Oral history interview with Lia Gangitano
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
Gangitano, Lia, 1968-
Fialho, Alex, 1989-
2017 February 5-6
Physical Description:
4 Items
sound files (5 hrs., 59 min.)
digital, wav
74 Pages

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview with Lia Gangitano, conducted 2017 February 5-6, by Alex Fialho, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Gangitano's home in New York, New York.
Scope and Contents
Gangitano speaks of growing up in a staunchly Roman Catholic family; the religious interests of her family directly influencing her appreciation for art through formative trips to Italy; her parents' choice to raise her and her sister in suburban Connecticut in an effort to Americanize them; his father's activity in the Democratic party; the high rate of suicide and drug use in her community growing up; becoming aware of HIV through friends who were intravenous drug users; regarding her work study program at ICA Boston as her main education; her involvement in Women's Action Coalition; spending nine weeks painting during a residency at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the realization that she didn't like her own art and instead wanted to support other people's art; the formative experience of co-curating Dress Codes; the path she took from ICA Boston to her own alternative space; Boston School show at ICA Boston; the survey of Mark Morrisroe's work at ICA Boston; her experience at Thread Waxing; navigating the process of starting a business when she founded Participant, Inc.; her desire to establish an artists' space that was non-commercial; the group exhibition Dead Flowers; Greer Lankton's retrospective at Participant; finding that people want a more active role in their art experience through Julie Tolentino's For You show; the unique mission of Participant in the art world; the desire to create and maintain a space for people to remember as well as follow their dreams. Gangitano also recalls Avery Gordon, Gayatri Spivak, Stephen Pfohl, Andrew Tavarelli, Elisabeth Sussman, Mark Morrisroe, Pat Hearn, Catherine Opie, Ron Athey, Frank Wagner, Ramsey McPhillips,.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Lia Gangitano (1968- ) is the Director of PARTICIPANT INC., in New York, New York. Alex Fialho (1989- ) is a curator and arts writer and works as Programs Director for Visual AIDS in New York, N.Y.

Funding for this interview was provided by the Keith Haring Foundation.
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

Digital Content

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
AIDS (Disease) and the arts Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arts administrators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001