Hundreds of beneficiaries of the New York Immigrant AIDS Link (NYIAL) Program come through the AID FOR AIDS office each year to receive services from our case managers that typically include referrals for housing, access to legal aid, and other support and social services. However, this past Sunday, April 8, the online gallery Visual Art Sur teamed up with NYIAL to provide our beneficiaries with a special workshop with renowned Venezuelan artist, Eduardo Agelvis.
The workshop titled, “Art for Healing,” brings together groups of people to work under the direction of a single artist, and together they create paintings that then go on to be sold in art auctions with the proceeds benefiting a charity. The enthusiastic group of participants attending the event painted four large canvases that will be combined into one single piece and featured in the annual AID FOR AIDS My Hero Gala art auction to be held later this year in New York.
In one of the pieces, each participant placed handprints in different colors on the left side of the canvas and the artist placed his hand in black and white on the right side. In the center, the artist painted a heart that included a brushstroke from each individual in the workshop. In this way, the work represents the unity of the group and the combined effort taken to produce the artwork, serving as a reminder of our connection to others in this common struggle against HIV and AIDS.
At the end of the workshop, Laura Lozano, a NYIAL beneficiary, shared the following thoughts: “It was a really beautiful experience. At first, I felt somewhat scared about painting, but afterwards I felt more comfortable and relaxed. Overall, the workshop helped all of us to become more confident in ourselves not just in painting, but more importantly in learning how to express ourselves every day.”
AID FOR AIDS is very thankful for the participation of Eduardo Agelvis and to Nora Ochoa de Ellis, the founder of Visual Art Sur, for helping organize this event. For more information about Visual Art Sur and the artist, visit their website here.