Inspired by the AIDS quilt, they contacted Mike Smith, a co-founder of the Name Project AIDS Memorial Quilt Project. They learned from Smith that each panel of the AIDS quilt was three-feet by six-feet, representing the size of a grave. Each quilt was comprised of 48,000 panels.
Wanting this project to be manageable for travel and exhibiting, the “tribute” size of seven by nine inches was selected. “It was not a random choice. It is the size of a surgical face mask,” Gough noted.
Sixty-three tributes, seven columns and nine rows, would make up one banner.
“The only guidelines to making a tribute is the finished size and should include the tribute’s name,” the director said. “Any textile technique – felt, knit it, embroidery, applique – for example. Anything you feel capable of doing and best represents the person.”
“While we would like for it to be people who one has known personally, it is not a requirement in making a tribute for the banner,” Weeks said.
Joan Gleckler knows no one personally who has died of COVID-19, but felt making tribute panels for the banners was something she could do to acknowledge each precious life. This tribute commemorates Col. Steve dePyssler, a U.S. Air Force veteran who was the only known American to have served in four wars. He died 4 days after his 101st birthday. He was from Haughton, LA.
A database will be kept of who made each tribute and why it was made.
“We wanted a way to show others how many people had been lost. For people who are grieving, make something tactile that would help them grieve, but also provide a memory of their lost ones,” Gough said.
For more info on the project or making a tribute, contact Suzi Gough at 678-235-4328 or visit https://fiberartsalliance.org/pandemic-banner-project/
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