In Conversation: Patric McCoy, John Neff, and Peter Coviello

In the fall of 2016, LATITUDE partnered with the Alphawood Foundation to produce the works of 6 artists added to the Chicago iteration of Art AIDS America. Throughout the process, we had the great pleasure of working closely with John Neff and Patric McCoy as they curated Patric’s work for the exhibition. This event was born out of the conversations in the lab while looking through Patric’s expansive archive of images and a desire to share these important conversations with the public.

LATITUDE is pleased to host a panel discussion featuring Patric McCoy, John Neff, and Peter Coviello focusing on imaging and archiving queer history, especially as it intersects with the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis and other queer issues.

The Arts AIDS America exhibition was originally organized by Tacoma Art Museum in partnership with The Bronx Museum of the Arts. In Chicago, this exhibition is made possible by the Alphawood Foundation, a Chicago-based, grant-making private foundation working for an equitable, just and humane society.

GET TO KNOW THE PANEL: 

Patric McCoy has recently retired from a 28 year career as an environmental scientist in the Air and Radiation Division of the U.S. EPA in Chicago. He has a BA in Chemistry from the University of Chicago (1969) and an MA in Environmental Science from Governors State University (1979). Mr. McCoy has been collecting contemporary African American art for 48 years and has a collection of over 1300 pieces of fine art, 90% done by Chicago artists. In 2003 he co-founded Diasporal Rhythms a not-for-profit 501(c)3 arts organization comprised of informed and passionate art collectors from Chicago’s African American communities. Mr McCoy was an amatuer photo journalist during the 1980s and captured many images of the denizens of Black Chicago’s downtown social scene while commuting to and around the Loop’s hot spots.

John Neff makes artworks, organizes exhibitions, and works as a teaching artist. He is a curatorial board member of Chicago’s Iceberg Projects and co-director of the Ravenswood Elementary School Curatorial Practice Program. Neff was a curatorial consultant to the Alphawood Gallery's exhibition Art AIDS America Chicago. 

Peter Coviello is Professor of English at the University of Illinois-Chicago. His most recent book, TOMORROW'S PARTIES: SEX AND THE UNTIMELY IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY AMERICA, was a finalist for a 2014 Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Studies. He has written about Walt Whitman, the history of sexuality, queer children, Prince, stepparenthood, pop music, Mormon polygamy, and much besides.