Mary Fisher wears many hats: Artist, author, and HIV/AIDS activist are just a few. The latter is perhaps what she's known best for—her influential speech at the 1992 Republication National Convention is regarded as one of the greatest American speeches of the century, spurring a push toward treatment and compassion towards those who are HIV-positive. Yet Fisher's decades-long career in mixed-media artistry has flourished alongside her activism.
10 Questions With… Mary Fisher But Fisher’s true passion has always been creativity—and its power to inspire, heal, and bring people together. Although most renowned for fiber art and textiles, her talents encompass photography, sculpture, and prints, among other media. A recent fabric collection for Lee Jofa’s Groundworks line helps raise funds for the Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA), and an upcoming exhibit, "Textile Meditations: Mary & Friends," showcases her work alongside four fellow fiber artists. Held at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, until February 10, the exhibit will include a never-before-seen body of work titled Words to Silence. Below, Fisher shares her earliest experiments with textiles, how her art and activism intersect, and how her landmark speech holds up today.
The legendary AIDS activist and artist Mary Fisher is bringing “Textile Meditations: Mary Fisher and Friends” to the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, where it will be the venue’s international textile arts show. The show will feature Fisher’s own work, titled “Words to Silence,” as well as the work of four friends of hers: Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn from London, and American artists Jane Dunnewold and Marsha Christo.
She’s a shade under 5 feet tall, but Mary Fisher is a titan when standing up to injustice and intolerance. The daughter of metro Detroit philanthropists Max and Marjorie Fisher, she attracted international notice when she spoke at the 1992 Republican Convention in Houston, where she acknowledged she was HIV positive and pleaded with her party to be more compassionate toward those suffering from AIDS.
Feb 01 - Mar 24
Mary Fisher: Words to Silence