Over the last year, the Centre on Main has started displaying artworks and memorabilia from local artists and craftspeople that celebrate the community and its culture, according to Leitchfield’s industrial consultant Dudley Cooper.
“We want [the Centre on Main] to be more of an outlet for local artists to sell their art,” Cooper said. “And the public reception has been good. [The art we display] really speaks to our culture, and we want to promote local people.”
In particular, the Centre on Main has taken a special interest in quiltmaking, a craft which, Cooper said, has a rich tradition in Kentucky.
“My wife’s mother, Juanita Porter, made a lot of quilts,” Cooper said. “And I started doing research on them. The interest in quilting here is amazing. We feel like we’re celebrating an old art form.”“
Cooper said his searching led to the Centre on Main’s displaying its first quilt last summer.
“The first one was a Lincoln Log Cabin quilt that we received for the 4th of July,” Cooper said. “[Local resident] Vickie Porter approached us about using a quilt for decoration during the summer holidays.”
Cooper said the public has responded well to the Centre on Main’s focusing on quilting, and has led him to seek out other community quiltmakers from local groups, such as the Sew Be It quilt club, which meets monthly at the Sew Much More Sewing Center in Clarkson.
Local quiltmaker of 30 years and charter member of Sew Be It, Mary Lou McGrew recently provided two of her quilts for display to the Leitchfield Centre on Main as a result of the visit, she said.
McGrew, a resident of Clarkson, said a representative from the Centre on Main visited Sew Be It to request a Christmas-themed quilt, and McGrew offered a Christmas quilt she had made.
Then in January, McGrew donated a second quilt, which has a block for each month of the year and currently decorates the Centre on Main.
McGrew said she started making quilts thirty years ago with a neighbor; however, due to her busy work schedule, she said she didn’t have much time for quiltmaking until recently.
Since her quilts have been displayed in the Centre on Main, McGrew said she has garnered a good response from the public.
“I’ve even had people call me from out of town that said they saw [my quilt] in the newspaper,” she said.
McGrew said she is ready and willing to provide more of her work to the Centre on Main if it so requests.
“I’m working on an Easter spread, and I have tabletoppers. I expect them to be calling me soon,” McGrew said with a chuckle.