Week Fifty Two

Sally Deskins:Looking for a cure

Posted in Art news, general interest by sarahbakerhansen on 2 April 2009

Omaha artist Jeff Bosiljevac and Kearney, Neb., photographer Tom Anderson, came together to create an image which touches, inspires and educates people about the serious issue of HIV/AIDS infection in the nation and world, including the community around us in Omaha.

Both artists have been long-time strong supporters of The Foundation for AIDS Research, based in Washington D.C., and therefore upon hearing of the “Where’s the Cure?” photograph contest with the organization, which will make a book with the chosen entries to be given to President Obama at the end of April (along with a signed petition requesting him to end the AIDS crisis), immediately knew they wanted to help spread the word of the cause in their own visually artistic way.

Images can be seen, including Bosiljevac’s and Anderson’s “Bound,” and votes can be made at wheresthecure.amfar.org/. Bosiljevac and Anderson have a strong connection to the cause, and immediate inspiration for their idea—both have been infected with the HIV/AIDS virus for a number of years, and, as Bosiljevac attests, reflecting on constantly being “poked, prodded, and getting vial after vial of blood taken,” not to mention the constant personal struggles and passion for the national mission, made their idea come to fruition.

Bosiljevac posed for the picture, with borrowed items (blood tubes, needles) from their doctors, all specific to HIV/AIDs patients’ processes. The highly emotional image and their personal story are electrifying, and no doubt immediately emits the message that this physical and emotional battle needs to be addressed. Since the collaboration, the two have been so inspired with ideas that they decided to continue working together and are in the process of creating a series of work inspired by the cause, currently being worked on, to be displayed at a local gallery in the late summer or fall. They also are constructing a website, tjcreations.net, set to be live next week, with updates on their work together.

Most of the new series will probably be photography, said Bosiljevac, and they might also produce a couple of short films. In light of this, they are looking for local models to help with the project—all ages, including children, men and women, to be featured in their work. Anyone who would like to help is encouraged to email him at tjconcepts@gmail.com.

Look for more information in a forthcoming Omaha Reader story. For more information on Tom Anderson’s work go to his Web site http://web.me.com/taphotography/TOM_ANDERSON_PHOTOGRAPHY/Welcome.html

Side-note: Bosiljevac also manages Ginger’s Hang-Up Galleries in Omaha, where he will be exhibiting Tom Anderson’s photography in May, unrelated to their collaboration and this project. For more information go to http://www.gingershangup.com.

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