I had the great joy of being involved in the Barachois church's 200 hooked cushions project this year. In fact, several posts on the Hooked, Line and Sinker Facebook page have photos of its progress. The collection included 17 from the US and other countries. Here is the organizer, Remi Levesque, up to his ears in pillows.
I am in the process of collecting photos of some of the outstanding pillows and will write a separate post on that successful project.
But Remi is up to it again...he is starting a new project, USA50, to bring hooked pieces specifically from the 50 states to complement the 200 pillows.
From Remi Levesque:
The Barachois Historic Church Preservation Committee is launching a second hooked cushion collection project entitled «USA50»: one cushion from every American states. Our first collection project “200 hooked cushions for my 200th” became an exciting creative adventure thanks to the generosity and involvement of the international rug hooking community. Not only did we reach our goal of putting together a collection of 200 hooked cushions in less than 2 years to commemorate the 200th anniversary in 2026 of our modest Acadian Church in Grand-Barachois, New-Brunswick, Canada, but we reached 246 and in the process hope of becoming an international fibre destination. On October 17th we welcomed a bus of 45 American rug hookers (Gail Dufresne cruisers) and the idea of creating a second collection took root. Fourteen different states participated in the “200 hooked cushions for my 200th” collection for a total of 16 hooked cushions. Many expressed the idea of starting a separate collection project aimed at the USA rug hookers only. One cushion per state representing memorabilia, landscape, bird, flower, or other representation particular to that state. Already rug hookers from all over the United-States have started showing interest. Cushion USA50# 01 has been registered from Texas and many more will be added soon. (states that have registered already are Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maryland) We will create a “USA50” facebook page ASAP. For now, we will add this second collection “USA50” hooked cushions to the “200 hooked cushions for my 200th” facebook pagesell. Go see the “200 hooked cushion” facebook page for pictures of cushions and the official opening of the 200 hooked cushion collection last August 18th.
The Barachois Historic Church is an ancient wooden building, which first opened its doors in 1826, and is still standing after nearly 200 years. The building was disaffected in the late 1970s, and reprieved from demolition in 1980. It has since been transformed into a local Museum, art gallery and summer classical concert venue. For over 39 years a wide variety of cultural events have been presented there. In order to be more comfortable on the old wooden pews, many event goers took too bringing a cushion to cultural presentations, and leaving it on the bench. Over time, this developed into a sort of tradition. This has inspired the Historic Church Preservation Committee. The “200 hooked cushions for my 200th” public art collection became the first permanent collection of the visual arts in the historic church. We cordially invite you to be part of the “USA50” collection to seal indefinitely our countries friendship and give the two collections the international destination status it deserves.
It’s also in the spirit of traditional community working parties (i.e. barn raisings, quilting bees, etc .), which is how the church was built, that we call upon your spirit of mutual aid, generosity and creativity, to achieve our “USA50” collection project as a broad rug hooking community effort. Without you, Acadians and friends of Acadians, without a community effort across the USA, this project cannot be fully achieved.
Things to consider :
Confirm your interest in the project by email to firstname.lastname@example.org ; by telephone at 506-533-9528, through our Facebook page at “USA50”
Your work may be produced on jute or linen cloth, may cover one side of the cushion or part of one side. Cushion size to consider.. 13 inches deep by 13-14 or 15 inches wide and 3 inches thick are preferable.
The cushions will be used by event spectators, so it is advised to use durable fibres such as jersey cotton, wool, fleece, polyester or denim cloth, among other suggestions.
An exhibition catalogue will be produced once the collection is complete, to include photos of the artists /artisans’ creation, as well as technical details and description of design and inspiration.
Though you must accept to donate your work into the permanent collection, we expect to raise funding in 2020 and 2021 to cover shipping cost if you want. Many cushion makers donate the shipping cost as well and we are very grateful.
Shipping : Please register your cushion at the post office as a gift and at a low cost value of 40.00$ or 50.00$, so this will keep shipping costs at a minimum. Since we have not secure any funding for reimbursing shipping cost yet we appreciate donations. We are nearly finished paying all the expenses for the “200 hooked cushions for my 200th” so will be able to apply for new funding in 2020 and 2021. You can also add a birthday card and use a vacuum bag to ship your cushion therefore will fit in an envelop or small box. If you use a vacuum bag make sure to sit on the cushion after putting it in the bag.. That way it will completely flattens and can then be shipped in a small box.
Shipped to Rémi Lévesque, 1605 route 133, Grand-Barachois,
New Brunswick, Canada, E4P 8E3
We hope for your participation to make our heritage project a success. We encourage that you discuss this amongst members of your group, or that you forward this invitation to friends in other states. We will be most grateful for this. Each artist / artisan expressing interest will be contacted to provide missing details, and hopefully obtain confirmation.
The members of the Barachois Historic Church Preservation Committee thank you in advance for the interest and attention you accord to the success of our cultural project : « USA50 ».
Rémi Lévesque; organizer and member of the Preservation Balachois Church Committee
For more info, you can also contact Cindy Fridenberg, Gail Dufresne and other USA Rug hookers that participated in the 200 hooked cushion collection."
For inspiration, here a few photos of the church...
Be sure to register as soon as you can to represent your state. And thank you for helping out with this project.