Curator, Founder of Migrant Quilt Project to Present

Curator, Founder of Migrant Quilt Project to Present

March 18, 2019

The curator and founder behind the Migrant Quilt Project will give a presentation March 26 at noon at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum. 

The Migrant Quilt Project is a grassroots collaboration of artists, quiltmakers and activists raising awareness of the migrants who die each year on along the Tucson Sector of Arizona through quilts. 

During their presentation, Peggy Hazard and Jody Ipsen will share the story behind the project and offer additional context for their work. The lecture is complimentary with admission to the museum. University of Nebraska-Lincoln students, faculty members and staff receive free admission.

Inspired by The NAMES Project AIDS MEMORIAL Quilt and other consciousness-raising installations, the Migrant Quilt Project seeks to humanize the more than 2,700 migrants who have died in the Sonoran Desert. 

Beginning with October 2000—when the federal fiscal year begins—the makers create a quilt to represent those who died each year since. The works incorporate various materials, including discarded migrant clothing found in the desert, as well as personal items and iconography representative of life on both sides of the border. 

In some cases, the deceased are named on the quilts. In others, when remains cannot be identified, they are labeled “unknown” or desconocido/desconocida in Spanish. 

A selection of the project’s quilts is now showing in “Los Desconocidos / The Unknowns” through June 27 in the museum’s Lois Gottsch Gallery. 

Hazard is a Tucson-based independent art curator, artist and quiltmaker.  She is a member of the American Quilt Study Group and was inducted into the Arizona Quilters Hall of Fame in 2018.

Ipsen is the founder and director of the Migrant Quilt Project. As a social justice activist, for the past 13 years she has given presentations and written pieces to raise awareness for this humanitarian crisis.

In addition to this presentation, Hazard will lead tours of the exhibition at 11 a.m. on March 27 and 28.

The museum will also celebrate the art and culture of Mexican and Central American cultures and with performances during its June 7 First Friday from 4-7 p.m. The IQSCM will also honor immigrants and former refugees living in Nebraska who will share their stories on June 20 at 5:30 p.m.

For more information about this exhibition and other related programs, visit https://www.quiltstudy.org/exhibition/los-desconocidos/unknowns.