Ends on July 1, 2019

 Call for Artists: 4’x4’ Barn-Quilt-Inspired New Works (Varied Media)

TAUNY has received funding from the New York State Council on the Arts to work with several partner organizations on a Barn Quilt Tourism Project over 2019, celebrating and promoting barn quilt activity in and around St. Lawrence County.  As part of this project, TAUNY seeks six St. Lawrence County or surrounding area-based (including Franklin County, Lewis County, Jefferson County, and Akwesasne) artists to produce new works in their own medium inspired by the “barn quilt” form, to be featured in a major 2020 exhibit at The TAUNY Center. 

Artists working in any visual, material, or textual medium, including folk and traditional arts, may apply. The project particularly seeks representation in media such as: metalworking, marquetry, basketry, weaving, clay, paper, and poetry/text arts. In making their own piece, which should be in the form of a wall-mountable 4’x4’ square, artists are asked to reflect on questions of place, identity, heritage, and self-expression. Submission guidelines and compensation details below.  Applications are due by Monday, July 1 at 11:59 PM.

Eligible artists: 

  • Live in St. Lawrence County, Franklin County, Jefferson County, Lewis County, or Akwesasne.
  • Are legal to work in the United States.
  • Creating work in any medium that can produce a 4’x4’ wall-mountable square piece.

Application Requirements:

  • Images of 3 previous original works. Include descriptions specifying approximate date of creation, titles if any, materials, method, other relevant details.
  • Artist Biography
  • Statement of interest and initial concept (500 words max)

If the above specifications don’t clearly apply to your artistic form, submit what you understand to be a reasonable equivalent.

Successful candidates will:

  • Learn more about barn quilts to inform your process and project. See below for suggested resources.
  •  Attend one summer Barn Quilt Party program if possible, four of which will take place around St. Lawrence County between July and September 2019. (Barn Quilt Parties will take place July 14th in Colton, July 20th in Wanakena, August 3rd in Hammond, and August 10th in Massena. Details are subject to change. Please see www.tauny.org for updates.) Participating artists are encouraged to demonstrate at the event as well. Compensation details below. 
  • Reflect on the meaning and methods of making barn quilts in relation to the artist’s own medium and ideas about place, identity, heritage, and self-expression.
  • Submit final description of planned project (250-500 words) to project partners at camilla@tauny.org no later than September 1, 2019. 
  • Create a minimum of 1 new artistic work, a 4’x4’ wall-mountable square interpreting and/or reflecting on the idea of a “barn quilt” in their own medium, by January 3, 2020. This piece will be the property of the St. Lawrence County Barn Quilt Tourism Project. The work will be featured in a long-term (8-10 month) display in 2020 at TAUNY (Traditional Arts in Upstate New York). Plans are underway to show the works in additional future locations to continue celebrating grassroots arts and economic development efforts in our region. 


Artists will be supported by the Barn Quilt Tourism Project REDC grant. Compensation will be a stipend of $1500, which should cover preparing for and creating new work, materials, and attending one 2019 summer Barn Quilt Party. Additional funding will be offered if artist is able to demonstrate at a Barn Quilt Party event. 

As material costs vary by medium, an additional stipend to help cover materials may be available, depending on the project. Please contact Camilla Ammirati at camilla@tauny.org with questions.

Artists may collaborate on a piece, in which case the stated $1500 stipend would be shared between them.

Artist Selection:

Artists will be selected through a juried process, by a panel including project organizers.  Recipients will be notified by Friday, July 12 at 5:00 PM.  

More about the project: 

Project Partners:

  • 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 includes 

  • A series of summer Barn Quilt Party programs in green spaces around the county
  • A Towns of St. Lawrence County barn quilt mural project
  • A google map for people around the region to list their barn quilts 
  • A pilot tour to one of the county’s established barn quilt trails.  
  • The year’s activities will lay the groundwork for the 2020 TAUNY gallery exhibit, and participating artists are asked to attend at least one of the summer “Barn Quilt Party” programs as part of their process for creating the new work for 2020 exhibit.

What is a barn quilt? 

A barn quilt is a painted wooden or metal square featuring a single block of a traditional quilt pattern. Makers often select traditional quilt block patterns, and sometimes create new imagery, that expresses something about their own identity, heritage, or interests. Makers generally install these squares, made in sizes ranging from 1’x1’ to 8’x8’, in publicly visible locations such as on barn, garage, or house walls on their property. 

Suggested resources to learn more about barn quilts:

For American barn quilt movement overview and origins: 

For details about St. Lawrence County barn quilt trails:

To discuss further:

  • Do not hesitate to contact Camilla Ammirati, TAUNY Director of Research and Programs, at camilla@tauny.org to discuss barn quilts, the Barn Quilt Tourism Project, and how to make connections between barn quilt and related traditions and your project.

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.  

Further questions?

Please contact Camilla Ammirati, TAUNY Director of Research and Programs, at camilla@tauny.org.


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