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World famous quilt and AIDS memorial on display

BY CLAIRE DIETZ | DECEMBER 04, 2014 5:00 AM

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A section of the world’s largest community folk-art piece — and one of the most important HIV/AIDS memorials — has made a stop in Iowa City, arriving Monday for Worlds AIDS Day and staying for the end of Iowa City Red Week.

The University of Iowa Museum of Art’s First Friday exhibition series will take place at 5 p.m. Friday at FilmScene, 118 E. College St. Titled InspiRED, the event is designed to bring more attention to HIV/AIDS by presenting nine panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

The quilt panel is a 12-by-12-foot collection of squares featuring the names of people who have died of AIDS-related causes. It is just a small part of the full Memorial Quilt, which weighs 54 tons and was first constructed in the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In its entirety, the quilt covered the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in 1996.

“A greater awareness of HIV/AIDS is central to all IC Red Week events,” said Jon Winet, a UI art Professor and a contributor to IC Red Week. “We also hope to draw attention to this unique, compelling, creative 1.4 million-square-foot community art project, which began in 1987 and that sadly is still being added to. There are now over 48,000 panels commemorating people lost to AIDS.”

Winet also said that the UI's Digital Studio for Public Arts & Humanities — of which he is the director — is working on a project that will help expose a wider audience to the Memorial quilt.
“The studio is now working with the New School in New York City and Michigan State on AIDS Quilt Touch,” he said. “[It is] a mobile web app that allows people to access the Quilt, search for individual panels, and leave remembrances.”


Iowa City Red Week

TODAY

• 11 a.m. — DP Dough Fundraiser, 519 E. Washington
• 4:30 p.m. —  Studio Talk, a discussion of the AIDS Quilt Touch app project by Paul Greenough, Tami Haught, and Jeffery Meier, moderated by Nikki White, N150 Lindquist Center
• 7 p.m. — Red Affair, a benefit dinner and silent auction. Tickets can be purchased at the Hub.

FRIDAY

• 5 p.m. — Museum of Art First Friday, FilmScene, 118 E. College

SATURDAY

• 9 p.m. — The Mirage, aimed at promoting diversity, raising awareness of HIV/AIDS, and providing information regarding sexual health. The event will feature a Condom Casino, amateur and professional drag shows, and free HIV testing. IMU Second-Floor Ballroom


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