In this time of the Coronavirus quarantine, it is great to see that my “Living Quilt for Newnan” art installation is blooming again this Spring, for its third season. This artwork was installed August 29, 2017 on the grounds of the children’s museum in Newnan, Georgia. Earlier this week I received some amazing photos by email from people in Newnan, and this time the flowers blooming from the “living quilt” are brilliant red poppies. These beautiful red flowers are certainly a bright sign in these dark days of the virus.
The red poppies in my Newnan art installation came from some pretty special vintage seeds! The red poppy seeds that I included in the quilt were some that a distant relative of mine who lives in Newnan (Pick Parks) had stored in his freezer for over 20 years. He gave me the seeds when I was in Newnan for my artist in residency project at Newnan Art Rez (www.newnanartists.org). Pick told me that his father had saved the poppy seeds over the years, and that his father was originally given the seeds by a Mr. Smith in Newnan. Pick said that his father loved the red poppies and planted them all over their fields every year and saved the seeds. Pick’s father passed on a few years ago, and Pick was happy to have these seeds used in my “Living Quilt for Newnan” art project. When Pick gave me the envelope of red poppy seeds that he took from his freezer, none of us knew if the seeds would really germinate or not, but I put all of the seeds he gave me into the red parts of the Newnan “living quilt”. It is wonderful to see them blooming there so profusely this Spring, and the people in Newnan plan to save the seeds from these poppies so that they can continue bringing joy.
These photos of the red poppies were taken by Bette Hickman and Beth Neely in Newnan the first week in May 2020.
The photos below show how the Living Quilt for Newnan looked when it was installed on August 29, 2017. I chose a house motif for the Newnan quilt design because Newnan is known as the “city of homes” and famous for many beautiful antebellum homes. The quilt was made with handmade paper and had seeds for wildflowers in the pulp in the same colors and patterns. In 2018 and 2019 other wildflowers in other colors appeared along with a few red poppies, but this year it is great to see such a profusion of red poppies. It shows us nature’s powers of rejuvenation, and that Nature just continues on in spite of what we do.
the finished quilt installation Aug. 29, 2017 in Newnan, GA