Earlier this year, a group of project partners--including TAUNY (Traditional Arts in Upstate New York), the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, the St. Lawrence County Arts Council, the Hammond Barn Quilt Trail Committee, and the Town of Colton Tourism & Beautification Committee--received a New York State Council on the Arts Regional Economic Development (REDC) grant to work on a major project celebrating and promoting barn quilt activity in St. Lawrence County.
Have you seen the colorful painted quilt pattern squares that have appeared on homes, barns, garages, and public buildings around St. Lawrence County and beyond--including by TAUNY’s back entrance--in recent years? These “barn quilts” are usually based on traditional quilt patterns and might range in size from 1’x1’ to 8’x8’. They are the creations of local artists and community members taking part in a grassroots arts and economic development movement. For many, making barn quilts is a way to celebrate local heritage, identity, and community, to nurture local pride, and to encourage investment in beautifying and maintaining local properties. They are also often part of organized community efforts to draw tourism to small towns around the region. There are two extensive, well-established Barn Quilt Trails already in St. Lawrence County in Colton, NY and Hammond, NY (learn more through the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce at www.northcountryguide.com/pages/barn-quilt-trails), and people around the county and beyond are making more every day!
Over 2019, the project will celebrate and promote the growing barn quilt movement in and around the county, and will encourage more to join in and get barn quilting, through a range of exciting elements including:
“Barn Quilt Party” Series (July-August 2019)
These festive, family-friendly events in green spaces around the county featured: demonstrations of barn quilt painting and related arts, barn and traditional quilt displays, kids’ activities, live music, fun and delicious themed refreshments, barn quilt and related vendors, and more ways to learn about--and share your own experience with--barn quilt making in the county! Details varied by location and date.
July 14 (1:00-5:00 pm): Colton, NY, Swift Field
July 20 (11:00am-2:00pm): Wanakena, NY, Wanakena Green
August 3 (10:00 am-12:00 pm): Hammond, NY, Iva Smith Memorial Gallery
August 10 (1:00-4:00 pm): Massena, NY, Nicandri Nature Center
“Towns of St. Lawrence County Barn Quilt” mural (Summer 2019)
To create this mural, historians and other town representatives around the county worked with Ruth McWilliams of the Colton Barn Quilt Trail and the St. Lawrence County Historical Association to choose traditional quilt patterns representing the rich heritage and identity of the county's 32 towns. These 32 barn quilt squares make up a 4’x8’ mural that will then be on public display over the coming months. Stop by The TAUNY Center to see the completed barn quilt mural!
Pilot tour of an area barn quilt trail (September 2019)
Support for several contemporary, folk, and traditional artists
to produce new works inspired by the barn quilt concept (May-December 2019)
A group of selected artists will receive grant funding to create new works in their own medium, reflecting on the questions of heritage, identity, community, and self-expression that barn quilts inspire, as part of 2019 project and to display in an upcoming 2020 exhibit at The TAUNY Center.
Online map of St. Lawrence County barn quilts: Post your own! (June 2019 on)
This is a google map for people in St. Lawrence County to post their own barn quilts and the stories that go with them. To visit the Barn Quilt Trail Map click here.
Submit your barn quilt info at: https://slcarts.submittable.com/submit/dd67c2bf-808f-45c3-ae24-77e8e71f5405/barn-quilt-information-form-contact . (You will need to create a Submittable account. If you need assistance, or need to submit your information in a different way, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Barn quilt painting studio at The TAUNY Center (June 2019)
“Towns of St. Lawrence County Barn Quilt” mural painting sessions (June 11-12 and June 27-29)
Leading up to the summer Barn Quilt Parties, TAUNY will hosted a barn quilt painting studio at The TAUNY Center in Canton throughout the month of June with project organizer and barn quilt painter Ruth McWilliams. The painting studio included opportunities for town representatives involved with the “Towns of St. Lawrence County Barn Quilt” mural project to work on the mural and for visitors to drop by and see barn quilt painting in action.
Barn Quilt Painting Classes (June 6-8 and June 20-22)
In the “How-To” Barn Quilt Class: Basics from Inspiration to Installation, participants learned about the history of barn quilts in the United States and St. Lawrence County and learned how to make their very own 2’x2’ barn quilt from start to finish.
Preparations for a major 2020 exhibit at The TAUNY Center
about the St. Lawrence County barn quilt movement
This exhibit will feature works by area barn quilt painters, the new works created by artists participating in the 2019 project, and more about the arts and economic development aspects of the movement itself, the ways barn quilt making is rooted in North Country quilting traditions, the process of making barn quilts, and more.
Please note: if you are a contemporary, folk, and/or traditional artist interested in applying to the Call for Artists, there are a limited number of grant-funded opportunities to create new works for the 2019 project, but there will be additional opportunities to submit works for the 2020 exhibit.
Get involved!If you would like to join in on this project in any way, please contact Camilla Ammirati at email@example.com or 315-386-4289. The project especially seeks event volunteers and people who have made barn quilts and would like to share images and stories about their barn quilts at one of the summer events.
- TAUNY (Traditional Arts in Upstate New York)
- St. Lawrence County Arts Council
- St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce
- Hammond Barn Quilt Trail Committee
- Town of Colton Tourism & Beautification Committee
The 2019 Barn Quilt Tourism Project is made possible by a Regional Economic Development Council Grant through the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
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