AIDS Memorial Quilt on display at UNR
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For about fifteen years, the AIDS Memorial Quilt has been a major source of healing and advocacy for family and friends of the deceased.
Since the first cases of the disease were reported back in 1981, more than 25 million people have died from AIDS.
A portion of the quilt is currently on display at the University of Nevada, Reno.
The project began in 1987, when a group of strangers in San Francisco joined together to find a way to memorialize people they knew history would forget otherwise. Since then, the quilt has grown into the largest community art project in the world with more than 48,000 memorial panels.
Paul Baker Prindle directs University Galleries for UNR. He notes that each quilt panel is 3-by-6 feet, to correspond with the footprint of a grave, and the portion on display at UNR includes the names of people from Reno.
"In the upper right, there's a quilt for a young child, maybe eight or nine, and there's little applique badges of Disney characters on a plaid field."
The project requires survivors to work together, stenciling and stitching their designs with fabric instead of working on a traditional canvas.
"It's a form that everybody understands, everybody gets. Quilts bring comfort; they bring warmth. We give warm quilts to the dying, to the sick. And they're made out of love.
Right now, more than 33 million people around the globe have HIV.