WENTWORTH - Rain fell steadily, but a bright green star shown through from atop an historic barn here Thursday morning.
The day marked a celebration of collaboration between students, faculty and staff of Rockingham Community College and Rockingham County's Tourism Development Authority.
Their goal: the creation of a vibrant quilt square to add as the 34th piece of the colorful patchwork that is the Rockingham County Quilt Trail.
As the rain trickled down on a group of about 10 spectators, they huddled beneath tents, masked and observing social distancing rules while waiting for the unveiling of the painted work by student Hannia Adame Riquelme.
Assistant professor of fine arts, Phil Haralam, contacted Adame Riquelme earlier this year to see if she would have interest in helping create an addition to the trail which celebrates historic landmarks across the county with fanciful takes by local artists on traditional textile quilt designs.
An associate of fine arts student, Adame Riquelme was chosen for the task, not only because of her advanced skill, but because of her ability to "run with a vision,'' college leaders said in a press release.
The finished 4-foot square is comprised of eight pine boards and hung by a chain high along the side of a log structure named the Tobacco Factory, part of RCC's Historical Village.
Built in 1851, the cabin was donated to RCC by the estate of Ethel Butler and restored in 1993 and 1994. The quaint village is tucked behind RCC’s tennis courts along County Home Road in Reidsville.
“Rockingham Community College’s Quilt Trail Committee, comprised of faculty and staff from RCC, developed a concept based on the North Star quilt pattern which refers to Rockingham County having once been called North Carolina's North Star,” said Haralam.
The bright quilt square sports RCC’s school colors: forest green and white. In its center, as an homage to education and achieving goals at RCC, are illustrations of an open book and a graduation mortar board and tassel.
Using latex and acrylic paint, Adame Riquelme said she created the piece over two weeks in August.
Coming from a background of doodling and sketching, Adame Riquelme said she began enhancing her art skills in middle school. During her junior and senior years in high school, she was introduced to acrylics and started painting.
Adame Riquelme's high school art teacher also taught her to sculpt with polymer clay. But constructing and painting the quilt square was a new style for the young artist and meant working on the biggest scale she had ever tackled.
"I'm honored to help RCC,” said Adame Riquelme. "This is my first time doing a huge project, it was a fun experience for my summer, and I'm happy to be the person that brought this to life. I will always do art, whether it be for personal practice, gifts, or for a business. I’m very happy to lend my skills!
“It was great to have time to do some art for community purposes. I’m happy! I’m glad I was invited,” said Adame Riquelme, who in 2019-2020 received a scholarship from the Fine Arts Festival Association of Rockingham County.
When she finishes her studies at RCC, Adame Riquelme plans to transfer to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to pursue a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, she said.
“The Quilt Trail is a true celebration of the county’s local agriculture, community artists, and rich cultural heritage,” said Robin Yount, Rockingham County Tourism Manager, via press release.
About the Rockingham County Quilt Trail:
Begun in 2015, the quilt trail is as a project of the Piedmont Conservation Council (PCC) with a grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce. PCC partnered with Rockingham County Soil & Water and the Rockingham County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) to create the popular attraction.
A self-guided trail tour allows residents and visitors alike to experience a wide array of artwork along the trail, each square conveying historic themes.
For more information about the quilt trail, including a map, visit https://www.visitrockinghamcountync.com/quilt-trail or contact Yount at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!