For Immediate Release
November 9, 2000
Contact: Jennifer Hart
Texas Children’s Hospital unveils major art exhibit by African mothers and children
Houston - Texas Children’s Hospital this week will unveil a compelling exhibit of artwork by African women and children as part of a major, cross-cultural AIDS awareness program.
Community leaders will join physicians and executives at Texas Children’s to dedicate the first of three permanent, commemorative walls of art by women and children from Botswana and South Africa. The program soon will be expanded to the African nations of Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.
The exhibit features art by mothers and children from schools, hospitals and orphanages. The artists include not only mothers and children who are healthy, but also those who have suffered illness or injury and those who are infected or affected by AIDS.
"The goal of the art program is to connect those affected by AIDS with other populations, thereby decreasing the lingering stigma and isolation experienced by many of those affected by the disease,” said Dr. Mark Kline, director of the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital.
The artwork provides a glimpse into life on a continent where 23 million people are infected by AIDS, an epidemic that claims millions of lives and will produce more than 40 million African orphans within ten years.
The exhibit, titled, “Connecting Mothers, Children and Continents: Art from Africa,” is part of “Secure the Future,” a $100 million commitment by Bristol-Myers Squibb to raise AIDS awareness and fund education, research and treatment of the disease.
The art will be dedicated Thursday, Nov. 9, at 5:30 p.m., on the skybridge connecting the Feigin Center and Abercrombie Building at Texas Children’s. Dignitaries participating in the event include Mark A. Wallace, president and CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital; Mark Ahn, senior director of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee; Dr. John Kirkland, professor of pediatrics and endocrinology at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine; and Dr. Kline. In the coming months, the art exchange will work with patients at Texas Children’s Hospital and other schools and healthcare facilities nationwide to collect artwork to send to Africa. The program eventually will expand into other developing countries, such as Mexico and Romania, where Texas Children’s physicians travel regularly to provide medical care and education.
For details on “Connecting Mothers, Children and Continents: Art from Africa, call or visit www.texaschildrenshospital.org.