Service Works is a 15-month social practice project created by artists Sharon Siskin and Nancer LeMoins with residents of Providence House, an organization formed in 1991 to provide housing for people with HIV/AIDS and other disabilities who are living on fixed incomes.
The work is inspired by the acts of community service conducted by people who live at Providence House and intends to make them visible. The artists will interview the residents to gather their stories, make formal photographic portraits of each storyteller, then invite them to edit their narratives and choose their portraits to be featured. This content will be woven into 12 or more large-scale, multilayered, photo-manipulated, silkscreen image/text artworks. The artists will create multiple sets of the portraits, so that they may be exhibited at Providence House in Oakland, California, and at Providence Health & Services’ offices in Renton, Washington. Each storyteller also will receive a copy and be paid for participating.
Sharon Siskin has been exhibiting work in museums, galleries, and public sites for more than 40 years. She has done extensive work with individuals living with AIDS and, in 1988, founded Positive Art. Nancer LeMoins has been a printmaker at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley for 20 years. She tested positive for HIV in 1986 and, since then, has been making art about the personal, political, and social aspects of living with the disease. The artists anticipate completing the artworks in December 2020.
Pictured: “Veiled Memories” by Sharon Siskin