Art Lives is an exciting celebration of the creative legacies of talented artists from all fields of artistic expression whose lives were lost to AIDS – whether famous, infamous or unknown. Art Lives gives the public a chance to hear, to see and to actively participate in the celebration of the exceptional creative output of an entire generation of artists lost to AIDS that might otherwise be silenced by the passing of time. Thirty years after the first test for HIV/AIDS became publicly available, the epidemic continues to take lives unnecessarily. AIDS is not over. Art Lives will keep alive the creative legacies of nominated artists lost to AIDS while calling attention to the continuing impact of AIDS on us still and while supporting important initiatives in the on-going fight against HIV/AIDS.
Art Lives has been developed to digitally preserve and showcase the works by artists lost to AIDS, to re-ignite interest in their creative legacies, and to bring outstanding but previously unseen or rarely seen art works by these artists to the public for their pleasure and enjoyment. While we can never know all of the great work they had ahead of them, we can and should celebrate the great work and stories they have left behind.
The artists inaugurating Art Lives were nominated by three leading arts-based organizations advocating for HIV/AIDS education and services: DIFFA, LifeBeat, and Visual AIDS. The artists they have identified are just a few of the extraordinary artists lost to AIDS that we hope to display. POBA will expand and extend the reach and impact of Art Lives by also asking celebrities, partner organizations and the public to nominate such artists who should be recognized in Art Lives.