The main goal of this page is to eventually use this platform to analyze a panel of the AIDs quilt. The AIDS quilt was created to commemorate those who died from contracting AIDS. Family and friends of victims designed panels in ways they felt best represent the loved ones they lost.
When looking at the block #3335, one’s eyes are immediately drawn to the colorful panel in the center.
This panel was received by the NAMES projected in May of 1994. On this panel there are 44 names remembered; they were all patients of the Stony Brook AIDS Treatment center.
The rainbow is an immediate eye-catcher. It is composed of six colors including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and indigo, and it arcs across most of the teal-colored sky. It appears to be painted on, rather than sewn into, the underlying fabric.
The rainbow is rather large, spanning 4 feet across 2 feet in height. Since it is made of 6 colors, the rainbow is also rather thick. Since it is made of six colors, the width of the rainbow appears to be 6 inches.
Directly above the ribbons are two white clouds. As opposed to the painted-on rainbow, these clouds appear to be extra layers of fabric laying on top of the sky. One is approximately a foot across and three to four inches in height; the other cloud is about three inches across and two inches in width. Both clouds contain a long, thin, wavy piece of shiny material. This material spans across almost the entire cloud.
In the top right corner, there are three clouds with similar height, lengths, fabrics and styles.
A City on the Hill
A town, composed of 25 buildings, lies at the left-hand base of the rainbow. Each building has a different color scheme, building style and location. Many of the buildings are multi-colored and marked with symbols that allow identification. For example, there is a white and blue building marked with a cross. This is the universal symbol for a church. Also, some buildings are multi-level while others are only single-leveled.
The terrain on which the the town lies is hilly with many shades of green. There are many trees dispersed in and around town. There are also two white birds flying above the town.
At the top of the town there are two buildings. One is gray, blue, and white, and the other one is tan, white and pink. These two buildings are unique because they seem to be on the shore of what is either a lake or ocean. They are raised up on four wooden pegs. Next to these buildings lay what appears to be a dark blue boat.
Below the center of the rainbow there are a couple of objects; the first is the sun. This seems to be made of a circular, shiny, yellow fabric. The sun is either rising or setting above a purple mountain. Some of the mountain peaks are sharp and jagged while others are slightly dull. Within the mountain case lies a multi-level gray and white building.
The Three Hills
On the right-hand base of the rainbow lay three hills made of different patches. These patches contain the 44 names of the HIV/AIDS victims and other designs. Most of the names have been shortened to first and last initial.
About the AIDS Treatment Center, Stony Brook
The AIDS Treatment Center is a part of the Stony Brook University Medical Center, and it is the designated AIDS Center of Suffolk County, New York (Stony Brook HIV Treatment Development Center). It was created in 1987 to provide clinical care to HIV/AIDS patients, but it has evolved to conduct clinical research (HIV Program).
Analysis and Symbolism
This panel contains a lot of symbolism. For example, the names are held within rectangular shapes and are embedded within the hill. This could be a metaphor for death as these are the size of graves in this scale factor.
Another example of symbolism is the rainbow; the rainbow has been the symbol of the LGBT community since the 1970s. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), since 1981 male-to-male sex has been the most common way of transmission of HIV/AIDS (HIV and AIDS — United States, 1981-2000). This would mean that the LGBT community was the most affected sub-cultural group during the AIDS epidemic. Therefore, the rainbow on this panel could be a connection or representation of the people from the LGBT community affected by AIDS.
The final example of symbolism is the sunrise over the mountains. A sunrise represents hope and the beginning of a new day. During the 1990s, awareness of HIV/AIDS increased, and progressive legislation for HIV/AIDS was at its height nation-wide. In June of 1993, the United States Congress passed the NIH Revitalization Act which allows for women and minorities to be included in research for HIV/AIDS (A Timeline of HIV and AIDS). This was an era for hope and a new beginning for all of the communities affected by HIV/AIDS which is represented by the sun rise.
This panel expresses the hope that its creators wanted to share and honors each victim from this one facility.
A Timeline of HIV and AIDS. (n.d.). Retrieved from HIV.gov: https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/history/hiv-and-aids-timeline
HIV and AIDS — United States, 1981-2000. (2001, 6 8). Retrieved from CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5021a2.htm
HIV Program. (n.d.). Retrieved from Stony Brook School of Medicine: https://medicine.stonybrookmedicine.edu/medicine/infectious_diseases/HIV
Stony Brook HIV Treatment Development Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from Stony Brook School of Medicine: https://medicine.stonybrookmedicine.edu/medicine/hivtreatment