The Bisexual Gay and Lesbian Students Association (BGLSA) draped the John Harvard statue in black yesterday to observe Day Without Art, a nationwide "day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis."
In an effort to show "the effect that AIDS has had on the arts community and society at large," the BGLSA covered the statue and tabled outside Widener Library, while the Harvard University Art Museums planned other events to mark the day. Day Without Art was scheduled this week to coincide with the World Health Organization's International AIDS Day.
Outside Widener, BGLSA members offered passers-by green ribbons to show compassion for people living with AIDS. BGLSA member Michael Wartofsky '91 said that 350 people stopped to get one of green ribbons, "recognizing that we as a society are living with AIDS in the sense that it's become part of our lives."
For ten minutes between classes, BGLSA clashed cymbals once every 30 seconds, each clash representing another AIDS victim.
"One of the most important things is that we're stopping business as usual," Wartofsky said.
The BGLSA demonstration won mostly favorable reactions from students, although a few were confused about the draping of the statue, until BGLSA members cleared it up.
"I initially thought they were rewaxing it," Geoffery Kerschner '94 said.
Meanwhile, the Harvard University Art Museums observed Day Without Art by collecting donations and distributing brochures on AIDS and AIDS support groups. Marian Myszkowski, coordinator of the museums' Day Without Art, said the funds will go to the Multicultural AIDS Coalition and Boston Living Center.
In addition, The Fogg has placed a plaque beneath one of the musuem's most important paintings, Ingres' Raphael and the Fornarina, in memory of the painting's restorer, who recently died of AIDS.
Tonight, the museums will also sponsor a Semiphore Dance Theatre production of "Kill Me Again," a play about the souls of people who have died of AIDS.