An Ode to the Art for AIDS volunteer team


As an organization that relies on volunteer support, Art for AIDS International is happy to acknowledge the amazing work our volunteer staff has been doing. The passion they have been showing as of late has been nothing short of inspiring. Since we are so fond of our volunteers, we decided that we wanted to show them off. Please meet a few members of our team: Brittany, Nicole, Madeline, Josinah, and Jessica.  Read more

The Biggest of Thank-You's

The following article was written by Alex Kruger, Art for AIDS International Student Intern!

Art for AIDS International Cookies
Delicious Art for AIDS Cookies donated by Colie Cakes

I want to take a moment to thank everyone who came out to our event on March 27th: the "Art for AIDS International Exhibit: Showcasing UWO Talent". The night was an overwhelming success and saw an amazing turnout. The cupcakes and cookies provided by Colie Cakes were both beautiful and delicious, the music performed by Graham Nicholas, Alanna Gurr, and Sam Allen was spectacular, and the art was inspiring. Thank to you all the contributors who made the night happen, especially Art for AIDS International’s amazing volunteers—without them the night would not have run as smoothly as it did. So, to everyone, a big thank you! Read more

Working at Art for AIDS INTERNational

The following post was written by Kate Hoad-Reddick, student intern at Art for AIDS International.

Wide shot of Art for AIDS International Gallery

Alex and I have been working as Interns at Art for AIDS International for just over three months now. While our placements are almost over, our relationship with Art for AIDS International will be long-lasting. Since our first day, Art for AIDS International has been a warm and stimulating place to work. The passion of Founder and Executive Director, Hendrikus Bervoets and the dedicated volunteers has been contagious. We have also been tactfully mentored from abroad by JP Bervoets. JP has been amazing to work with and has introduced us to the world of Art for AIDS International.

So, what have we been up to recently?Read more

Art for AIDS International Exhibit: Showcasing UWO's Talent

The following post was written by Alex Kruger, Student Intern at Art for AIDS International.

Poster UWO Art ExhibitArt for AIDS International is excited to present an Art for AIDS International Exhibit: Showcasing UWO’s Talent!

On February 5th, 2010, a group of students from the University of Western Ontario (UWO) took part in a day-long workshop with Hendrikus Bervoets, Executive Director of Art for AIDS International. The artwork they created was both passionate and engaging.

Please join us on Sunday, March 27th, from 7PM-10PM to celebrate their beautiful art. Keeping in tune with the local theme, local musicians, Alanna Gurr, Sam Allen, and Graham Nicholas will be performing. Baked goodies are also being donated from up-and-coming baker, Colie Cakes. (Mmmm.) Read more

A Circle Assembly Exhibit - Art for AIDS International returns from Moosonee [SLIDESHOW]

The following post was written by Alex Kruger, Art for AIDS International student intern.

Students at an Art for AIDS Assembly at the Northern Lights Secondary School

Hendrikus Bervoets, Executive Director of Art for AIDS International, recently returned from a trip to Moosonee, Ontario, sponsored by the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, where he hosted an art and HIV awareness workshop and assembly with the staff and students at Northern Lights Secondary School.

“I've traveled to many different parts of the world with Art for AIDS,” Hendrikus notes, “but none of them were like this experience.”

Beginning with a 4:00 AM wake up time in London Ontario and a solid 8 hours of travel, Hendrikus arrived in chilly but beautiful Moosonee Ontario, a small community located at the base of the James Bay, where he made his way to the Northern Lights Secondary School to plan for the following day's assembly and workshop.

“From the beginning of when I walked into the school, they had this large lobby, and I just had a feeling that was where [the exhibit] had to be,” Hendrikus recounts of his initial thoughts of the school. “It had light coming down from the ceiling and I kept thinking that the exhibit needed to be in a circle.” While this was the first time Hendrikus had ever conducted an exhibit in circle form, the symbol,with neither a beginning nor an end, was perfect for capturing its participants’ energy.Read more

Why Art Matters when it comes to HIV Education [VIDEO]

AIDS Vancouver logoThis post is the first in the "Creating Change Series" by Tasha A Riley, PhD-Prevention Education Coordinator, AIDS Vancouver. This series will discuss links between art and HIV education by highlighting the contributions of various artists to the field of HIV/AIDS education and activism.

Sue Williamson - Adeline, 2000
"Adeline", By Sue Williamson, 2000 | Part of the Artists International Direct Support portfolio, produced by Art for AIDS International

In 2001 I had the unique opportunity to work as a volunteer in Botswana, Africa where I educated local teachers about HIV/AIDS issues so that they could bring back the information into their own communities in their own languages. One of the things I really appreciated about the work I did was the creativity my teachers passed on into their teachings. HIV/AIDS is a difficult issue to discuss because it touches upon some of the most taboo of topics.

People don’t always feel comfortable discussing sex or condom use. In some places, such as Botswana, speaking openly about sex and condoms to one’s Elders can be viewed as a sign of disrespect unless the educator is able to do so in a skilled and creative manner. The teachers I had the privilege of working with were particularly skilled in this area. They recognized that not everyone would be as open to speaking about HIV openly and so they worked together to figure out how to pass on information about how the virus was spread in a way that would not only educate but entertain. There was no end to the creativity these teachers brought to the table. One group of teachers created a series of small skits they would perform weekly in the streets where the central character was a women living with the HIV virus. Another group of teachers put together a beauty contest to raise funds for HIV education.You can imagine the audience’s surprise when each one of the contestants twirled gracefully around on stage only to reveal a sign displaying a different sexually transmitted infection. At the end of the procession, each contestant took centre stage and took some time to inform the audience about that particular STI, what it was and how it could be prevented and treated. The idea was brilliant simply because it not only grabbed everyone’s attention, but it did so in a way that encouraged people to laugh and speak openly about something people were normally too embarrassed to discuss.

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Western Reflects [VIDEO]

The following article (and video) was written (and produced) by Kate Hoad-Reddick, Off Campus Don at the University of Western Ontario and Art for AIDS International student intern!

Empowering. Inspiring. Fun. Eye-Opening.

These are just some of the words first year students used to describe their experiences following their Art for AIDS International workshop. On February 5, 2011, Art for AIDS International hosted first-year students from The University of Western Ontario at their head-office and Gallery. Students participated in a day-long art and awareness-raising workshop that allowed them to explore their experience with social justice issues and reflect on how HIV and AIDS are affecting people in their own community and abroad.Read more

Art for AIDS International exhibits at Stephen Lewis talk

Art for AIDS Founder Hendrikus Bervoets and Volunteers Jess, Brittany, and Kate at "An Evening with Stephen Lewis"

Stephen Lewis spoke to a full ballroom at the London Hilton Hotel on Wednesday evening. Presented by the Monsignor Feeney Foundation, Lewis’s speech was focused on the Millennium goals, specifically global and local poverty and the position of women worldwide. Lewis spoke with ease and elegance and praised the work and mission of the Monsignor Feeney Foundation. Despite having to endure an increase in security at the door, those who attended the event were captivated by Lewis and welcomed him on stage with a standing ovation.  The controversial lead up to Lewis’s visit had received much attention in local news; however, the controversy was forgettable as another standing ovation and prolonged applause concluded the evening.

Art for AIDS International was pleased to be the sole exhibitor at the event. Conveniently located adjacent to the bar, Art for AIDS International’s exhibit attracted an excess of observers, future partners and buyers. Volunteers Brittany Coulter, Jess McKeen and Kate Hoad-Reddick were on site to promote Art for AIDS International and help sell and package purchased pieces. Founder and Executive Director, Hendrikus Bervoets, was pleased with the attention Art for AIDS International received as well as the money garnered. 90% of Art for AIDS International’s proceeds go directly to grassroots projects that help women and children affected by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

Art for AIDS International would like to thanks Stephen Lewis, the Monsignor Feeney Foundation, the London Hilton and all of the individuals who visited our exhibit and purchased a piece of art.

Art for AIDS International has a permanent gallery located at 242 Dundas St. in London. If you are interested in purchasing a piece of art, browsing the gallery or paying us a visit, please do not hesitate to come by.

Art for AIDS International Travels to Moosonee Ontario!

Driving on an ice road from Moosonee to Moose Factory is just one of the many exciting events in store for Hendrikus Bervoets, the Founder and Executive Director of Art for AIDS International.  Thanks to a wonderful sponsorship from the Ontario Teachers Federation, Hendrikus will be travelling to Moosonee, Ontario from February 9th to 11th to host art and HIV/AIDS awareness workshops with the staff and students at Northern Lights Secondary School. With six different countries and close to 250 schools under his belt, he is pleased to be working with the Moosonee community for the first time.

“For a long time now I have wanted to work with First Nations communities in Canada, and for us to now finally be able to do this puts a smile on my face,” says Hendrikus. “Further, I hope to go back later this year and celebrate our new relationship with the Moosonee Community with the opening of an exhibit featuring all of the artwork that has been produced by the participants.”

While in Moosonee, Hendrikus will be hosting a introductory event, and a series of art and HIV/AIDS awareness workshops for students and faculty from the Northern Lights Secondary School.

Hendrikus and all of the volunteers from Art for AIDS International would like to thank the Ontario Teachers’ Federation who kindly sponsored the event. We are all grateful for the opportunity to expand our workshop program in Canada and work with a group of students who would be out of our reach geographically if not for OTF's generous sponsorship.

Stay tuned for more details, as well as photos from the workshops in the coming weeks. All of our photos will be available on Art for AIDS International's Facebook page.

Stephen Lewis comes to London

On February 16th join Art for AIDS International at an evening with Stephen Lewis presented by The Monsignor Feeney Foundation presents.  Art of AIDS International is excited to be exhibiting a large selection of artwork at this event and we strongly encourage everyone in the area to attend, not only for the beautiful exhibition but to witness one of the most passionate and thought-provoking public speakers, Stephen Lewis, who is without a doubt one of Canada's foremost advocates for people living with HIV and AIDS.


Where: Hilton Hotel- 300 King St. London, ON

When: Wednesday February 16, 2011

Cocktails at 6pm

Presentation at 7pm

Cost: Tickets $45 each

For more information or tickets please call 519-652-3033 or visit: The Monsignor Feeney Foundation.
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