Saturday, September 22, 2007
Fabric of Snow Hill
Arts on the River invited artists, designers, architects, schools and other community groups from the Snow Hill, Maryland, area to create "quilt squares" for the 2007 Public Art Project. My painting Barn Raising is in the center of the bottom row among the assemblage of 22 artworks combined into a large "quilt." The quilt was displayed in Snow Hill on September 22, 2007, in conjunction with the nearby Nassawango Quilt Festival at Furnace Town. Each artwork was individually auctioned to support the arts mission of the Snow Hill Alliance for Responsible Progress (SHARP).
When asked to create a piece of art that was representative of Snow Hill, I was overwhelmed by the strong sense of community. Because of the quilt festival and my obsession with the images of quilts and quilters archived and made available online by the The Library of Congress, I immediately made a connection between quilts and the act of communal barn raising. I wanted to represent the unified, creative, regenerative action of the Snow Hill community with the image of the barn raising quilt pattern and strong hands stitching it all together.
There are quite a few things going on in this photograph. Standing on the stage, holding a painting of a tractor, and dressed in black is Ann Coates, owner and operator of Bishop's Stock Fine Art & Fine Craft in Snow Hill, Maryland. Ann is also very active in the community and in SHARP. The barefoot woman in the front is quilter Barbara Hudson, and her framed quilt called Cross Canoes is leaning against the stage on the left (behind the woman in the white capri pants). Barbara was the chairperson of the Nassawango Quilt Festival, "Quilts on the Line," and she purchased my painting, Barn Raising, at the charity auction that day. I donated half of the proceeds of the sale back to SHARP.