Positive Art

Positive Art was a community-based public art project in collaboration with San Francisco Bay Area HIV/AIDS service organizations from 1988 through 2003. Positive Art began as a community art project in October of 1988, with financial support from an Artist-in-Residence Grant from the California Arts Council, and in-kind support and sites at Rest Stop Support Center, in San Francisco and The Center for AIDS Services, in Oakland. I conceived it as a project that would provide support to artists living with HIV/AIDS by offering free studio space, art supplies, grant writing assistance, exhibition opportunities, and teaching positions. A parallel component offered free visual arts classes and workshops to all with HIV concerns at all levels of artistic experience. These classes were facilitated by several HIV positive artists and me on a weekly basis. Since that first year we’ve received twelve years of funding from the California Arts Council. We have also had additional generous support from many private foundations, including the LEF Foundation, the David and Reva Logan Foundation, the Institute of Noetic Sciences and the Horizons Foundation. These grants have enabled Positive Art to provide free visual arts classes at several AIDS support service organizations in San Francisco and the East Bay, in Northern California.

Our project was most recently facilitated by Bob Corti, Nancer LeMoins, Marcos Reyes, and me. We offered our free classes at the following Bay Area locations: The Center for AIDS Services in Oakland, The Derek Silva Community, and Mytree Hospice, both in San Francisco, and AIDS Community Network in Richmond. Our activities have made it possible to present professional community-based exhibitions and public events at cafés, colleges, galleries, art centers and museums, both locally and nationally, for the fifteen years. These exhibitions have resulted in the education of the viewers about the myriad issues surrounding AIDS, art and community.