Design Competition Announced for National AIDS Memorial

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The National AIDS Memorial Grove is sponsoring an international design competition to identify an outstanding artistic feature that will memorialize all those who have died of AIDS, and honor those who continue to fight this pandemic.

The National AIDS Memorial Grove is sponsoring an international design competition to identify an outstanding artistic feature that will memorialize all those who have died of AIDS, and honor those who continue to fight this pandemic.

“It is timely and appropriate that the only federally designated AIDS Memorial in the United States house a permanent icon that will ensure that those we have lost to AIDS and those who continue to fight this ongoing battle, will be perpetually honored and remembered,” said Ken Ruebush, co-chair of the Grove’s board of directors and of this design competition.

Entries for the National Memorial competition are being solicited from students and professionals in the disciplines of art, architecture, and landscape architecture. Those wishing to enter may register anytime between now and December 24th, 2004. Entries are due by January 7th, 2005. Specific details related to the competition can be found on the National AIDS Memorial Grove website at: http://www.aidsmemorial.org

Entries will be judged by a world class jury of academics, artists, and design professionals including, (as of 9/20/2004):

Walter Hood—a landscape architect and a professor of landscape architecture at the College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley.

Mary Miss—an environmental artist, sculptor, and filmmaker. Her work draws on architecture, landscape design, gardens, and the history of worldwide culture.

Toshiko Mori—an architect and the chair of the Department of Architecture at the Harvard Design School.

Joseph Rosa—the Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He is also an adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts.

Competition consultant, Reed Kroloff, the Dean of the School of Architecture at Tulane University, will serve as professional advisor for the competition. Kroloff recently completed coordinating the design competition process for The Highline, an ambitious rail-to-trail project in New York City.

The Grove is located in a seven-acre, award-winning dell in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It was founded in 1989 by a dedicated group of people who wanted to create a positive expression for their grief at a time when AIDS was a swift death sentence. Recognizing the need to keep AIDS in the forefront of public awareness, they drafted a 99-year lease with the City of San Francisco and continue to manage the Grove as a private non-profit organization.

In 1996 Congress approved and the President signed the National AIDS Memorial Grove Act, providing this living memorial with the same status as the Vietnam and World War II Memorials. In 1999, the National AIDS Memorial Grove was awarded the Silver Medal in the Rudy Bruner Urban Excellence competition.

“While the Grove is an extraordinary living tribute to all whose lives have been touched by AIDS, there is currently no single memorial feature within it,” said Ayse Manyas Kenmore, longtime Grove board member. “We are excited and hopeful that the competition process will stimulate creativity which will reflect the profound impact of HIV/AIDS on the world. We are certain that the winning design entry will attract sufficient funding to build this memorial which will stand shoulder to shoulder with the other great American memorials.”

Serving on the Design Competition Honorary Committee are Judith Light, co-chair, Ted Dansen and Mary Steenburgen, US Senator Dianne Feinstein, Tom Hanks, Jack Lenor Larsen, Norman and Lynn Lear, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, California Assemblyman Mark Leno, US Congressperson Nancy Pelosi, and Sharon Stone, among others.

Competition Objectives:

Memorialize those lost to AIDS

Stimulate creative thinking on memorializing those lost to AIDS

Promote hope, healing, and remembrance for those touched by AIDS

Increase awareness of the global tragedy of the AIDS epidemic

Ensure that lessons learned are not forgotten

Raise awareness about the National AIDS Memorial Grove

The National AIDS Memorial Grove is a project of The Tides Center.

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