About the Panel
Todd Allen Hartman is one of the many victims that died from AIDS. The contributors of his quilt were his parents, sisters, brothers, sister in law, nieces and nephews, family friends, and Sharon Sokolowski, who had never met Todd. This panel is a small piece in remembrance of Todd’s achievement and bubbly spirit that touched the hearts he came into contact with all throughout his life.
To begin with, 2270 is the block number of this panel. The panel is displayed on the right side of the quilt. The panel is titled, “Todd Allen Hartman,” with the words shown vertically down the left side of the entire panel. The background color of this panel is in an off-white, creme shade. The content of this panel is placed strategically to make sure all the information fits perfectly and can be seen with ease. The arrangement makes the panel look more professional because of the clean placement work. The stitching that is incorporated into the panel looks as if it is done professionally because of the drawings and stitches look neat with no rough or visible thread along the edges. The panel is displayed vertically and is meant to be read from left to right. The content in it consists of artwork, quotes, messages, a photograph, and dates. Overall, the entire panel is about Todd Allen Hartman and his interests along with a few messages from his family.
Looking from the top left corner of the panel, there is a dark purple colored skyline portrayed along the top with two other small symbols. The skyline could either be of New York City or San Francisco because Todd spent the majority of his adult life in both of these places. He was indecisive and could not choose between the two, so he lived in both areas alternately. There are also two masks in the colors dark red and green above the skyline. The masks are a symbol of the theatre. They represent both the comedic and tragic aspect that theatre has to offer. There is also musical notes a bit farther to the right of the masks. Todd was a tremendous performer. He was into acting and music.
Now, looking towards the bottom of the panel, two more designs are shown. At the bottom left corner, there is a knight helmet drawing in the color, midnight black with the letters, “RU,” written in bubble letters in the color light red. The mascot and the letter both are dealing with Rutgers University in New Jersey. Scarlet Knight is what the mascot is called. Lastly, right next to the mascot, there is the Golden Gate Bridge in light red with a bird flying above it displayed along the bottom. The Golden Gate Bridge is located in San Francisco where Todd spent the majority of his life.
Towards the center of the panel is where the majority of the work is placed. In the middle section, there are various aspects such as quotes, messages, names and more. However, there are mainly quotes that are being presented. The first quote is by George Santayana that reads, “There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.” The quote is placed in a rectangular box with the words being in a dull white color and the background is a mix of the colors navy blue and army green. The area in which the quote is placed has a velvet feel to it. This specific quote is important because Todd lived by this quote, he lived life to the fullest and had no regrets. The second quote is placed directly under the first one and it reads, “Of all the horrible abruptness in this world, Aids has managed to shorten the lives of many, and the patience of us all,” in a lighter shade of dark red. For that quote, there is no known author.
The next quote is placed in a rectangle with a lighter shade of watermelon pink and the actual words are hand printed in the color rosewood pink. The quote says, “We sensitive souls mustn’t be so cruel to ourselves…I truly feel our mere existence is more than this world deserves. But it’s exactly what this world needs!” and is written by someone named TAH. To make the quote stand out there is a drained flower towards the bottom left corner. Lastly, Khalil Gibran is the author of the quote, “Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then you shall truly dance,” which is written in a white color and is inbox with a burgundy background.
In addition to the quotes that represent Todd and his perspective, there are messages from both him and his mother that are a part of the panel. Starting from the left side of the panel, there is an enormous message from Todd himself. The note states the experience of being sick, and the physical and mental pain that is being caused because of the sickness is excruciating. Next, Todd’s parents wrote a message titled, “My Son,” which in short talks about the day Todd was born to the day he became a man. The message is referring to the growth Todd has gone through and how proud they are of him. Surrounding the message are trees with various colors of leaves symbolizing the growth and adaption Todd has gone through his entire life.
Although many aspects allow anyone that looks at the panel to see what kind of person Todd was, there is an actual photo of Todd placed on the upper half of the panel. This photograph is set in the shape of an oval with dark red lining. The background of the oval is merely white, and Todd is in the seen from head to thigh. In the photograph, Todd has dirty blonde, shoulder length hair and he is white. He is wearing glasses, a black suit with a white buttoned up shirt and a necklace look alike around his neck. Todd’s hands are held mid waist level and are carried together in a fist position.
Birth to Death
Finally, the last part of this panel are the dates that are portrayed at the very bottom of the panel. The numbers 5-3-60 and 11-2-90 are in the color dark black. These numbers represent the day Todd Allen Hartman was born and the day he died. Todd was born in Allentown, Pa. Like all good lives, they all must come to an end. Even though Todd was young and still had a long experience left to live, he did impact those around him on a day to day basis. He was loved dearly and will be in the hearts of many.
The primary source to all of the information on Todd Allen Hartman came from a letter that was written by the Hartman family, more specifically, his mother, Tracy Hartman. The Hartman Family gave the letter to the NAMES Project New Jersey. In the letter, there is a summary of what all Todd did his entire life. He was a very active and outgoing individual. He was artistic, whether that be in music or drama. He was an athlete. And during the late years of his adulthood, he pursued writing. To begin Todd’s adult life, Todd went to Rutgers University where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1982. His primary focus was English and Theatre. While he was at Rutgers University, Todd was a member of the Rutgers Gay Alliance, and eventually became its president. Now the club is called Queer Student Alliance. Becuase of his involvement in the organization, Todd made lifelong friends in which he continued to keep in touch with even after college.
One of Todd’s favorite quotes came from a guy named George Santayana. George Santayana was a “Spanish American Philosopher, poet, and humanist who made important contributions to aesthetics, speculative philosophy, and literary criticism.” Santayana’s perspective on philosophy is what prompted him into the poems and quotes he made. All throughout his life, Santayana’s viewpoint on life changed and along the way, he adapted to new ideas and contributed his work for the rest of the world to see.
As mentioned before Todd was a city person, he loved both New York and San Fransico. He lived in both cities at a time. Some of his friends lived in both New York and San Fransisco. Although he was away from his family, he would always make an effort to surprise them for holidays and birthdays. Todd was very close with his family. This panel is to express the amount of love the family and friends of Todd’s have for him and to comfort those that have also lost a loved one due to AIDS.
Hartman, Tracy. “Letter to The NAMES Project/New Jersey, 17 June 1992.” The Names Project Foundation Archives, Atlanta, Georgia. Accessed with permission 2018.
Henfrey, Norman V. “George Santayana.” Encyclopdia Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica Inc, https://www.britannica.com/biography/George-Santayana.
“History and Meaning of the Comedy and Tragedy Theatre Masks.” Entertainism, Entertainism, https://entertainism.com/history-meaning-of-comedy-tragedy-theatre-masks.
“Queer Student Alliance of Rutgers University.”getInvolved, https://rutgers.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/qsa.
“The Scarlet Knight.” Rutgers University Athletics, http://scarletknights.com/sports/2017/6/11/cheer-knight-html.aspx.