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Group Promotes Community Feeling Through Quilt Project

As part of the 150th anniversary of the city of Laramie, an art group is working to create a community quilt in hopes of promoting civil discourse in the community. Laramie artists June Glasson and Adrienne Vetter recently started the Art and Action effort to teach people how to employ art in political engagement. The Laramie Quilt Project aims to do that through quilting since it’s an art form used by diverse communities in town.

Nate Martin is one of the students that came up with the idea.

“A quilt is something that transcends all different kinds of communities in Laramie and we thought that that would be a way of bringing a bunch of different people together to share their own pieces of the town and pieces of history, so to speak.”

Martin said the first step is to collect fabric squares. He said he plans to contribute a piece of rabbit pelt from a time when he first moved to Laramie and spent a lot of time alone, hunting. 

Sydney Stein is another student in the class. She said Laramites and former residents can donate 6"x6" squares at the Albany County Public Library (but says unusual sizes can be incorporated too) and are encouraged to submit a square that’s meaningful to them in some way, from a grandfather’s old suit, or decorated with words or drawings.

“How does this piece of fabric relate to the story and the history of Laramie? And then when we weave it all together, the idea is that we’re creating the fabric of Laramie,” said Stein.

Wyoming Public Radio is collaborating with Art and Action and will host a civil discourse with artists and traditional quilters during the sewing of the quilt as part of our series, “I Respectfully Disagree.”

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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