Owen County Public Library - Owenton, KY
Quilt Squares 5 windows, 3.5’ x 3.5’ each
Tower Windows 3 windows 2’ x 2’ each
The family farms and orchards of Owen County are often ornamented with artwork on barns. This may be a painted quilt square or beautifully executed murals of the tobacco growing heritage here. On my first visit to such a sparsely populated and rural area, this widespread participation in public art projects inspired me.
At the library I learned that the county farm families had participated in the choosing and painting of over 75 quilt squares to mount on their family farm buildings. Stories were written about each farm's history, and along with photos, were collected into a book. Anyone can now travel through the county on this quilt trail and read Owen County's rich and varied history.
To me, this project resembled the making of a quilt itself, where scraps of fabric carrying their own stories are pieced together to tell a much larger story.
For 5 square windows in the new library I chose 5 quilt block designs which related to aspects of life here. Within these colored blocks I painted silhouettes relating to each pattern. In the tobacco leaf block I painted a tobacco barn with a crew unloading the leaves into the barn for drying. Around the perimeter of the appliqued rose block are silhouettes of many local animals and birds. My favorite is the star block, around which are women of different ages stitching together, just as they have always stitched their family’s lives and stories together.
In the children's area are 3 small windows depicting a starry night sky, birds and butterflies in the air and near the floor a window filled with animals and insects around a pond. In the form of a dewdrop is a faceted jewel at eye-level for a small child. Looking through this jewel at the landscape beyond gives a view of the world as a dragonfly sees it.