Love Heals "What's Your Sign? Mural Project" / by Elsa Gary

Brooklyn, New York has a vibrant street art scene and last fall, Love Heals, The Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education, launched the ”What's Your Sign? Mural Project” in my neighborhood, Prospect Heights, at the corner of St. John’s Place and Underhill Avenue.  Its purpose was to raise public awareness for the HIV/AIDS crisis among New York’s Black and Latino youth.

At the center of the group of zodiac paintings, curated by Jeff Beler and Franke Velez, was a portrait, by Jeff Henriquez, of Ali Gertz, an early New York AIDS activist who died at the age of 26 in 1992 as a result of a one-time sexual encounter 10 years earlier. After being diagnosed with AIDS, she became a crusader, making her story public as a warning to heterosexuals, particularly women and children at a time when the AIDS epidemic was believed to be confined to homosexual men, intravenous drug abusers and blood-transfusion recipients. She drew international attention and was featured on the cover of People magazine and was named Woman Of The Year by Esquire.

I really enjoyed walking by frequently and observing the progress of the installation and photographing the art every chance I got!   Here are some of my favorites.