Barn Quilt unveiled at RCC’s Historical VillageSep 28, 2020
Old meets new after a wooden quilt square was placed like a shining star on the gable of the Tobacco Factory in the Historical Village on the campus of Rockingham Community College.
The painted artwork has now put RCC on the map of the Rockingham County Quilt Trail as its 34th entry. The trail consists of a self-guided tour through the county, during which visitors experience the beautiful rural landscape with historic tobacco barns, vineyards, farm stands, and country stores along the way. The tour, found in a brochure and online, includes a map to 4-by-4-foot wooden quilt squares painted by local artists since 2015 and displayed for public viewing, each with a meaning and story of its own.
RCC’s barn quilt hangs on the Tobacco Factory building, constructed in 1851, which produced chewing tobacco in Rockingham County until 1912, said RCC Director of Student Life Maggie Murray, during a Sept. 17 unveiling event. The building was donated to RCC by the estate of Ethel Butler, and moved to campus and restored in 1993-94. It stands in the Historical Village, located at 568 County Home Road in Reidsville, just south of the campus tennis courts and the Bishopric Center for Lifelong Learning.
“Our Historical Village at RCC has much meaning. The barn quilt is a North Star quilt pattern. It has a graduation cap that represents that you can achieve your goals at RCC, as well as an open book to represent education and learning here at RCC,” Murray said.
Murray applauded the collaborative effort of RCC students and employees, along with the Rockingham County Tourism Development Authority (TDA).
“A committee came up with the design of our barn quilt, a staff member built the 4×4 structure, and a student painted the quilt. That is a true representation of Rockingham Community College, that we’re working together, always,” Murray said.
The RCC Quilt Committee consisted of Fine Arts Assistant Professor Philip Haralam, Library Director Mary Gomez, Vice President for Facilities and External Affairs Dr. Tony Gunn, student Hannia Adame-Riquelme, and Murray.
Working toward her Associate of Fine Arts degree, Hannia, was hand-picked to be on the committee and to design the quilt square based on ideas that transpired during their meetings.
“Professor Haralam asked me to join the project. I said sure, because it involves painting and I like doing that,” she said. “I became very interested when I heard that I could make the design digitally.”
Murray made the wooden square, and sent it home with Hannia, who spent two weeks in August painting the pattern in a small studio she quickly put together.
The project was right up her alley, as she has enjoyed sketching for years.
“Junior and senior year in high school, I started getting into acrylic painting as well as sculpting with polymer clay. I got into ceramics last year. I like to get into mixed media to flesh out my skills,” said Hannia.
In her second year at RCC, she plans to transfer to UNC-Greensboro and pursue a bachelor degree in fine arts.
“I’m honored to help RCC,” said Hannia. “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!”
Debbie Moore, TDA chair, explained that the Quilt Trail was developed five years ago as a project of the Piedmont Conservation Council, with a grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce. PCC partnered with Rockingham County Soil & Water and the TDA to make the trail a reality. Since its creation, the TDA has continued to add quilt squares to the trail and promote it.
Rockingham County Quilt Trail brochures can be found at various locations across the county, including the chambers of commerce, and at RCC’s Whitcomb Student Center when the new brochures containing RCC’s square is included. Information, an online map and a downloadable brochure can be found at www.visitrockinghamcountync.com/quilt-trail/.