“They thought they could bury us…they did not know we were seeds” 

The 45,000 Quilt Project was on view at the Visual Arts Center at 210 Maud Street in Punta Gorda from April 16-18.  Watch an excellent two minute video review of the event, directed & edited by our very talented member, Jim Blue, by clicking here.  

By Linda Porterfield, Charlotte County Dems Contributing Writer

“They thought they could bury us…they did not know we were seeds”  is a quote from one panel of the 45,000 Quilt Project.

On any given day in 2019 during the Trump Administration, an average of 45,000 men, women and children were imprisoned in filthy, poorly equipped and mismanaged ICE facilities at the southern border.  The 45,000 Quilt Project  memorializes this stain forever imprinted on our history.  This exhibit is about their pain. And their hope.

Occasionally, inspiration, truth, humanity and ultimately action emerge as unintended consequences of evil and ignorance.  The 45,000 Quilt Project stands as the gentle sword piercing through the heartlessness of the past administration and cries out as our warning to never let this happen again.  Despite the symbolic depiction of horrendous treatment of these men, women and children seeking nothing more than safety, freedom and the opportunity to contribute to OUR society, the viewer is left with feelings of hope.  We immediately feel gratitude for being among the viewing public in a free society, and not among those serving as inspiration for the making of a quilt.

As an impactful, beautifully executed blend of art and humanity, the exhibit is really about feeling and is not just a visual experience.  The answer to the question of “can we hear the sound of others’ tears?” is a resounding YES!

This viewer encourages you to stop the yard work, the car washing, food shopping and just plain relaxing, to see this outside exhibit.  It’s not a large exhibit and upon arrival you may not think it will take a long time.

But you will willingly linger. You will hear the sound of their tears as an inspirational melody gently asking for help, change and the chance for freedom this country has promised for so many years.  Don’t let them down.

Image credits:  by Fran Dance, Charlotte Dems Communications Committee.  Primary image, from left:  Allen Ellison, Dem candidate for US Senator; Reverend Dan Lambert, Dem candidate for US Representative; Vielka Wambold, Hispanic Caucus and Charlotte Harbor Council of LULAC leader, Betty Barriga, Unitarian Universalist Immigration Justice Committee leader, and Cara Reynolds, Vice Chair of Charlotte County School Board.