My painting of the AIDS Memorial Quilt is a celebration of the work that AIDS activists have been doing and a recognition of how powerful art can be in the fight against disease, discrimination, and despair. My work often deals with protests and parades, and I see the quilt as a little bit of each of those things. My first encounter with the quilt was on the basketball court of my high school gym--when I saw the work, I was overwhelmed by the magnitude and consequence of even this comparatively small collection of quilt panels.
The AIDS Memorial Quilt is important because, as a continually growing monument created by, commemorating and connecting thousands of individuals, it constitutes the largest piece of community folk art in the world. The AIDS Memorial Quilt is not a stage for mourning, but a commemoration of a worldwide effort to cure AIDS and to share our love for the people affected by this disease. The quilt has raised over 1.7 million dollars for AIDS research--and that represents just a small portion of the impact it has had on everyone who encounters it.