AIDS Awareness Exhibit brings a global perspective

As rain splattered against the glass double doors of the University Art Gallery on Thursday, bright lights illuminated colorful posters from all over the world.

These posters ranging from Africa to Austria all come together at the University Art Gallery to raise awareness about Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS.

The University Art Gallery is the last stop for the “Graphic Intervention: 25 years of international AIDS Awareness Posters 1985-2010” traveling poster exhibit, from collector James Lapides in collaboration with the Massachusetts College of Art and Design-Boston.

Lapides bought a small collection of these AIDS posters 20 years ago and dedicated himself to obtaining as many as he could.

“The posters are a way of remembering those who have died due to AIDS,” Lapides stated in the gallery’s informational book about the gallery. “(It’s) a graphic quilt of a different kind.”

Even though the weather outside was bleak, Coordinator of Exhibits and Special Projects of the University Library Janet Danek strolled through the exhibit, checking out all of the different posters.

“This is a very important exhibit,” Danek said. “It’s a very serious subject, but this exhibit is so full of life, color, vibrance, and humor. This exhibit celebrates the life of the people affected, and does it very well.”

Along with the exhibit bringing new light to a seemingly dark topic, Danek finds the impact of how many different countries and cultures are represented with this exhibit intriguing.

“It’s simply important for our culture and there hasn’t been enough focus lately on AIDS as a global concern,” Danek said when explaining the importance of all the different countries being represented at the exhibit’s reception.

Hancock junior and business student, Amanda Friel, who worked the front desk during the exhibit agreed with Danek about the brightness, color and global reach.

“I really like this exhibit because I am an international business student,” Friel said.

To Friel, it was interesting to see countries that are usually conservative having posters hanging on the gallery’s walls.



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