695 Minna Street (at 8th Street), Second Floor
San Francisco, California 94103

CIIS prioritizes the arts as a crucial element in an integrative education through a formal exhibition program, Spirit in the Arts, which celebrates creativity and affirms the power of art as an agent of change. Verasphere is presented in partnership with Visual Aid and is cosponsored by the Drama Therapy Program at CIIS and Queer at CIIS.

The exhibition will run from August 18 - October 18 2008.

RECEPTION AND TALK BY ART HISTORIAN DAVID DUCKWORTH will be held on Friday, September 12, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, artist MICHAEL JOHNSTONE settled in San Francisco in 1980, where he photographed queer theater people, drag queens, and club performers. Ten years later most of those whom he photographed were gone, casualties of the AIDS epidemic. "There was too much loss for one mind's memory," said Johnstone. Meanwhile, his own health was severely concentrated.

The character Mrs. Vera was born in this period, created by Johnstone and his partner David Faulk, and named after the popular designer of scarves. Faulk fabricates the costumes from recycled materials and is Mrs. Vera in the photographs. In Johnstone's work, the notion of drag is both deconstructed and celebrated. Mrs. Vera's wild layers of costume embody "fragments of a drag memory tornado," says Johnstone. She wears accessories created from recycled objects, and is also the keeper of wigs and artifacts from Johnstone's "lost culture". In public, Mrs. Vera and Johnstone act as ambassadors at events and festivals to remind people to value difference and celebrate the eccentric aspects of daily life. Rhey often engage friends to participate in group performances.

Visual Aid is a nonprofit art organization that encourages artists with life-threatening illnesses to continue their creative work by providing free art supplies, exhibition opportunities, and community.

Made possible by a grant from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Horizons Foundation.


Official Website: http://www.ciis.edu/arts

Added by FullCalendar on August 15, 2008