Last month, the Cherokee Arts Council, along with the Cherokee Sanford Museum, began a unique fundraiser to benefit the Cherokee Arts Council.
Several volunteers and local artisans, myself included, painted several Barn Quilt Blocks that have been on exhibit in the Museum's West Gallery. What makes this exhibit unique is that the public can bid on these Barn Quilt Blocks and the proceeds for this silent auction will go toward future Art Council projects.
Many of you may recall the wonderful Cherokee mural that the Arts Council did downtown last year. With additional funds, the Council can do similar types of projects. It's my sincere belief that community art projects benefit the entire community, so I like to do what I can to help out.
I found the subject matter in this fundraiser quite fun. But to be honest, I never knew what a Barn Quilt Block was until a couple of years ago. Not until a Block was hung at the Family Crafts Building at the Cherokee Fairgrounds.
After being introduced to exactly what a Barn Quilt Block was, I started noticing them all over Iowa. Not just on barns, but I've seen them on garages, sheds, fences, and even on people's homes.
It's a neat fad that really captures the spirit of Iowa's culture. Not only are there thousands of patterns to choose from, but also each person who places one on their property feels a connection to that pattern. It's like saying, "This is me, this is what I like, and this is who I am."
That's pretty neat.
As for the Block that I painted, the only word that comes to mind when I think about it is "fun."
It was fun picking out the pattern that I used. It's called "Shoo Fly" and the colors I used were orange and purple. My thinking was, "what are two colors that you don't see together that often and would complement each other?"
I was right, the orange made the purple just kind of pop out of the pattern.
The day I painted the Block was a fun day as well. It was on a Saturday afternoon and I spent it in the Museum with other artists who also were working on their Blocks. It was neat to see how other artists work and what techniques they used. It sure beat sitting on a couch all afternoon.
So if you're thinking about bidding on one of these Blocks you better do it quickly. The fundraiser is coming to a close on Friday at 4 p.m. At that time, whoever has the highest bid on a particular Block gets to keep it. Currently there are 14 2 x 2 Barn Quilt Blocks and four 4 x 4 blocks on display.
Starting bid for the 2 x 2 is $30 and $60 for the 4 x 4 Barn Quilt Blocks. As of Monday, my Block hadn't got a single bid, so get out there and bid folks. Don't be shy. My Block would look great on a side of a barn, and remember Christmas is right around the corner. This would make an excellent present for that person in your life whose gifts may be hard to find.
The people who have the winning bids on the Blocks will be able to pick them up from the Museum on Nov. 29.
Participating artists are, Michele Deiber Kumm, Terry Burkhart, Lori Thomas, Jason Titcomb, Taylor VandeLune and Hayden Garybill, Linda Christensen, Kerisa Pingel, Sandra Heid, Kayla Riedeman and Tina Riedeman, Linda Ducommen and the Washington High School Art Club, and me.
So please stop by and bid on this worthwhile fundraiser.