New Orleans AIDS Monument
The New Orleans AIDS Memorial's design was achieved through an international design competition, which was won by my good friend and DC-based uberartist Tim Tate.
It has taken many years for the financing and all the committee meetings to actually build the monument, which is now one of the world's largest outdoor public art glass sculptures, but it is now officially open, as it opened on November 29, 2009, timed to do so in coordination with the World's AIDS Day.
It is called the "Guardian Wall," and it consists of metal rings in the shape of a ship's portal. Inside each ring is a cast glass face, consisting of faces of people who have been affected by HIV. Each glass disc is 18 inches in diameter.
According to Tate, "it represents the faces of those who have passed on due to HIV, looking down from heaven and guarding over and keeping safe those who are currently living with HIV. It stands not only as a memorial to those lost, but an empowering statement to those living with HIV."
Set in NO's historic Washington Square Park, per the news release:
The New Orleans AIDS Memorial will provide a healing sanctuary for family and friends and will promote understanding of the human tragedy of the AIDS epidemic. It (was the) goal for the monument to create a public landscape where anyone who has been touched by AIDS can find comfort and consolation within a dignified and creative community setting.Congrats to Tate on this latest accomplishment!
The memorial, made of concentric bronze circles framing inspirational multicultural cast glass faces, will provide a powerful yet comforting reminder of the meaning behind the memorial. Leading up to the memorial, a pathway of granite stones, inscribed with names of loved ones, will allow visitors to reflect on the way this disease has forever transformed our world.