Our AIDS Story Sharing at moCa Cleveland
Free. Registration required.
Our memories. Our lives. Our AIDS Story.
To accompany their exhibitions of the National AIDS Memorial Quilt, the Artists Archive of the Western Reserve and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland have come together to host two collaborative story sharing programs. The first was held on Saturday, September 25 at the Artists Archive of the Western Reserve during their CONVERGE exhibition of Ohio LGBTQ artists. The second, taking place on December 1, 2021, World AIDS Day, will be located in moCa’s first floor atrium in conjunction with the museum’s presentation of the National AIDS Memorial Quilt.
HIV/AIDS has touched the lives of so many in Northeast Ohio. Grounded in the practices of community-building and healing, these unique programs will be structured as inclusive story sharing circles. The December 1 program will be facilitated by Jen McMillen Smith, a Social Work Specialist in the Department of Medicine, Infectious Disease at MetroHealth and coordinator of MetroHealth’s biennial exhibition of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. McMillen Smith graciously facilitated the display of panels of the AIDS Quilt at the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve as part of their CONVERGE exhibition of Ohio LGBTQ+ art and served as a liaison to MetroHeatlh’s partnership in the show. All are welcome to join this discussion and share their memories and experiences with the disease in a safe and nurturing environment. Attendance is limited and advance registration is required.
Featured storytellers participating in the December 1 program include CONVERGE artists:
Mundo Meza, Merman with Mandolin, 1984. Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 111 in. (182.9 x 281.9 cm). Collection of Jef Huereque. Photo by Fredrik Nilsen. Courtesy of Pat Meza
Currently at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (moCa), Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. maps the intersections and collaborations among a network of Los Angeles based queer Chicano artists and their artistic collaborators between the late 1960s and early 1990s. Taking its title in deference to the artist Edmundo “Mundo” Meza (1955-1985), a central figure within his generation, Axis Mundo presents over two decades of work—painting, performance ephemera, print material, video, music, fashion, and photography—created in the context of significant artistic and cultural movements, from the emergence of the Chicano civil rights, women’s, and LGBTQ liberation movements through to the political activism around the AIDS epidemic.
William Martin Jean, Three Goddesses, 1968. Acrylic on canvas, 55x57 in.
CONVERGE, a group exhibition of over 70 artists presented by the Artists Archive of the Western Reserve (AAWR) picks up where Axis Mundo concludes, showing recent work by the LGBTQ artistic community of the Western Reserve. As in Axis Mundo, CONVERGE showcases stories that range from protest, pride, and transformation, to simple joy in the aesthetics of beauty and act of creation.
Axis Mundo and CONVERGE highlight the contributions of many under-recognized artists, solidifying their presence in the archives of art history. In concert with these exhibitions, both moCa and AAWR will display blocks of the National AIDS Memorial Quilt.