Dec. 01
Jan. 29

AIDS & Art: Artists in an Epidemic

December 1, 2021 – January 29, 2022
Decker Library
1401 W Mt Royal Ave

In June of 1981, the CDC published details on the first U.S. cases of an illness that would soon after be known as AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). While those initially diagnosed with AIDS were predominately gay men, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)--the virus that causes AIDS--spread to many other marginalized communities including women, people of color, poor people, heroin users, and hemophiliacs. Myths, prejudice, and stigma spread alongside the virus. As fear spread, some people with AIDS fought back against the view that they were only victims and patients. Artists, creatives, and activists used a wide range of media to fight for their protections, put pressure on government officials, and change the face of HIV/AIDS. Amongst artists of the time, many died from AIDS as others watched their colleagues, friends, and partners suffer. The work made by these artists redefines what it means to be sick with HIV/AIDS and depicts a pivotal time in the lives of LGBTQ people, people of color, and other marginalized communities still impacted by the disease to this day. While new therapies and treatments have allowed those with HIV/AIDS to live longer and healthier lives, HIV/AIDS is by no means cured. And with that, the legacy of AIDS in art continues as well. AIDS & Art uses Decker Library Special Collections and Circulating materials to tell the ongoing story of artist responses to HIV/AIDS. Curated by Tannaz Motevalli. On view from December 1 2021 - January 28, 2022.