The DAAP Mainstreet Gallery held a grand opening Monday for “AIDS Memorial Quilt,” their current exhibit. The origin of the quilt started in June of 1987 when a group of strangers gathered in San Francisco to document the lives of their loved ones who passed away from AIDS. The goal of this was to create a memorial for those who have died from AIDS and also help people understand the impact of the disease.
“Today the Quilt is a powerful visual reminder of the AIDS pandemic. More than 48,000 individual 3-by-6-foot memorial panels — most commemorating the life of someone who has died of AIDS — have been sewn together by friends, lovers and family members,” reads the exhibit’s website.
The DAAP Mainstreet Gallery has a collection of five panels of the quilt. Each panel has around six to eight different sections, each one containing around eight different sections. One of the sections on one of the panels contained a tribute to Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen who died of AIDS in 1991. Other panels included the family members and friends of those a little closer to the Cincinnati area, like one dedicated to a Hughes High School graduate.
The LGBTQ Center is hosting a series of events such as Jim Crow Geography and HIV Disparities on Nov. 8, a tote bag-making workshop on Nov. 9 and a showing of “Who’s Going to Love Me Now” on Nov. 13.
The tote bag workshop will seek to explore connection between fiber arts and the concept of carrying and letting go.
“Whether heavy or light, visible or invisible, the burdens we carry can be relieved through the support of the community,” reads the description of the event. “This workshop seeks to bring the community together to share, socialize and create in an effort to acknowledge the nearing of burdens and to take away something to physically help carry the load.”
Jayson Douglas, the program coordinator for the LGBTQ Center, capitalized the importance of the quilt being at the DAAP Mainstreet Gallery.
“It’s a really great opportunity that we have the chance to get a few of the panels in the gallery,” Douglas said. “There are such a variety of panels here and it’s awesome that we get to showcase some of them.”