AIDS fundraiser: moving miniatures for sale

Creating art in the midst of the AIDS crisis was a cathartic response to a disease of enormous tragedy. One especially affecting large group display of such work is “Postcards from the Edge,” organized by Visual AIDS in New York City. Like the early AIDS quilt, each contributor’s work is deemed to be of equal importance, suggesting that each life matters. Each individual work stands with others, shoulder to shoulder in solidarity. The only theme is perhaps “we’re in this to make a difference,” and that AIDS is not over.

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“Postcards from the Edge” exhibition. Photo courtesy of Visual AIDS

At least six FIT faculty members and staff have contributed to the 17th “Post Cards from the Edge” (PCFE) exhibit. But you won’t find their name on their work–yet. All of the artwork remains anonymous until after it’s purchased.

Guesswork is encouraged. But it won’t be easy. There will be 1,661 postcard artworks on display!

“The work goes up and only buyers and collectors go the first day,” says Ron Amato, chair of photography and a contributor to the exhibit. “They might try to find the work of a particular artist. Or they just buy things they like and wind up being surprised by whose piece it is.”
"Postcards from the Edge" exhibition. Photo courtesy of Visual AIDS
“Postcards from the Edge” exhibition. Photo courtesy of Visual AIDS

“This year, we have more postcard artworks than ever before,” says Esther McGowan, Associate Director of Visual AIDS. Along with FIT contributors, the postcards of well-known artists like Pipilotti Rist and Robert Gober will be on display. (A complete list of artists is on the Visual AIDS website.)

“People get really excited if it turns out to be someone famous and they had no idea…or if they guessed who it might be and it turns out they were right,” says McGowan.  “What can also be great is when someone is just excited to buy a beautiful or challenging artwork.”
"Postcards from the Edge" exhibition. Photo courtesy of Visual AIDS
“Postcards from the Edge” exhibition. Photo courtesy of Visual AIDS
For Pacifico Silano, FIT photography tech who lost his uncle to AIDS, “Donating a postcard-sized piece of artwork is the least I can do to support such a great cause.” And he says, it’s for an organization “that puts art supplies in the hands of people living with HIV. It helps people who might not otherwise have the resources be able to make artwork.”
"Postcards from the Edge" exhibition. Photo courtesy of Visual AIDS
“Postcards from the Edge” exhibition. Photo courtesy of Visual AIDS
 Following a “sneak preview” on Friday January 30, a benefit sale will take place on Saturday January 31 and Sunday February 1, from 10am to 6pm.  Each artwork sells for $85 with a special deal if you purchase more than four pieces.
"Postcards from the Edge" exhibition. Photo courtesy of Visual AIDS
“Postcards from the Edge” exhibition. Photo courtesy of Visual AIDS

Says Amato, “The outpouring of support for this organization through this event truly represents the massive power of art and artists.”

For more information about this show and the work of Visual AIDS visit: VisualAIDS.org

FIT contributors to “Postcards from the Edge” include:  Pacifico Silano (Photography, Tech C), Bil Donovan (Illustration), Ron Amato (Photography) Elisabeth Jacobsen (VPED, retired), Roberta Degnore (Social Sciences), the late Robert Getso (Social Sciences) and Kat Hartling (Social Sciences).

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