Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Community Exhibit at Queen's Park - AIDS Memorial in Toronto

Yesterday Jenna Danchuck and I had the pleasure of installing our community exhibit at Queen's Park.
The display will be on view until the end of September.  To get a look you can join any tour (they are open regular business hours but after Victoria Day they are open weekends too).  Definitely worth making the trip since there will be several other exhibits from community groups.  When we were there only two other exhibits had been installed but they were pretty cool too (see the bottom).

Here is some information about the display though unfortunately not everthing we had ready could be fit into the case.

The AIDS Memorial, situated in Toronto's Cawthra Park, serves as a permanent tribute to all those who have died of AIDS-related illnesses. Members of the city's gay community, which had been particularly hard-hit by the epidemic, worked to create a space in which they could remember and celebrate the lives of those they had lost. Upon completion of the monument the records were donated to the Canadian Lesbian + Gay Archives (CLGA), which seeks to recover and preserve the stories of LGBT Canadians.

In the mid-1980s, the chief official response to the AIDS crisis was silence; within this context, gay community groups sought to make the disease visible and its victims human. Beginning in 1987, the AIDS Memorial Committee (founded by Toronto writer Michael Lynch and composed of representatives from the 519 Community Centre, the CLGA, the AIDS Committee of Toronto and others) began collecting names of those killed by AIDS-related illnesses. Between 1988 and 1991, the Committee presented a temporary memorial in Cawthra Park during Pride Day and this soon became an emotional focal point for thousands of visitors. In 1990, the Committee launched a competition in cooperation with Toronto's Public Art Commission to choose a design for the permanent memorial. After two rounds of submissions, a jury of design professionals and community representatives chose the winning design from Toronto architect Patrick Fahn. The AIDS Memorial, completed in 1993, provides a focus for personal and public grief while countering the silence, isolation and rejection often experienced by those living with the disease.

This display strives to document the Memorial's creation while also exposing visitors to the broad range of materials collected by the CLGA.

Other community exhibits currently on display at Queen's Park:
Lamps from the Smith Potteries Exhibit

Lamps from the Smith Potteries Exhibit

Gardening themed exhibit from the Hamilton Library

From the Hamilton Library

Seed catalogues from the Hamilton Library

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