Artist collaborates with over 80 Blue Hill residents for art installation

Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 5:40 PM EDT
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BLUE HILL, Maine (WABI) - Combining creativity with community.

That’s what Reach Projects has done with their first large public project: a large-scale fabric artwork draping off the front and sides of Blue Hill First Congregational Church.

“Reach Projects brought in an artist from Brooklyn, New York named Amanda Browder. And what Amanda does is she creates these large-scale fabric installations and she puts them on buildings,” explains Reach Projects founding board member Chris Doyle.

Titled “In Times We Gather,” over 100 community members contributed to its creation and installation.

“What’s really interesting about Amanda is that she brings a whole community together to sew on the project,” says Doyle. “So, with all the fabric that you see today, it’s been made by about 80 people in Blue Hill. The fabric itself actually comes from Blue Hill from donations, we put bins around before she got here, and people started donating fabric. And then once the fabric was all donated, she got here, and she brought people into the Congregational Church and other places around the peninsula. And they started to sew and gradually over time, built this whole piece up.”

Wanting to engage Blue Hill’s creative side, Reach Projects aimed to widen their presence within the community.

“We regularly have artists talks and do open studies, but you don’t always get people who are not involved in art to come into the project. And this was our way or bringing more people to the table and saying, ‘Oh wow, it would be really great if people who are non-artists could interact with this project and understand that making art is actually something they could do anytime,’” said Doyle.

As a nonprofit organization under Blue Hill Community Development, the goal of Reach Projects is to introduce artists to the surrounding peninsula community, while introducing the area to the artists.

“Sharing the amazing experience of being on the Blue Hill Peninsula in Maine with the artists and sharing what these incredible artists do with the people of Blue Hill. it’s kind of a two-sided equation,” remarks Doyle.

“In Times We Gather” is only available for a short time for in-person viewing.

For more information on Reach Projects, including upcoming events and general information, visit their website.