Prints from HIV outreach program exhibited

Contact: Maridith Geuder

Artistic works created by men and women with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) will be featured next week in a Mississippi State University exhibit.

"The Guardian Angel Suite" will be displayed Sept. 17-24 at the University Honors House, 45 Magruder St. An opening reception is planned 7-9 p.m. on the 17th.

More than 20 original linoleum prints comprise the exhibit by students enrolled in the HIV Art Outreach Program of Houston, Texas. The works are drawn on linoleum blocks by students in the program, none of whom are trained artists.

Human immunodeficiency virus--HIV--is the infectious agent that causes the deadly disease AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

The limited edition prints in the exhibition were hand printed from the blocks by Mississippi State art professor Linda K. Seckinger. For two years, she has printed limited editions of the works for the project as a memorial to a friend who died of AIDS in 1993. Several Seckinger works also will be included in the exhibition.

She said the exhibition is dedicated to the students of the HIV Art Outreach Program. "The artists, more than the art itself, become the important message of this exhibition," she said.

The prints are published annually and sold to support the outreach program.

Seckinger's work is funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Design Industries Foundation for AIDS, the Mississippi State University Honors Program, the university's Academic Excellence Fund, and the Art League of Houston, Texas.

"The Guardian Angel Suite" was among the first print sets Seckinger produced for the program. One print has been donated to the university art department's permanent collection.

"I hope this exhibition will help educate students and the public about the subject of AIDS," Seckinger said.