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.