Mayfield students’ artwork part of community barn quilt

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Mayfield sophomore Jordan Buanno drove by the Municipal Complex many times in anticipation of seeing her artwork displayed on the side of the building as part of the latest addition to the Fulton-Montgomery Quilt Barn Tour.

“I kept checking to see if it was up yet,” Buanno said of the mural for which she and her Arts in Business classmates painted pieces last school year.

She was pleased to see the completed mural this fall on the fire department building at 28 North School Street. “This is an opportunity for the community to see what students are doing,” Buanno said.

The mural is made up 56 2-by-2-foot squares, with 38 of them being the work of Mayfield students who created them in 2019 and 2020. Their pieces were joined with squares made by the Cub Scouts and the Mayfield Fire District. “We wanted it to be a community mural,” Fulton Montgomery Quilt Barn Tour founder Liz Argotsinger said.

When Argotsinger spoke to the school district two years ago about involving students in a community service project, art teacher Jeremy Lebediker jumped at the chance to involve his students. Studio Art students completed the first set of squares, while the Arts in Business students completed the second.

“I wanted to teach the students that it’s important to be a part of the community, and this was a good opportunity,” he said, adding that talked to students about the importance of beautifying their community, as well as the business aspect of the project.

“I wanted them to know that art isn’t just something you do in your room; it can have an impact on other people,” he said. “And bringing people to your community can drive the economy.”

Argotsinger explained to students that the barn quilt tour seeks to promote tourism in Fulton County. “When people come to see this mural, they may stop and patronize the businesses here in Mayfield,” she told them.

In addition to the business lesson, the project also involved a lot of math, particularly geometry.

Argotsinger and her two experienced volunteers came to the school to guide students through the measuring, the number crunching and every other step in the process over about a month’s time for each group of students. “She has it down to a science,” Lebediker said.

Argotsinger provided students with an array of designs from which to choose, and they could pick whatever colors they wanted. “They could come up with their own spin on the designs, so there was a lot of creativity involved,” Lebediker said, adding that a couple students produced originals.

“Some students really got into it. They really took pride in the piece that they were doing,” Argotsinger said.

Along with her expertise, Argotsinger brought all the supplies, including the art boards and paint, funded through the Fulton Montgomery Quilt Barn Tour. “I wanted the kids to really have fun and enjoy it. It will be something they can show their families years from now,” she said.

Junior-Senior High School Principal Christopher Wojeski also pointed to the long-term benefits of the project. “The barn quilt squares display the amazing creativity that our students possess and will be something that our community can view and appreciate for years to come,” he said. “Our students and Mr. Lebediker truly enjoyed working with Mrs. Argotsinger. The collaboration between the school and community was impressive and something we look to build upon in the future.”

For Buanno, the experience broadened her horizons as an artist. “This was a whole new style of art for me to do. I’d like to make art into my career, and I think doing this project was helpful toward that.”

The display in Mayfield is now officially part of the Fulton-Montgomery Quilt Barn Tour, which has 158 registered quilt barn squares. Brochures with a map of all the locations can be found at the Mayfield Municipal Complex and the Visitors Center located at the traffic circle at routes 29 and 30.