WASHINGTON -- As the International AIDS Conference this week focuses primarily on adults who have been impacted by HIV/AIDS, a local art school will shift the emphasis to the children who have been orphaned by the disease, repurposing a symbol of parental care and infant peace: the cradle.

The Cradle Project, on display at the Washington Studio School though Aug. 3, brings together dozens of designs by artists around the nation ranging from elementary school classes to residents of homeless shelters to widely-exhibited professionals.

Each offers their interpretation of the tragedy -- and hope -- represented by each orphaned child. The Firelight Foundation estimates that there are 12 million AIDS orphans in sun-Saharan Africa.

The pieces range from antique-cradles filled with flowers to twisted stop signs to repurposed debris from Hurricane Katrina. The cradles on display in D.C. are a selection from the 500 originally submitted to the Cradle Project -- an initiative designed to raise awareness and funds for AIDS orphans -- when it first began in 2008.

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  • Cradle Project

    "AIDS, Famine, and War," Celia Rumsey, Santa Fe, N.M., <em>Empty shell casings, medicine bottles, and other mixed media</em>

  • Cradle Project

    "Wayside Deluxe," Alfons Poblocki, Magdalena, N.M., <em>Bicycle rim with cedar</em>

  • Cradle Project

    "Pole Star Cradle," Ted Somogyi, San Francisico, <em>Wood, wire, cement, gold, and paint</em>

  • Cradle Project

    "Stop Sign Cradle," Chelsea Briganti, New York City,<em>Recycled stop signs</em>

  • Cradle Project

    "La Montana Trae Barcos de Azucenas: The Mountain Brings Us Boats Full of Lilies," Ana Maria Hernando, Boulder, Colo., <em>Mixed Media</em>

  • Cradle Project

    "Down Will Come Baby," The Children's School, Berwyn, Ill., Toys, fabric, yarn, wood, wire, and pipe cleaner

  • Cradle Project

    "Life Dance," J. Mehaffey, Carson, N.M., <em>Mixed Media</em>

  • Cradle Project

    "Katrina Cradled," Kathy Hughes and Karen Abboud, <em>Refuse from Hurricane Katrina and flooded houses</em>

  • Cradle Project

    "Cradle Recipe: Add Children-Rock Vigorously," Michael Cavallini, Phoenix, Ariz., <em>Used clothing</em>

  • Cradle Project

    "Real Children, Real Lives," Cathy Wysocki and Wayne Hopkins, Corrales, N.M., <em>Mixed Media</em>

The show is a collaboration between the Washington Studio School, the Firelight Foundation and Aid for Africa.

The Washington Studion School is located at 2129 S St. NW. For more information, visit the Firelight Foundation's website.