AIDS quilt will make stop here|
|It is a massive heartfelt memorial that has shook the world and changed the face of a devastating disease, and now a portion of it is coming to Antigo|
Thirty-two panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be displayed at Antigo High School’s Volm Theater next Thursday and Friday, with public viewing from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“We are excited to welcome these four large squares that include 32 individual panels,” Karen Hegranes, chairman of the AIDS Education task Force, said. “Everyone is invited for a free viewing of this powerful artistic reminder of the AIDS pandemic.”
Specific to the Antigo display are memorial panels to several community members who died of AIDS. Each measures three by six feet and was sewn together by friends, family and caregivers.
The family of Kevyn Damos, an Antigo High School graduate, will be among those on hand to view their son’s memorial.
“We all pitched in with ideas about what was important to Kevyn, everything from his favorite color to his music and favorite musicals,” Damos’ mother, said. “He loved Disney and Mickey Mouse so we put it all on the panel. The picture of him allowed us to say special thoughts we had said and unsaid by signing it to Kevyn.”
Damos, whose father, Jim, was a member of the task force prior to his death, played piano and organ for weddings and special events at United Methodist Church.
Another panel on display was created with help from the AIDS Task Force for a local couple who lost their son to AIDS. This is the first time family members will be able to view it in connection with other pieces of the quilt.
The family had expressed an interest in having a panel made following the first showing of the AIDS quilt here in 2004 and again in 2007, after the subject’s mother had been diagnosed with cancer.
“The task force connected her with a local quilter, Rosita Matucheski, who helped create panels to honor several victims,” Hegranes said. “The panel was made with the direction of the mother and then dedicated to the Names Project located in Atlanta, Ga., where the entire AIDS quilt is stored.”
Also included is a panel requested by the Sheboygan AIDS Task Force in memory of the daughter of a committee member. The family is making the trip to Antigo for the viewing.
“We were glad that we could help them be able to view her panel in Wisconsin this year,” Hegranes said.
The entire AIDS Memorial Quilt weighs 54 tons and is comprised of more than 47,000 panels dedicated to more than 90,000 individuals. It has been called the greatest HIV prevention education tool and the largest ongoing piece of community folk art in the world and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
Students view panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt during its last visit to Antigo in 2007.
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