AIDS movement. We embrace diversity and difference in our staff, leadership, artists and audiences.
In the fight against AIDS, we believe:
- Effective AIDS advocacy seeks to address the underlying and related issues that contribute to and exacerbate the pandemic, such as poverty, homophobia and racism.
- Our work affirms the visibility, dignity and rights of people living with HIV and AIDS.
- HIV/AIDS prevention is about harm reduction that is guided by science, not ideology.
- We draw from the deep history of art activism, as with our Red Ribbon Project and Day With(out) Art.
- Visual AIDS promotes art that is public, inclusive and accessible.
- Art that takes risks promotes and encourages reflection, dialogue and action.
Art is our weapon of choice.
Utilizing Contemporary Art
Visual AIDS enables public dialogue and scholarship around AIDS and contemporary art with exhibitions, public events and publications. Each year we produce and distribute thousands of free, AIDS awareness, artist editions through our Broadsides project. Visual AIDS has successfully produced a variety of open call exhibitions, catalogs and printed matter. Year-round we collaborate with teachers and students to facilitate research and special projects.
Artists With HIV & Artists Lost to AIDS
The Frank Moore Archive Project is both a service to HIV+ artists and a public resource. We use the Archive Project to teach about AIDS art activism and the lasting importance of HIV-positive visual artists. Our rotating, guest-curated web galleries reach 30,000 people each month. For the artists and estates in the Archive Project, we arrange documentation of work, provide grants, and redistribute art supplies. Since its founding in 1994, the Archive has welcomed any and all professional visual artists living with HIV and the estates of artists who have died of AIDS.
Visual AIDS was one of the first national initiatives to record the impact of the AIDS pandemic on the artistic community. It brought together the arts and AIDS communities through its renowned national projects DAY WITH(OUT) ART, Night Without Light and The Ribbon Project.
DAY WITH(OUT) ART has evolved since its inception in 1989 to become a day with art -- a collaborative project by over 6,000 arts communities around the world which demonstrates the power of art to raise awareness of the ongoing AIDS pandemic. For one day -- December 1st/World AIDS Day each year -- it encourages the arts communities to remember those who have died from AIDS related illnesses and brings together diverse audiences in shared commemoration.
The Ribbon Project was created in 1991 by the Visual AIDS Artists Caucus, a group of artists who wished to create a visual symbol to demonstrate compassion for people living with AIDS and their caregivers.