LEAD: THE devastating impact of AIDS on the arts community will be marked in a nationwide event on Dec. 1 entitled "A Day Without Art: A National Day of Action and Mourning." Two county organizations, the Katonah Gallery and the Neuberger Museum at the State University of New York at Purchase, are among the more than 400 institutions that will honor friends and colleagues who have died or are dying of AI
THE devastating impact of AIDS on the arts community will be marked in a nationwide event on Dec. 1 entitled "A Day Without Art: A National Day of Action and Mourning." Two county organizations, the Katonah Gallery and the Neuberger Museum at the State University of New York at Purchase, are among the more than 400 institutions that will honor friends and colleagues who have died or are dying of AIDS.
"A Day Without Art" is being organized by Visual AIDS, a Manhattan-based organization of arts professionals who promote AIDS-related exhibitions. Dec. 1 was chosen to coincide with the second yearly "AIDS Awareness Day" sponsored by the World Health Organization. Many events will take place that day only but some will he held before and after.
While some arts institutions will close their doors for the day in gestures of sympathy and respect, the Katonah Gallery and the Neuberger Museum have chosen to actively support the demonstration while staying open.
Gallery to Donate Funds
From Dec. 1 through Dec. 3, the Katonah Gallery will donate all contributions made to the admission-free museum, as well as proceeds from catalogue sales, to the care of children with AIDS under treatment at Northern Westchester Hospital Center in Mount Kisco.
Dr. Peter C. Welch, senior vice president for medical affairs and director of medicine and medical education at Northern Westchester Hospital Center, said that the hospital had had many children with AIDS as patients and that while there was only one child there then, "we expect more."
"Of all the people with AIDS," he said, "this is perhaps the saddest group of all."
"This is the first time the gallery has ever given money to another institution," said Michael Blakeney, assistant to the director of the Katonah Gallery. He said the museum wanted to give its AIDS contribution to an institution in the community.
Stage Designs on Exhibit
"The Katonah Gallery is concerned about the AIDS crisis and its impact on both the arts and our community," said George G. King, the director of the Katonah Gallery.
In addition to the show of Boris Anderson stage designs that will be on exhibit during that weekend, a program related to that show, "Explore the Magic World of Theater," will take place at the museum on Dec. 2 from 10:30 A.M. to noon. "This is a family event and will include a children's tour and exhibition-related activities," Mr. Blakeney said. The cost is $3 to member families and $5 to non-members. Additional contributions will be particularly welcomed that weekend. The Neuberger Museum will approach the issue of AIDS from another perspective. On Nov. 30 at 7 P.M., Robert Atkins, an art critic and contributor to The Village Voice who has written a number of articles on AIDS and how it affects the arts, will discuss "AIDS and Art: From Media to Metaphor."
On the History of AIDS
Mr. Atkins is also a founder of Visual AIDS. In his talk he will chronicle the history of AIDS imagery, incorporating responses from both commercial and noncommercial art.
The museum is the host of the lecture in cooperation with the AIDS Task Force at the State University of New York at Purchase. The task force conducts informational programs on AIDS and safe sex for people on campus. Michael McCarthy, a member of the task force and coordinator of educational services at the Neuberger, heard about "A Day Without Art" from a colleague at the Museum of Modern Art and is responsible for putting the program together at the Neuberger. The lecture will be free to the public.
Other art institutions nationwide are planning to mark "A Day Without Art," with symbolic gestures like closing arts institutions, darkening gallery spaces, emptying galleries of art or halting live performances for a moment of silence; or educational approaches like creating and disseminating material, holding memorial services and sponsoring lectures, performances, exhibitions, poetry readings, films and special ceremonies.
In Manhattan, the Museum of Modern Art, the Jewish Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, the Studio Museum, La Mama Theater, the Chase Manhattan Bank art program, the Guggenheim, the Whitney and the Gray Art Gallery are among the institutions holding events. In addition, the Public Art Fund has sponsored an AIDS poster designated by the artist group General Idea, and it will be displayed in New York City subway cars in December.