Office Hours 2020 05 01 at 3 47 56 PM 2

Visual AIDS Artist Members and staff during an Office Hours meeting on Zoom

Since shifting to working from home in March 2020, we have adapted our programs to the realities and urgencies of this year. We wanted to share a quick recap of what we've been up to over the past few months, and a preview of what's to come this fall.

Please note that the Visual AIDS office remains closed to the public, and staff will be primarily working from home this fall/winter. The best way to contact us is to email a staff member directly or reach out to

Spring/Summer 2020 Recap

Office Hours for Artist Members
This spring, we began organizing weekly online Office Hours for Artist Members, creating a virtual space for artists living with HIV to connect and share with us and with each other amid the pandemic. We've loved catching up with artists who've been joining us from London, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Philadelphia and other locations, as well as from New York City. In June, we also began organizing healing circles for Black Artist Members to reflect and share space. If you are a Black artist living with HIV and would like to be a part of future healing circles, contact Blake Paskal at If you are an Artist Member and would like to receive email invitations to join Office Hours (which are now scheduled monthly), contact Tracy Fenix at

Women's Empowerment Art Therapy Group
Our monthly Women's Empowerment Art Therapy Group has also continued in a virtual space, connecting women living with HIV around the country through conversations about art and art making. For our online events, we've put the emphasis on learning about artists and their work, writing poetry, and sharing our concerns and needs related to COVID-19. We hope to be back to hosting in-person art-making workshops in 2021. If you would like to become a part of the group, email Shirlene Cooper at We thank the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and Majority Leader of the New York City Council Laurie A. Cumbo for supporting this program.

AIDS 2020
In July, we participated in the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020). As part of the conference's online platform, we presented a special Women's Empowerment Art Therapy Workshop, shared ongoing screenings of past Day With(out) Art films, and hosted a virtual booth as part of the Global Village.

COVID-19 Emergency Grants
To address the special financial needs created by COVID-19, we have introduced a COVID-19 Emergency Grant for Artist Members, temporarily replacing our annual Materials Grants program. For the first round in June, we distributed $27,200 in $400 cash grants to 68 artists living with HIV. We will have a second round of grants this winter. (Please note: this grant program is only open to artists living with HIV who are Visual AIDS Artist Members. For more information, contact Tracy Fenix at

Strutting to stop stigma
Mel Rattue, Cover of Strutting to Stop Stigma, 2020

Fall 2020 Preview

Strip AIDS 2020

Strip AIDS 2020 is a series of new comics addressing contemporary aspects of the ongoing HIV pandemic, commissioned by Visual AIDS and curated by Paul Sammut. Featuring work by J. Amaro & A. Andrews, Carlo Quispe, Mel Rattue, and Inés Ixierda & Clio Sady.

Originally intended to complement our summer 2020 exhibition on the theme of comics and AIDS activism, we are excited to present these comics virtually in fall 2020, and then in print form during the exhibition, which will now take place in summer 2021.

Alongside the new comics, we will also be rolling out a podcast that will delve into the issues raised in each of the four comics. Stay tuned for more info! The comics commissions and related events are funded in part by the New York Community Trust's DIFFA Fund and Humanities New York.

Conversations about medical racism and digital privacy

Our fall programming series will take a look at two important issues that intersect with our mission. Blake Paskal, Visual AIDS Programs Associate, will present a panel discussion on medical racism, looking at how disparities in care and access are structured by race and gender. Tracy Fenix, Artist Engagement & Archive Associate, will organize an interactive workshop to consider how concerns around digital surveillance and privacy can inform our archival practices at Visual AIDS. Stay tuned for more info about these programs in the coming months.

Day With(out) Art 2020: TRANSMISSIONS

For Day With(out) Art 2020, Visual AIDS will present a program of seven newly commissioned videos considering the impact of HIV and AIDS beyond the United States. The program does not intend to give a comprehensive account of the global epidemic, but provides a platform for a diversity of voices from beyond the United States, offering insight into the divergent and overlapping experiences of people living with HIV around the world today.

The video program brings together artists working across the world: Jorge Bordello (Mexico), Topher Campbell (U.K.), Gevi Dimitrakopoulou and Vasiliki Lazaridou (Greece), Lucía Egaña Rojas (Chile/Spain), Las Indetectables (Chile), Charan Singh (India/U.K.), and George Stanley (Uganda).

Stay tuned for more information about online Day With(out) Art programming.

Square hand
Jorge Bordello, still from Ministry of Health, 2020

Books, books, and more books!

Throughout 2020, we have been working on four new books, generously funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. New volumes of our DUETS series will be published later this fall. DUETS 7 pairs Frederick Weston and Samuel R. Delany in conversation about Weston's creative practice and their shared histories in Times Square. DUETS 8 delves into the life and work of William Olander, an influential curator at the New Museum who co-founded Visual AIDS before passing away in 1989. Julie Ault and David Deitcher will illuminate Olander's visionary work and lasting influence.

2021 will see the publication of a monograph on the artist Darrel Ellis (1958-1992) and a book detailing the three decade history of Day With(out) Art.

Want more? Catch up on our recent web galleries and past programs:

Ampler Than Loneliness: Documenting Collective Resistance Through HIV/AIDS and COVID-19
September 2020 | Curated by Journey Streams

Extending Affective Care in the Digital Realm
August 2020 | Curated by Yvette Ramírez

Blesséd Are Those Who Remember: A Call to Cry, Feel, and Mourn
July 2020 | Curated by Abdul-Aliy Muhammad

Collective Breath: Material and Imagery as Identification
June 2020 | Curated by Chloe Hayward

Visit our Vimeo page to see 200+ videos, including short videos by contemporary artists commissioned for Day With(out) Art, documentation of past programs, and more!

A full history of Visual AIDS programming is also available on our website here.