Local art community remembers victims of AIDS in second 'Day Without Art'

November 29, 1990|By John Dorsey | John Dorsey,Sun Art Critic

In Baltimore as elsewhere, "Day Without Art 1990" is going to be a day with art. Exhibits, performance art, the AIDS Memorial Quilt and a quilt-making workshop are among the activities planned around the second annual Day Without Art observance on Saturday.

Organized nationally by Visual AIDS, a New York-based group of art professionals, this year's day coincides with the World Health Organization's AIDS Awareness Day.

According to organizers, "Day Without Art 1990" is intended to remember those who've died from acquired immune deficiency syndrome, "to educate the public about HIV infection, and to encourage action to cure and care for all people with AIDS everywhere."

Alexander Gray, a spokesman for Visual AIDS in New York, explained why "Day Without Art" will belie its name: "We originally hoped to shut down every gallery, museum and art presenter in the country [to demonstrate the artistic loss stemming from AIDS]. But . . . that proved impractical. People felt they could do something more pro-active by staying open and educating the public."

He also said that, as part of the national observance, lights illuminating New York's skyscrapers and bridges will be turned off to darken the Manhattan skyline on Saturday from 7:45 to 8 p.m.

In Baltimore, two month-long exhibits will open Saturday. The newly formed Museum for Contemporary Arts and the Maryland Institute, College of Art are sponsoring a national invitational exhibition called "Visual AIDS" to be shown at the Famous Ballroom, 1717 N. Charles St.

There will be more than 200 works in the exhibit, according to Museum for Contemporary Arts director George Ciscle. After the show closes on Dec. 22 the works will be offered to hospitals, hospices and community centers involved with AIDS-related programs, and to people with AIDS. The exhibit opening will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. For information call 462-3515.

The BAUhouse and Act Up Balto are sponsoring a mid-Atlantic regional exhibit called "AIDS=AID" at the BAUhouse, 1713 N. Charles St. The exhibit is designed to "challenge the perceptions and misperceptions about AIDS."

Following the show's 8 to 10 p.m. opening, New York performance artist and writer David Drake, a native of Harford County, will perform his own work, "The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me." It will be one of a number of AIDS-related performances throughout the month at the BAUhouse. Call 659-5520.

Goucher College is holding a series of events this week. A four-part lecture series about AIDS ends tonight at 7:30 with a talk titled, "Strengths and Weaknesses of Public Policy." Tomorrow through Sunday the college will exhibit six 12-foot squares of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt at the Rosenberg Gallery in the Kraushaar Auditorium building. A candlelight vigil will be held tomorrow from 7 to 9 p.m. Call 337-6154.

The Health Education Resource Organization (HERO) and School 33 will sponsor a quilt-making workshop at School 33, 1427 Light St., Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. All panels made will be shipped to NAMES Project headquarters in San Francisco for inclusion in the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Call 396-4641.

Two videos will be shown alternately throughout the day at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The BMA will present the 1989 Academy Award-winning documentary, "Common Threads, Stories from the Quilt," narrated by Dustin Hoffman; the Baltimore Film Forum will present "The Last Laugh," a 60-minute documentary featuring people with AIDS and comedians collaborating on a benefit show. Call 396-6314.

Local art galleries also plan to mark "Day Without Art 1990" in various ways, from Dalsheimer closing for the day and the Walters Art Gallery dimming selected galleries to Craig Flinner Gallery donating 10 percent of its proceeds to AIDS service providers.

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