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Friday, November 20, 2015
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Center on Halsted - 2nd/3rd floor galleries


Join Center on Halsted staff, friends, and artists for another LGBTQ Artists Gallery Opening. Occurring every 6-7 weeks throughout the year, Center on Halsted opens its doors to community artists to display their work.

Mark Addison Smith

This is an exhibition of my newly completed series of 24 drawings inspired by LGBT leader and playwright Larry Kramer's call-to-action speech, The Tragedy of Today's Gays. The series, entitled Years Yet Yesterday, was completed in commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of Kramer's November 7, 2004 speech at Cooper Union Hall in New York City.

The drawings were recently featured in an article on and in an interview with  Visual AIDS

Using extracted dialogue from Kramer's speech, I've generated an abecedary of grayscale colorblind charts allowing for a reflection upon the past decade of the AIDS crisis from 2004 to now. Each drawing represents a letter from the alphabet and incorporates three words—written several-hundred times—that begin with the same letter and exist within an opposing binary. By reading the statements back to front or front to back, the viewer, hopefully, will consider then versus now and the grayscale complexities within the last decade of this global pandemic. Each drawing is 22 x 15 inches, framed, drawn with India ink on paper. There are 24 in the abecedary (Kramer's speech contains no X or Z words).


Mark Addison Smith’s design specialization is typographic storytelling: allowing illustrative text to convey a queer, visual narrative through printed matter, artist’s books, and site installations. With his on-going, text-based archive, You Look Like The Right Type, he has been illustrating fragments of overheard conversations every day since 2008 and exhibiting them as larger-scale conversations in venues including A+D Gallery in Chicago, Brooklyn Artists Gym, Co-Prosperty Sphere in Chicago, Kawaura Art Space in Japan, Hegyvidek Gallery in Budapest, and MAGMA Brand Design’s Slanted Magazine. He has spoken about linguistics and letterforms—specifically as they relate to queer dynamics within bathroom graffiti—at American University and Manchester Metropolitan University, and will present new research in 2015 at the University of Vienna's Centre for Translation Studies. Permanent collections include the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City. Publications include Hello Mr. (print), Chicago Magazine (online), Out Magazine (online), and the upcoming 2015 Routledge publication, Diversity and Design: Understanding the Hidden Consequences. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Studio from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and teaches in the Art Department at The City College of New York.

When Dogs Heal

A few decades ago, if you would have asked your doctor if you should adopt a pet while facing any illness, especially ones that were chronic and affected your immune system like HIV/AIDS, the answer would have most commonly been ‘no.’ Unsurprisingly, pets are seen as carriers of dirt, germs and sometimes added stress – all things a doctor would have asked you to stay away from while dealing with illness. However, due to advancements in medicine a pet – especially a dog – may be exactly what the doctor ordered. That was true for Dr. Rob Garofalo’s experience with HIV.

When Dogs Heal is a photographic project that aims to show and tell the stories of people who found that the best medicine for whatever they were dealing with didn’t come from the pharmacy, but rather in the form of a four-legged friend. The goal of this book is to showcase stories similar to Rob and Fred’s, but not totally the same, because no story is ever the same.

"When Dogs Heal feels like a very natural continuation of my photography investigating the healing nature of the dog/human bond," says Jesse Freidin, the award-winning pet photographer behind the portraits. "At a moment when HIV awareness is beginning to shift, When Dogs Heal is such an exciting opportunity to make a difference and incite positive change. "

The project aims to visit (5) cities in the United States (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston) and find at least 10 people to participate in each city. The first shoot took place in Chicago during summer 2014 and we were able to capture six portraits along with six individual stories. The stories are being transcribed and rewritten, and will be published along with each portrait at the end of the project. The purpose of the stories is to show the amazing, sometimes scary, but completely empowering journeys that each person and their furry friend have been on after being diagnosed with HIV.

$5 suggested donation (at the door). Advance registration is recommended.

Sean Smith,

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