AIDS in The Arts: Introduction


The topic at hand is the The NAMES project and the quilt itself that memorializes those who have lost their lives due to Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). The AIDS Quilt, with its blocks and panels memorializing those lost to the disease, offers a glimpse of the diverse communities and individuals affected by this terrible disease. The panels are 3×6 feet and each block contains eight of its own individual memorial panels.

Randy Barnett 

The very first panel I chose caught my attention with the very noticeable piano in the bottom right corner. Also the big black music note in  top left corner. The primary colors for this panel are blue, yellow, black and white. The background is blue as if representing the sky and his name is yellow and as if it is the sun in the sky and it flows really well together.

 Mark Murphy Bearrentine; 

The second panel I chose was that of Mark Murphy Bearrentine. His panel is filled with lots of things to commemorate and express who he was as a person. The background of his panel is a light purple and the border around it is a deep dark purple. The letters in his name are black and cover the entire top of the panel. The colors throughout the panel are extremely vibrant and works well with each other.


With there being thousands upon thousands of panels, it made choosing just one extremely difficult. My motivation for choosing the panel(s) I had selected was the obvious music and theater decor present on each. I have an interest in and passion for music and theater so it really caught my attention when I saw the decor. Each panel was extremely fascinating to learn about.

With this essay my main focus will be how the lives of two people changed, and how their lives and their families lives were affected. Also upon further research my goal is to investigate more into the period of time(s) to see the effects of AIDS in the arts in New York City and also how music could have been used as an escape. With there being such negative thoughts of the disease, HIV/AIDS, it would not be surprising if the people who’s lives are affected were shamed.