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ART FOR AIDS: Ribbons of Remembrance Project

Pierce County AIDS Foundation, in commemoration of our 25 Years of Service, asked artists of all media to create works of art representing the iconic red ribbon, the visual symbol for the HIV/AIDS virus for the past 30 years.

10 pieces have been selected (see below) and will be placed in Corina Bakery on prominent display from October 12th- November 30th. Following the community exhibit, artworks will be sold by silent auction at our 25 Years of Service event held at Tacoma Art Museum on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2012.

Thank you to everyone who attended the exhibit celebration held during Art Walk on Thursday, November 15th at Corina Bakery. Guests enjoyed meeting some of the artists, and viewing pieces up close and personal. If you weren't able to attend, you can still stop by Corina Bakery and pick your favorite before the December 1st, silent auction at the 25 Years of Service event as the show will be up, at Corina Bakery, until November 30th, 2012. To view pictures of the art opening visit our Facebook page.

ART FOR AIDS: Ribbons of Remembrance Pieces

Nureyev Awaits, 2012, 11” x 14”


Media: Gouache on Wood

About the Piece: A portrait of the dancer Rudolf Nureyev, as an angel. The abstracted, layered red ribbon floating in and around him hints at the veils dancers often use in performances. At the same time it helps to unite the wood grain background with the overall image. It is a happy thought to think of Nureyev waiting in the heavens to greet us with a ballet.

Artist Bio: Patrushka grew up in Southern California and spent many hours locked her room-stereo blasting, drawing and coloring. Her early influences were children's book illustrations, record album covers, comics and TV. Later, the art books of MC Escher, Waterhouse, R.Crumb, Max Ernst and Salvador Dali captivated her.
Working in almost all media, from collage to sculpture, airbrush to photography, Patrushka has created an eclectic array of images, returning recently to oils on wood. The ying and yang of life, the skull beneath the smile, the dark within the light, the good as well as the bad-music, politics, pop culture, emotions and our natural world are constant inspirations.

WARMTH, 2012, 10" x 10"

Artist: Jennifer Preston Chushcoff

Media: Mixed Media Encaustic

About the Piece: Featuring the image of a songbird wearing a red scarf made from vintage ribbon, the work includes found paper, dried flowers, and Emily Dickinson's poem, Hope is the Thing With Feathers, embedded in wax.

Artist Bio: Jennifer Preston Chushcoff lives in Tacoma and works in a variety of formats, including photography and encaustic mixed media. She attended U.C. Berkeley and graduated with a degree in Art History. Her work focuses on several themes including mortality and the spiritual quest. The natural world offers a pure reflection of both, and inspires her every day. She appreciates a pared down sensibility, focus on nature and embrace of the fleeting.

Mother's Milk, 1994, 27” x 33”

Artist: Cheri O'Brien

Media: Gouache on Watercolor Paper

About the Piece: Concept for the painting originated from the time when HIV/AIDS was first discovered and depicts a mother having contracting the virus through a blood transfusion which then also infected her babies.  While the theme of the painting can first be seen as very dark and sad, it also conveys how far we have come from those early years of ignorance and loss.

Artist Bio: Cheri O'Brien is a Pacific Northwest native, an artist since the age of five.  She is inspired by finding humor in beauty and the beauty of humor.  At first glance, her colorful, narrative paintings seem to be whimsical reflections of her surroundings, family and several muses.  A closer look reveals the layers of meaning. 

, 2012, 20” x 16”

Artist: Megan Johnson

Media: Vintage Patterned Fabric, Wood, Paint and Satin Ribbon

About the Piece: In my eleven years in social services, here is what I've learned:  HOPE is sometimes all we have.  Even when we are tired, bored, empty, there is always HOPE.  And that is enough to keep us going.

Artist Bio: A Tacoma resident since the age of six, Megan has been employed as a case manager in the area of social sciences for over eleven years. She currently works as a Medical Case Manager at Pierce County AIDS Foundation (PCAF) providing compassionate care services for individuals who are HIV+, and specializing in supporting HIV+ individuals newly released from correctional facilities.

In her spare time, she writes prolifically, and plans to publish one day. Megan also dips into visual arts through text/mixed media assemblage and vintage restoration. When she grows up, she hopes to open a shop filled with treasures from the past-lovingly restored and combined with objects d’art.

The Way It Is, 2012, 24” x 30”

Media: Acrylic on Canvas

About the Piece: Ribbon of fingerprints…for those who have left their fingerprints all over our hearts.

Artist Bio: I write to make sense of the world. I paint to make sense of the ways I see things. These processes are highly personal and I have a deep connection to each piece of writing, each act of art.

I paint in both watercolor and acrylic. I now keep my originals and sell either digital or Giclee prints of them. I do, however, sell only original canvas paintings because reproductions of them do not do justice to the textures and colors…I want you to experience the entire piece—touch it, see it and let it speak to you. 

Memoriam, 2012, 13” x 16”

Artist: Roland Hamel, Elena Hamel

Media: Text and Pen/Ink

About the Piece: This piece is a memoriam for a person whose existence would otherwise be forgotten.  The birds symbolize the release of his spirit from the place where he died to the heaven where he began.

Artist Bio: I have been writing poetry since the mid-1970s for my own enjoyment and to share with family and friends. In the 1990s I collaborated with an artist friend who painted watercolor washes on a series of poems that I had written. A copy of this collaborative series now resides in the Folk Art Museum in New York City.

My career of over 30 years working in social services as a mental health counselor and case manager has given me much grist for my creative mill, and has allowed me time to become good at crafting a poem.

I collaborated with my daughter in law, Elena Hamel to create the piece for the Red Ribbon Project. Elena studied art at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Elena is currently living in Germany with my son, Philip, who is stationed there in the U.S. Air Force.

United Progression in Living Color, 2012, 24” x 48” 

Artist: Savy Jane

Media: Acrylic and Charcoal on Stretched Canvas

About the Piece: This piece is symbolic, full of color and transitional in nature. The message portrayed is that education is key in the fight for AIDS prevention. With this key, one can live a colorful, rich life. The painting is a tall panel displaying books interestingly stacked on top of one another. The mountain of books represents the fight to get and give education.  Outlines of small people are mountain-climbing the books in a struggle to reach the top, or a rich life. At the top of the stacked books is one individual wearing a red ribbon because she has reached a colorful life, education, and knows the key to AIDS prevention. She wants to shout it to the world. She is a silhouette and the beaming sun is directly behind her. Sun rays are spreading everywhere and dancing on the others in their climb to the top. The sky gets more and more beautiful at the top of the mountain of books representing the fight from crisis to the answer.

Artist Bio: Savy Jane is a self taught Northwest Artist obsessed with color and music. Each painting is a battle between what Savy imagines in her mind and an organic development of what the paint wants to become. An important part of her process is watering down the paint so it drips organically. Gravity is a force of its own and she doesn't fight it so every painting is truly a one-of-a-kind creation impossible to recreate. Her art is strongly influenced by music and life experience. Through the use of color, she expresses her emotion and feelings. She learns something new with every creation and, consequently, is ever growing as a person and artist.

Human Family ...Working Together for Answers!  
2012,  33” x 25”

Artist: Barbra Anderson

Media: Watercolor Paint and Pencils

About the Piece:  I used watercolor paint and pencils to create a collage-type painting incorporating the red-ribbon theme around a large plate surrounded by people of all ethnicity  Incorporated into my painting are key phrases such as HIV/AIDS, Research, Education, ATZ, Reiki, Healing, Prayer, and Hope.

Artist Bio: Born in Abbottsford, BC Canada in 5/22/48, Barbra Anderson is a watercolor artist who graduated from Evergreen State College in 2005.  Working in Human Services and painting for over thirty years, she has studied with Jean Putnam of Orcas Island and Val Persoon of Tacoma, plus influenced by many others.  Barbra has lived in the great Northwest for most of her life and enjoys the beauty of nature, spiritual connections, and the awesome power of God to transform.  She loves making art with kids, and painting Angels that are sent to assist us in the here and now!  In her ART FOR AIDS painting, she worked to capture the diversity of people and their ethnicity, and portray how by working together, such as in the Dining Out For Life event, we can affect change.  The "Big Beautiful Angels" found in her paintings symbolize healing, love, peace, and amazing power, and exemplify bringing wholeness to the AIDS situation through God's perfect order--all things working together for good.  Love and light is her prayer for healing.

*Special thank you to Artco Crafts and FramingPatricio Benavidez, and Anonymous Donor for donating to the framing of this piece.

All Dressed Up for More than Just Dinner, 2012, 24” x  36”  

Artist: Malinda Ayers

Media: Acrylic on Canvas

About the Piece: This piece depicts a woman awash in her feelings of pain for the people she lost to HIV/AIDS and the communal suffering experience due to the AIDS virus. The woman also displays her overwhelming hope for a cure, her sense of grace and a deep understanding of the effects of the pandemic.

Artist Bio: A local and self taught artist, Malinda Ayers strives to paint both the seen and the unseen qualities of this world. In this example from a series of art work, she explores looking beyond the physical body to capture the internal struggle and emotional nature of her selected subjects which include social and political commentary. Complex and often conflicting emotions are often portrayed taking center focus and creating a surreal sense of reality.

Reflection of Ribbons
, 2012 , 20” x 24” 

Artist: Susan Russell Hall

Media: Mixed Media: Fire, Carbon and Remnants of Ribbon

About the Piece: When thinking about this project, it wasn't something that I could do; it was something that I had to do.

When I started this piece of art, I took a variety of red ribbons, representing the various people who were, and are, affected by AIDS. Then took a blowtorch and slowly lit them on fire. Some burned, some melted, and some stayed there for a long time. It was very emotional and difficult to watch.

The fire also symbolized how quickly the virus spread, along with panic and misinformation. There are haunting images left by the ribbons.

The ginkgo leaves were added because they are known as the “bearer of hope.” After Hiroshima was bombed six ginkgo trees survived. The hummingbird, the only bird that can fly forward as well as backwards, represents the past, present and future. Though small and beautiful, the hummingbird is a fighter. Reminding us that what we do in the present, right now, is the only thing that can impact the time that is to come.

Artist Bio: Art is my visual language, used with the hope of bringing discovery, compassion, and empowerment to the viewer.

Layers have always been part of my work, spending 27 years working in surgery as a medical artist. I often think of my boards as the “bones” and enjoy building up a surface to create depth and history. I strive to create a place of reflection and healing, knowing that we usually have the answers to our questions; we just need to slow down enough to find them