Community Quilt

Submitted by Susan Wink Design

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Client: Roswell Interarts Organization and the Roswell Independent School District

Location: Roswell, NM, United States

Completion date: 2002

Artwork budget: $46,000

Project Team

Public Art Agent

Roswell Interarts Organization

Roswell Interarts Organization

Public Art Agent

Roswell Independent School District

Roswell Independent School District

Client

Friends of Sandy Pickens

Friends of Sandy Pickens

Artist

Susan Wink

Overview

A public seating area located at the Roswell Independent School District administration building was designed to celebrate and commemorate educator Sandy Pickens. The individual custom tile tapestry and quilt sections represent the various schools and groups that Sandy worked with. The handmade feature tiles were made by multi-generational family members, friends, teachers and students during free workshops. The background field tile and bullnose were made by the artist and her project team. Four custom concrete benches covered in custom handmade tile measure – 12’ x 20”x 36”. The benches surround four pin oak trees.

Goals

The main goal was to design a sculptural seating area that honored Sandy Pickens legacy as a teacher, administrator, leader, and beloved family member. It was important to capture Sandy's spirit and style. I interviewed her family, friends and colleagues to get a sense of who she was and how to represent her. Involving the community with the tile making process was essential to this project because Sandy had experience working with clay but more importantly she was known as a facilitator capable of bringing all kinds of people together to work as a team. The seating area was designed for the existing courtyard where the four pin oaks had been planted. The location is in the courtyard of the administration building and adjacent to RISD's Pueblo Auditorium.

Process

Friends and family of Sandy Pickens approached me about designing and fabricating a memorial seating area that would honor Sandy's legacy. They formed a committee and we worked together with the local non-profit Roswell Interarts Organization on grant-writing and fundraising to get the piece built. I held free tile workshops in the schools where Sandy taught and offered community tile making workshops for family and friends. Because Sandy worked for the Roswell Independent School District they partnered on the project and provided the existing courtyard space for the installation.