Fifteen new quilt block murals were created and installed in Lexington Township, New Portland, Anson, Embden, Madison, East Madison, Solon and Skowhegan.
The High Peaks Creative Council received a community development grant from the Maine Community Foundation and the Jean and King Cummings Fund to support this public art project. In May, the council held nine days of free community workshops in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Workshops were held at the Solon Hotel, East Madison Grange, SPACE on the River in Skowhegan, and Madison Lakewood Clubhouse. Saskia Reinholt and teaching assistant Jessica O’Brien taught community participants the history of barn paintings, drawing designs, color theory, brush handling and painting techniques.
Reinholt said, “Barn quilts connect two parts of American culture, quilt block patterns designed and passed down through generations of families and rural farming. There are over 7,000 barn quilts in North America; it is the largest popular public art movement in the history of our country. We chose to bring this project to our rural communities to celebrate an art form born out of American culture and to teach geometry, color theory and painting techniques to people of all ages. In our first cycle, we taught over 600 children in five schools. Since the pandemic, we have turned to community workshops and have worked with nearly 200 people aged 5 to 91. This project is about community building and integrating art into the everyday landscape, ”according to a press release from Wesserunsett Arts. Advice.
The largest murals are 8 feet by 8 feet and hang at the LaCasse Bat Factory on Madison Avenue in Skowhegan and the Old Skowhegan Grange on Route 201. The council plans to publish a full map guide to include the new barn covers. There are 30 barn quilt murals located in northern Franklin County, and the council intends to add 20 more south of Franklin. The trail now spans two counties and is part of the American Barn Quilt Trail network.
A book documenting the Barn Quilt Project is being considered as a fundraising project for 2022.
For more information on the trail and the board, visit highpeaksmaine.org.
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