Founded in 1988 by arts professionals as a response to the effects of AIDS on the arts community and as a way of organizing artists, arts institutions, and arts audiences towards direct action, Visual AIDS has evolved into an arts organization with a two-pronged mission. 1.) Through the Frank Moore Archive Project, the largest slide library of work by artists living with HIV and the estates of artists who have died of AIDS, Visual AIDS historicizes the contributions of visual artists with HIV while supporting their ability to continue making art and furthering their professional careers. 2.) In collaboration with museums, galleries, artists, schools, and AIDS service organizations, Visual AIDS produces exhibitions, publications, and events utilizing visual art to keep focus on the AIDS pandemic.
Art Matters enabled the growth of Visual AIDS, offering office space and operating support from the organization’s beginnings. In 1989, Art Matters helped fund one of the most well-known, international AIDS initiatives, Day Without Art, a commemoration by arts institutions for those who lived with or had died from AIDS. Visual AIDS also created The Ribbon Project, which turned a simple Red Ribbon into an internationally recognized symbol of AIDS awareness; and Night Without Light, a commemoration that coincides with World AIDS Day/Day Without Art (December 1 each year)—-for fifteen minutes, the lights on Manhattan’s historic buildings and monuments are turned off in recognition of those who have died.
For more information visit http://www.visualaids.org.