Visual Aids’ Open Call for Artists: Comics and HIV/AIDS

Visual Aids' Open Call for Artists: Comics and HIV/AIDS

Visual AIDS – which utilises art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy  – is inviting artists to submit proposals for new comics to be included in their Summer 2020 exhibition with proposals required by 20th December 2019.

Visual AIDS will present a new exhibition in Summer 2020, curated by UK-based artist Paul Sammut. Taking place in New York City, it will explore the rich history of comics as a mirror for contemporary culture, and as relatable and accessible educational tools in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

In many styles and forms – from mainstream titles such as The Incredible Hulk and X-Men, to underground activist publications and GMHC’s Safer Sex Comix – artists and writers have used comics to demystify AIDS, disseminate information about HIV prevention and harm reduction, and as spaces for shared testimonies and histories.

As part of the exhibition Visual Aids are looking to commission two to three new, short narrative comic works that explore contemporary issues surrounding HIV and AIDS. Commissioned comics will be included in the exhibition and catalogue.

They are interested in proposals that align with Visual AIDS’ sustained work to engage in activism, advocacy, and education in the fight against HIV and AIDS, and to support individuals living with HIV; tell a story with sequential elements/include a narrative; and use the democratic form of comics as a tool for testimony, education and activism.

Artists need not have worked in comics before. The team are not looking for works that already exist, or are already in progress, but proposals may include, sketches, plots and diagrams alongside examples of existing work.

Final works will be published in a printed format and also exhibited in the upcoming summer exhibition.

Visual AIDS and curator Paul Sammut, an artist working in London, currently researching suburban LGBTQ+ histories on the Sequential Design MA at University of Brighton, will work with selected artists to develop their proposals into finished works. Selected artists are expected to supply their finished works by 1st April 2020. The final works will be exhibited as part of the exhibition, included in the catalog, and may be distributed by Visual AIDS or utilised for additional promotion of the exhibition.

To apply, you’ll need to provide the following materials: a one to two-page proposal of maximum 500 words, including notes/images/sketches; examples of relevant work, and your CV.

US-based, founded in 1988, Visual AIDS is the only contemporary arts organisation fully committed to raising AIDS awareness and creating dialogue around HIV issues today, by producing and presenting visual art projects, exhibitions, public forums and publications – while assisting artists living with HIV/AIDS.

The team are committed to preserving and honouring the work of artists with HIV/AIDS and the artistic contributions of the AIDS movement. They embrace diversity and difference in our staff, leadership, artists and audiences.

The deadline for applications is 20th December 2019. For more details and how to send in your proposals visit this page on the Visual Aids web site

Categories: Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Exhibitions

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