Day Without Art

November 30, 2009 - HALIFAX, NS - The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is proud to announce its participation in the 20th anniversary of ‘Day Without Art’: A World AIDS Day initiative. On December 1, the AGNS will select major canvasses from the Zwicker Gallery and shroud them in black to express awareness and show support for this important event.

On December 1, 1989, great losses prompted artists in New York to organize the first  ‘Day Without Art.’ Some galleries closed their doors for the day in mourning or shrouded paintings. Theatres were silent and dark. Communities across the nation observed ‘Day Without Art’ with silence. Twenty years later, AIDS continues to levy a heavy toll in every community and artists continue to remember friends and partners on December 1 for World AIDS Day.

During those first commemorations, the idea of absence permeated the observations. In more recent years, the emphasis has shifted to the artists' responses to AIDS. On December 1, painters, poets, and performers serve as witnesses. They express the sentiments of our community and communicate our suffering in a tangible form.  AIDS-related art not only chronicles this terrible disease but asks: how can we translate this awareness into direct social action?

‘Day Without Art’ reminds us to vow an end to AIDS. This has grown into a collaborative project in which an estimated 8000 museums, galleries, art centers, AIDS service organizations, libraries, high schools and colleges take part on both the national and international levels.

“The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia will keep this tradition alive until a time when our collective attention can be taken away from the tragedy of HIV/AIDS”, says Sarah Fillmore, Chief Curator.

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