Art Reducing Stigma

On exhibit: Portraits of perseverance by Charmaine Wheatley at the Miner Library

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Artist-in-Residence, Charmaine Wheatley, continues to challenge our hearts and minds in the second half of her residency with “Portraits of Perseverance.”

From January through June, 2017, Wheatley focused on the mental health community of Rochester. Since July, she has engaged the HIV populations of Rochester and Buffalo.

Wheatley’s technique is informal, charming, and spontaneous. Each portrait is a pocket-sized 4” x 7-3/8.” Fragments of her conversations with her subjects are integrated within the final piece. She uses watercolor, ink, gel pen, graphite, and gouache on paper.

Can we reconcile the impact of this monstrous pandemic with these playful and colorful portraits? That’s one of the challenges Wheatley hands us. The other challenge? Get rid of the stigma you may harbor.

Reproductions of Charmaine Wheatley's portraits in glass cases on wall
Photo of Charmaine Wheatley’s work on display in Miner Library

“De-stigmatizing happens through humanizing,” says Wheatley. So each portrait sitting involves an open-hearted discussion about living with, or loving someone with, HIV/AIDS.

Wheatley’s artist-in-residency has several sponsors, including the Center for AIDS Research, the Department of Psychiatry, the Division of Medical Humanities and Bioethics, URBEST, the Office of the SMD Vice Dean for Research, the School of Nursing, as well as programmatic support from the Memorial Art Gallery, the Neuroscience Program, and the Department of Art and Art History.

Edward G. Miner Library is open Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Miner Library

URMC, Miner Library — This installation of portraits features artworks from the second half of Charmaine's residency at the University.

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