3rd Floor Gallery
May 30th, 2023 – August 27th, 2023
Once a hub for immigrants looking for a fresh start in a new land, Davenport boasted a high percentage of immigrants in the 19th and 20th century. This trend continues in the 21st century as many immigrants and refugees seek safety and better opportunities for their families in the United States.
Founded in Tucson in the mid-2000s, The Migrant Quilt Project memorializes the stories of migrants who have died seeking refuge in the United States. It is a collaborative effort between artists, quilt makers, and activists to document the names and number of lives lost each year in the desert. The quilts are created to encourage compassion and inspire support for humane changes in border policies.
In 2000 the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office began documenting the names of deceased migrants. Several years later, Jody Ipsen decided to take action after her hikes on remote migrant trails, collecting textiles to turn into quilts. Now in its 20th year, it is a grim reminder of how policies affect human lives. Each quilt is unique, and the story for each quilt is shared along with a Quiltmaker’s statement on the website.
This exhibition is on loan from the Arizona Historical Society in Tuscon, AZ. The quilts will travel to five locations around Iowa in 2023 and the early months of 2024.