Newburgh, NY
United States
Second Street, between Water St. and Colden St. Newburgh Survivor's Knot since 11 August 2004
one name
After the success of combined antiretroviral therapies in the late 1990's, AIDS patients lived longer but were not seen as survivors. In 2004 artist Steed Taylor decided to address this. Inspired by the expression "long-term survivor" used for cancer patients at the time, he decided to honor the resilience and perseverance of AIDS survivors, like himself, by doing a series of public artworks called Survivor's Knots. Part of his popular road tattoos series, which are commemorative, site-specific, community-based, tattoo-inspired, public artworks on roads, he developed a Celtic design based on an earlier public work which explored his mortality. The 2004 Newburgh Sculpture Project sponsored a Survivor's Knot and worked with the city to get approval. Because of strong concern about prejudice towards AIDS survivors, their caregivers and families, only one person, Neil, agreed to have his name included in the piece. Unfortunately, Neil died a week before the installation, which took place on a hot and sunny August 11th. With a panoramic view of the Hudson River, municipal workers and staff at the nearby City Hall and Newburgh Free Library stopped by during the installation to check the progress and share compliments. Close in color to the roadway but reflective so it appeared and disappeared with passing light, the road tattoo lasted many years. Eventually traffic and weather conditions dissolved it into the road.

Newburgh Arts Council, now Orange County NY Arts Council