FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Krishna Stone | 212.367.1016
New York, NY — Starting on November 29, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art will generously donate its gallery, for a third year, to host, "Art & AIDS: 30 Years," an exhibition featuring 50 artists living with HIV/AIDS. Over 150 works of art, utilizing diverse media, will be on display through December 3. The exhibition will mark the 30th year of the HIV/AIDS epidemic by including a memorial wall of artists who have died of AIDS.
The Leslie-Lohman Gay Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art has just been granted museum status through the State of New York Board of Regents. For more than 20 years as a non-profit organization, it has provided an outlet for art work that is unambiguously gay and which is frequently denied access to mainstream venues. Founded by Charles W. Leslie and Fritz Lohman, the Museum will continue 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.
"We are delighted to support these talented artists and the exemplary work of GMHC," said Wayne Snellen, the Museum's Director of Collections. "Art can be a profound communicator. This exhibition provides a powerful opportunity to destigmatize people living with HIV/AIDS."
The exhibition is an outcome of work from weekly therapeutic art classes as part of 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 artists are able to sell their artwork which increases financial independence, particularly for those who live on a limited income.
"We are honored to be partnering with the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art," said Marjorie J. Hill, PhD, 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 a renowned gallery."
At the opening reception on November 29, members of the Imperial Court of New York, a longstanding group that raises funds for community-based organizations, will be volunteering their time to greet guests as part of the festivities. Also, several of the artists will donate art work for a silent auction as a way of giving back to GMHC.
Tuesday, November 29
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
26 Wooster Street (at Grand Street)
New York City
On Wednesday, November 30, on the eve of World AIDS Day, there will be a panel discussion with local, national and international leadership at the Museum entitled, "The Power of Art in the Epidemic," 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm featuring guest panelists:
Mary Fisher, Activist, Artist and Author
Regan Hofmann, Editor-in-Chief, POZ Magazine
Charles W. Leslie, Co-Founding Director, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
Bertil Linblad, Director, UNAIDS New York Office
Cynthia O'Neal, Co-Founder, President and Facilitator, Friends in Deed
Osvaldo Perdomo, Co-Curator of GMHC's Art & AIDS: 30 Years
and moderator: Marjorie J. Hill, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC)
The panelists will discuss how art has impacted their lives and work in addressing the critical issues of HIV/AIDS locally, nationally and internationally.
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About GMHC: GMHC is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported, and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS. We provide prevention and care services to men, women, and families that are living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS in New York City. We advocate for scientific, evidence-based public health solutions for hundreds of thousands worldwide. Our mission: GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected.