In This Way We Loved One Another

Cathy Hillenbrand Community Room, Station House Building

About the Artwork

IN THIS WAY WE LOVED ONE ANOTHER is a historical remediation, restoring missing narratives of working class activists, healers, leaders, witnesses, and ancestors lost to the AIDS crisis. The images and narratives presented were collected through decades of community building and more recent oral histories.

HIV and AIDS continue to affect communities of color globally, most specifically Black communities. This artwork lifts up the lives of people who transformed the world through their work and struggle; who made a path by walking through racism, homophobia, fear, and structural oppression, and found joy with each other. The subjects at the center of this artwork changed lives by confronting discrimination and building communities of fellowship for activism and healing.

The artwork remedies the absence of stories of women as leaders and transformative forces in the fight against HIV. IN THIS WAY WE LOVED ONE ANOTHER illuminates the triumphs of marginalized working class community members of color, and glorifies the ways in which they found strength and vision to create safe harbors with each other.

This space centers the stories of frontline public health activists who went beyond stigma and judgement to treat those infected by a feared and unknown virus. They found ways to defend life and create welcoming spaces of spirit and connection. Narratives of witness and struggle tell the ways in which a generation met fearsome challenges and left a world transformed. These souls built lasting change in the Seattle queer community that continues to serve us today.

At this critical moment, these lives and the continued threat of HIV, AIDS, and new pandemics, give this story present day urgency. The lessons of these loving warriors arrive with grace and power, they remind us to cultivate visionary responses in crucial moments of transformation. They demonstrate enduring empathy, courage, and the power of love in righteous action.

Artwork Project Manager: Khadija Tarver
Special thanks to Aaliyah Messiah, P. Catlin Fullwood, JB Broughton, and Patrick Haggerty for sharing their stories and images. And to Reverend Gwen Hall, Sheilah Robinson, and Kazas Jones for their lives of courage and struggle. 

Storme Webber portrait

Storme Webber

Storme Webber is a Two Spirit Sugpiaq/Black/Choctaw poet and interdisciplinary artist. Her work is cross genre, incorporating text, performance, audio and altar installation, archival photographs, and collaboration in order to engage with ideas of history, lineage, gender, race and sexuality. Her practice explores liminal identities, survivance and decolonization, and does so in a blues/jazz-based experimental manner, often incorporating acapella vocals. Her performance is described by the artist Laiwan as poetics/jazz.

She has received numerous honors and residencies; including from Hedgebrook, Ragdale and Banff Arts Centre, and recently was honored with the James W Ray Award. Her first solo museum exhibition, “Casino: A Palimpsest”, was presented at Frye Art Museum in Seattle. Minh Nyguyen, in Art in America, wrote: “Rather than erect divisions between personal art and historical archives, “Casino” considered the intangible properties by which art and poetry are connected to family, ancestry, language, and public memory, revealing intergenerational, underground histories of resilience.”

She studied at Lakeside School, holds a BA from the New School and an MFA from Goddard University.

Since 2007, as a curator, she has devoted years to foregrounding other marginalized voices via her project “Voices Rising:LGBTQ of Color Arts & Culture.”

Her most recent book/CD is “Blues Divine”. Currently at work on several projects, including the next iteration of the exhibition, “Casino: A Palimpsest”.

Artist’s website