December 17, 2012
Friday evening, December 14, at Cathedral Square, the Mobile AIDS Coalition sponsored the Scarlet Event to raise awareness about the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Held as part of World AIDS Day events, the Scarlet Event was both a health fair and an art festival. At LoDa Artwalk, adjacent to Cathedral Square, the organization Wellborn Ideas displayed more than 30 pieces of art inspired by or related to the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS. The artwork was available for purchase, with all proceeds going to the Mobile AIDS Coalition. Ty Tover, president of the coalition, emphasized that the event was about "bringing together the kids who have a voice, the people who are not infected [by affected] that have a voice, and those people who have lost someone who have a voice."
Wellborn Ideas' vice president and exhibit curator Harriet Shade declared that showcasing artwork related to World AIDS Day was a way to let her gallery's patrons know about the prevention of the diseases and not just the treatment. She added that many younger people are not aware of the impact of HIV/AIDS, explaining, "They need to see that even though there are treatments for it, and people are living with it on a daily basis, it can be prevented."
Another artist whose work was on display at the Scarlet Event, Angela Elizabeth Gray, is a mental health counselor for the Mobile County Health Department. She practices art therapy with her clients who have either HIV or full-blown AIDS. Gray helps her clients identify and work through the different stages of the grief cycle through artistic expression. She recommends it to everyone, whether they are "newly diagnosed or 3 years in."