As part of Mineral Point’s third annual Pride celebration, sections of the internationally celebrated AIDS Memorial Quilt — the 54-ton, handmade tapestry that stands as a memorial to more than 96,000 individuals lost to AIDS — will be on view Aug. 8-10 at the Boyoyoyboy Contemporary Art Gallery, 22 High St. This free display of The AIDS Memorial Quilt is being hosted by Mineral Point Pride.
Established in 1987, The NAMES Project Foundation is the international organization that is the custodian of The AIDS Memorial Quilt. The AIDS Memorial Quilt began with a single 3- x 6-foot panel created in San Francisco in 1987. Today, The Quilt is composed of more than 49,000 individual 3- x 6-foot panels, each one commemorating the life of someone who has died of AIDS. These panels come from every state in the nation, every corner of the globe and they have been sewn by hundreds of thousands of friends, lovers and family members into this epic memorial, the largest piece of ongoing community art in the world.
In a war against a disease that has no cure, The AIDS Memorial Quilt has evolved as our most potent tool in the effort to educate against the lethal threat of AIDS. By revealing the humanity behind the statistics, The AIDS Memorial Quilt helps teach compassion, triumphs over taboo, stigma and phobia; and inspires individuals to take direct responsibility for their own well-being and that of their family, friends and community.
Julie Rhoad, executive director of The NAMES Project Foundation explains, “We are thrilled to have the chance to share The AIDS Memorial Quilt with your community. These handmade blocks, created by friends and family, tell the stories of individuals who have lost their lives to AIDS. We bring you their stories in the hope of inspiring compassion, healing and personal responsibility. We thank Mineral Point Pride for hosting this event and we invite you all out to see what wonderful art we have created together as a nation.”
Accompanying the display, Mineral Point Pride will host a reception at Boyoyoboy on Aug. 8, and events at Tequila Point and L&L Public House on Aug. 9 and 10 including live music, games and two drag show performances by Illusions Midwest (including a family friendly show).
For more information on Mineral Point Pride, please call (608) 553-1367. For more information on The NAMES Project and The AIDS Memorial Quilt, visit aidsquilt.org or call the national headquarters at (404) 688-5500. For more information on Boyoyoboy Contemporary Art Gallery, call (312) 561-7191.