The LOVE POSITIVE WOMEN Valentine Pop-up Exhibition is a display of hundreds of handmade paper valentines made by artists and friends, that will mailed to women living with HIV internationally for Valentine’s Day.
Joyce McDonald is an artist in many senses of the word. She is, of course, a literal artist: a talented painter and sculptor whose works often capture in stark relief the gamut of emotions she's experienced throughout her colorful life. Joyce is also a weaver of words: not just as a poet or a songwriter (she is both), but also as speaker for her church's AIDS ministry and assistant director of its children's choir.
LOVE POSITIVE WOMEN 2017
January 26–January 29, 2017
Reception & Reflections: January 26
The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
208 W 13th St #210, New York, NY, 10011
For LOVE POSITIVE WOMEN 2017, artists, activists and HIV+ women came together at Dieu Donné’s paper making studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard to create hundreds of unique handmade paper valentines which will be mailed to women living with HIV around the world. Visual AIDS, the Fire Island Artist Residency, Dieu Donné and the International Community of Women Living With HIV (ICW) are hosted three papermaking valentine workshops on January 18 to show their love and support for women living with HIV internationally. The LOVE POSITIVE WOMEN Valentine Pop-up Exhibition at the Bureau of General Services Queer Division will display a selection of the valentines, and directly after the reception, these artworks will be mailed to women internationally and will arrive for Valentine’s Day. The Opening Reception will include brief reflections on the importance of love and community building from Visual AIDS Artist+ Members and others from the Positive Women's Network (PWN-USA) and ICW, including Joyce McDonald, Shirlene Cooper, Wanda Hernandez-Parks, Lydia Bryant, Valerie Reyes-Jimenez and Cindy Krampah.
Women living with HIV as well as invited artists made paper valentines for women living with HIV around the world. The valentines will be mailed with personalized messages as a gesture of love and support in the hopes of lessening the stigma experienced by women living with HIV.
LOVE POSITIVE WOMEN is an ongoing project established by Visual AIDS artist member Jessica Whitbread in 2013. “Why not do something nice for the women most forgotten about?” says Whitbread. “Taking the time to do something for someone else is really beneficial to society as a whole. Don’t underestimate the value in something as simple as sending a valentine to a stranger.”
LOVE POSITIVE WOMEN (LPW) is an international series of grassroots events that uses Valentines Day as a backdrop, creating a platform for individuals and communities to engage in public and private acts of love and caring for women living with HIV. Working from a place of strength, LPW focuses on the idea of interconnectedness, relationship building, loving oneself and loving ones' community.
Women living with HIV can sign up to receive a valentine by sending their name and mailing address to: firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division is an independent, all-volunteer queer cultural center, bookstore, and event space hosted by The LGBT Center in New York City.
About Dieu Donné
Dieu Donné is a leading cultural institution dedicated to serving artists through the collaborative creation of cutting-edge contemporary art using the process of hand papermaking. dieudonne.org
About the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW)
The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) is the only global network by and for women living with HIV. ICW exists to lead efforts towards securing and improving the quality of life for women living with HIV by mobilizing, organizing, advocating, mentoring and raising consciousness on the issues that directly impact lives. iamicw.org
About the Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR)
The Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR) is an organization founded in 2011 which brings lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer identifying emerging artists to Fire Island, a place long-steeped in LGBTQ history, to create, commune, and contribute to the location's rich artistic history. FIAR provides free live/work space to artist residents who work, research, relax, and immerse themselves in the Fire Island community, during which time they are visited by a handful of renowned visiting artists, curators, and art professionals who commune with residents through intimate visits, dinners, and discussions, providing support and feedback. fireislandartistresidency.org
About Visual AIDS
Visual AIDS utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS IS NOT OVER. visualaids.org
Video by Kaz Senju.