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Beyond the Border Wall -  New England Quilt Museum  •   Lowell, Massachusetts
May 1, 2018 - July 18, 2018

Between 2004 and 2005, a record number of 282 migrants perished in the Tucson Sector, the border region between New Mexico and Yuma. The increase in deaths moved Jody Ipsen to take action to alleviate the tragic loss of life. As she hiked remote migrant trails with fellow humanitarians, Jody realized that the textile-based discards could be used to make quilts to communicate the reality of migrants’ deaths. She reached out to quiltmakers to create quilts from the blue jeans, bandanas, work shirts and embroidered cloths she gathered in the desert. Quilts would represent deaths from each year since 2000 when the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office began documenting the names of deceased migrants.

Each Migrant Quilt lists the deaths for a specific federal fiscal year, coinciding with the U.S. government’s record-keeping. The name of each individual who died that year is inscribed on the quilt, with the word “unknown” or “desconocido” used to designate an unidentified person’s remains. Quiltmakers are free to design their quilts however they desire. 

Saturday, May 5 at 11 am - Migrant Quilt organizers, Peggy Hazard and Jody Ipsen, join us for an in-depth exploration of these works, the stories behind them, and how they hope to inspire viewers. All are welcome. This public program is free to members and included in the price of admission for nonmembers. 


Venue Info:
New England Quilt Museum
18 Shattuck St. 
Lowell, MA 01852
United States
978-452-4207