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A new exhibition of prints and books about the AIDS epidemic opens Friday, Aug. 12, 2016 at the Smith College Museum of Art (SCMA).

Eric Avery AIDS WORK features works by an artist, physician and gay activist who was at the center of the AIDS crisis, both personally and professionally. The show includes more than 30 of Avery’s prints and books that were acquired in 2014 by SCMA and Smith’s Mortimer Rare Book Room.

The exhibition will remain on view through December 11. The museum is offering related programs in the fall. 

Aprile Gallant, organizing curator of the new exhibition and curator of prints, drawings and photographs at SCMA, says the exhibition offers “a cohesive and important body of work that documents three decades in the life of a major public health crisis through the eyes of an artist capable of seeing, understanding and translating the issue from multiple perspectives.”

The desire to provide information to the public and to enact positive change in the world is central to Dr. Avery’s view of his purpose as an artist.

“If you believe that information can lead to change, then bearing witness is the narrative function of art and serves a social purpose,” Avery told Gallant while they were planning the exhibition. “If one person, after seeing one of my art actions, were motivated to change an HIV risk behavior and did not get HIV, then this would be my evidence that art can save lives.”

Eric Avery: AIDS WORK 1986-2013

Eric Avery: AIDS WORK 1986-2013
Smith Art Museum
Curator: Aprile Gallant
August 12-December 11, 2016
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