World AIDS Day is held every year on December 1, and it's observed in many cities as "A Day Without Art": Major museums drape sheets over paintings and sculptures to represent the amount of talent lost to the plague.
While that works in cities like Paris and New York, where art institutions abound, it just wouldn't have the same impact in South Florida.
"It wouldn't be as significant here compared to a place like New York," explains Terry DeCarlo, director of development at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida. "There's not as much art."
"The One Million Dollar Art Show"
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida, 1717 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Friday, December 1, from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is free. Call 954-563-9500. For World AIDS Day events this week, see "Events" listings.
Adding to the dilemma is the fact that the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale is undergoing renovation and can't hold its annual event. So, in an effort to increase awareness, raise funds, and honor the dead, the GLCC is mounting its own one-day display of art (cosponsored by the museum) that visitors can actually view -- and buy -- for the cause.
"The One Million Dollar Art Show" features the works of Edna Hibel, an internationally recognized Palm Beach County artist who has been praised by everyone from Pope John Paul II to Sir Elton John. She'll create a World AIDS Day 2000 commemorative plate, which will be raffled off along with a framed poster of an original painting called Ginger Rogers as Dolly and a lithograph valued at $35,000 titled Primrose Boutique. The works of 50 other international artists, along with 20 panels from the AIDS memorial quilt, are also in the show.
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Hibel is donating a large portion of the proceeds to the GLCC, but the World AIDS Day event is much more than a fundraiser. "It raises awareness, and it's helping the community center," DeCarlo says. "Because there are not that many things done for World AIDS Day [in Fort Lauderdale], this is very significant."