Artist Sabrina Fadial would tell you her South Barre studio was full of color for four months.
She was making a quilt, but not with fabric or a sewing machine. The patches were made out of paper, each one decorated by members of the Montpelier community.
“Some colored in marker, some with crayon, some with colored pastels, all different materials and personalities,” said Fadial.
Fadial typically makes large, outdoor steel structures. Many of which are on display in California and North Carolina. This project was her first two-dimensional public art display.
“At the end of November, I had this crazy idea. We’re all quarantined at home, and I was wrapped in a quilt. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, I’m coming up on my 10-year anniversary of living in Vermont, and this is my community,” said Fadial.
Wanting to commemorate one year of the pandemic, Fadial brought her idea of a community quilt to the Montpelier Alive design board. Quickly, she gained their support. A template was put in the in the city newspaper and online for families to download and design.
“It was a way to bring all the community together while being a part and Covid safe,” said Fadial.
More than 400 people submitted their templates to Fadial. After 60 hours of cutting, gluing, and assembling, three hundred were put on display at the Montpelier Transit Center.
“I like the Tumbling Block Community Quilt because all the blocks are different because anyone in the community from three years old to someone 97 years old can make one. Some are bright, some are black and white, all of them are different,” said a fourth grade student at Union Elementary School.
Montpelier Alive Director Dan Groberg works to make state’s capital city a better place. He says, the city will likely see more artwork like this in the future.
“We’re trying to bring more public art to our downtown. Public art just creates these opportunities for people to just stop and wonder and think this is such a cool place,” said Groberg.
Vermont AARP funded the $4,000 project. The quilt will stay up for at least a year before the space is home to another work of art. Mayor Anne Watson says it sends a powerful message.
“Despite Covid, despite our isolation and the loneliness that we have had to endure over the past year…in spite of all of that, we are stitched together as a community,” said Watson.