Desconocidos, Tucson Sector, 2015-2016, 94” x 61” by Mary Vaneecke, 2017.

About the Work

This piece was commissioned by The Migrant Quilt Project to honor and call attention to those who died crossing the border in the 2015-2016 fiscal year.  It is made in part with clothing discarded at the border by migrants.  The Project commissions a quilt each year, and the quilt must have the names of those whose have died while crossing, or, in the case of unidentified bodies, the word desconocido (unknown or stranger in Spanish).  It was an honor to make this piece with Julia Moore, an intern who worked with me earlier this year.  TMQP has received a grant for travelling exhibitions of these quilts beyond Tucson.  Watch here for the next venue.

The work features a transparent silhouette of Fr. Kino, the first European to visit the area (he was in search of the lost City of Gold).  I consider him the first border crosser.  The quilt also features a Virgin of Guadalupe, a marijuana-themed bandanna, and 400 pesos (which were found stitched into the seams of two pairs of jeans).

The Numbers

The numbers for Desconocidos The Migrant Quilt Project this year?  One hundred forty-four deaths.  Aged 18-51 years.  Ten women, 128 men, 6 unknown.  Three teenagers.

Techniques and Materials

Materials:  fusing, clothing, synthetic sheers, thread, canvas, felt.

Techniques:  Burning, machine quilting, fusing, embellishing, image transfer.

Desconocido, detail

Desconocidos by Mary Vaneecke, detail

Desconocidos by Mary Vaneecke, detail

Desconocidos, by Mary Vaneecke, detail.

Desconocidos, by Mary Vaneecke, detail.

‘Desconocidos,’ for The Migrant Quilt Project | 2017 | New Work, Subversive Stitching | Media: , , | Tags: , , , , | Comments (7)

7 Responses to “‘Desconocidos,’ for The Migrant Quilt Project”

  1. Meri Franca Di Biagio says:

    Mary Vaneecke it’s wonderful. It’s a significant work!

  2. Mary this is wonderful. I hope I will be able to see it one day/ Please post if its in a traveling exhibit.

  3. Peggie Thomas says:

    It’s a significant work, Mary. Very humbling.

  4. DAVE VANEECKE says:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *