AIDS narrative murals*
The Visual Concepts for most of my community art projects are inspired by world mythology and folk art traditions: traditions that arise out of the people’s collective imagination and voices. In the fall of 2002, these concepts and my understanding of community were uniquely tested when author was invited to do an artist residency at the York Correctional Institution for Women, a maximum security prison in Niantic, Connecticut. Joe Lea, an educator, library media specialist and self-proclaimed arts administrator at the school for the prison wanted me to propose an idea for a collaborative HIV/AIDS mural project. The AIDS narrative writing theme inspired many personal essays and poems. Using the hallway as a small theatre area, a small group acted out scenes of professional and emotional support, living with the disease and mourning the loss of loved ones.