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AFTER/LIFE Opening Reception

Thursday, February 13th 2020, 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Doug Adams Gallery, 2465 Le Conte Avenue Berkeley, CA 94709

Please join CARe for the opening of our Spring 2020 exhibition, AFTER/LIFE. The artist Mark Mitchell will be in attendance, and there will be refreshments and live music to enjoy!

Rituals for dealing with death and remembrance reflect a wide spread of beliefs. AFTER/LIFE presents two such expressions in the contemporary arts community. The lives of artists Ed Aulerich-Sugai and Mark Mitchell, both affected by HIV/AIDS, reverberated in radical acts of love. Aulerich-Sugai succumbed to AIDS-related complications while Mitchell’s life was saved by antiretroviral drugs.

Aulerich-Sugai’s legacy is lovingly preserved by his surviving former partners who carefully uphold his place in the community’s collective memory. His work is represented in AFTER/LIFE by his large-scale paintings series, Figures, created in the final year of his life. The melancholy, almost translucent nudes appear weightless on canvas, suspended between life and death.

Mitchell chose to express love for his community by designing exquisite custom-made burial garments for his friends. Mitchell’s creamy, luscious, fluid garments are suspended from the gallery ceiling. Using antique sewing techniques with obsessive details, Mitchell fashioned dresses and gowns to adorn his friends in their afterlives. 

AFTER/LIFE runs from Thursday, February 13, 2020 (the 26th anniversary of Aulerich-Sugai’s death) through June 11, 2020. It overlaps with Pride Month (June) and precedes the 23rd International AIDS conference, AIDS2020, which will take place in Oakland and San Francisco in July 2020. This conference marks the 30th anniversary of the development of life-saving antiretroviral.

The Doug Adams Gallery is the primary exhibition space for the Center for the Arts & Religion at the Graduate Theological Union.