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February 13, 1997 - Image 20

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-13

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8B - Th Michigan Daily Weeken Magazine - Thursday, February 13, 1997

0

The Michigan Dal Weekeng Ma

The
Al

NAMES

Project:
Quilts

Legacy

in

About the quilt:
Sponsored by the Ann Arbor Jaycees
Foundation and the University of
Michigan Athletic Department, the
NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt
made its official visit to Ann Arbor last
weekend.
Comprised of more than 18,000 pan-
els, the sections at the Ann Arbor show-
ing represent less than half of the
40,000 pieces that make the whole
of the quilt.
The NAMES Project, founded in
1987, was started by a small group of
friends who feared that the scope of the
AIDS epidemic would be forgotten in
the future. Since then, the quilt has
grown to the size of six football fields,
and has been visited by more than 8
million people.
Much of the quilt's effect comes from
its representation of the magnitude of
the AIDS epidemic while simultane-
ously giving it a definite name and
face.
Adorned with old clothing, belong-
ings and messages from friends and
family, each of the quilts provides a
pinhole view into the stories of those
affected by AIDS. When coupled with
the size of the project, such a perspec-
tive comes close to providing true
insight into the AIDS epidemic.

At the quilt:
Volunteers Beth Killham, Diane
Neelson and Marlita Reddy affix a
quilt to the wall of the Track and Tennis
Building (top left). While pieces of the
quilt were hung on the wall, other sec-
tions on the floor were stitched togeth-
er. Many tedious hours of stitching
were required, and this gave volunteers
the chance to be especially intimate
with the quilts (top center). At one par-
ticular row of the quilt, visitors were
given the chance to write their own
messages to the recently departed, as
Christine Parkinson and her son Cam
did (above). The massive size of the
project gives immediacy to the issue of
AIDS in our society (top right). As a
token of remembrance, two women
place a quilt and grieve for the loss of
a friend (far right).

Photostory by Josh Biggs

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