High Peaks Artisan Guild in Kingfield

Four Maine State Bicentennial commemorative quilt murals have been created and installed in North Franklin County. Sites include the Avon Town Hall, High Peaks Artisan Guild in Kingfield, Fotter’s Market in Eustis, and the Pratt Farm in Strong. The High Peaks Creative Council received a Maine Arts Commission Bicentennial project grant to create the artwork. Originally the plan was to work with the local school districts to have students paint them under the instruction of teaching artist, Saskia Haugen-Reinholt. Due to the pandemic, the HPCC revamped the project to host small physically distanced community workshops following CDC guidelines. Twelve workshops were hosted over six days at municipal community buildings in Eustis, Kingfield, and Avon. Reinholt and teaching assistant, Jessica O’Brien, instructed community participants on painting and design techniques. Each participant designed and painted their own crazy quilt block. “Crazy quilts were fashionable in the 19th century and were a practical way to use up scraps of fabric left over from making their own clothes. The quilts were often back with animal feed sacks or flour sacks. The HPCC chose to base the Maine Bicentennial murals on these 19th century designs so that community members could have the artistic freedom to design their own part of the mural. We also felt that the style of quilt strongly represents parts of Maine’s heritage, particularly the use it up, wear it out, or do without mentality that still permeates our culture,” says Reinholt. Actual over 100 year old crazy quilts, on loan from local historical societies, were on site during some of the workshops for study and to provide inspiration.

Avon Town Hall

The HPCC was formed in 2012 and is a nonprofit networking organization with a mission to connect regional arts and cultural organizations around creative public projects that benefit the quality of life and support resiliency in the local economy. The HPCC network includes 12 cultural organizations that have collaborated to create the Maine High Peaks Arts and Heritage Loop Map & Guide and five kiosks in the region. They plan on reprinting their map this fall to include the barn quilts. “Currently, the organization is working toward a goal of becoming a sustainable organization that will be around longer than the people who are running it. For this to happen, the HPCC needs to build an endowment,” says David Dixon, the HPCC treasurer. The HPCC initial endowment goal is $25,000, to be managed through the Maine Community Foundation. Reinholt says that the organization is hoping that the people who enjoy the barn quilt trail and the people who have received barn quilts will make a donation to this fund. A book documenting the barn quilt project is envisioned as an additional fund raising project for 2021.To find out more information on the trail and the HPCC, please visit, www.highpeaksmaine.org.

Fotter’s Market in Eustis

Pratt Farm in Strong


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