Quilt block mounted at the Jutila Center

HANCOCK – A concept gaining popularity in the country became part of the local FinnFest USA 2013 celebrations Tuesday with the mounting of a work of art on an outside wall of the Finlandia University Jutlia Center for Global Design and Business.

Anita Campbell, a member of Calumet-based Sandstone Piecemakers, who created the 8-feet-by-8-feet painted plywood panel, said the artwork is intended to be part of what is called a quilt block trail.

The panel mounted on the Jutila Center is a representation of a section of a quilt designed by Maggie Dupuis of Copper Harbor, Campbell said. The idea to make it part of the quilt block trail came after artist Pam Hawley attended a workshop at Michigan State University on the concept.

“We wanted to do it for FinnFest,” Campbell said.

Campbell said the original quilt from which the panel is modeled is on display at the Finnish American Heritage Center on Quincy St. in Hancock.

The quilt block is called “Storm at Sea,” and Campbell said it represents all immigrants who came to the Copper Country to work in the copper mining industry.

The panels which are part of a quilt block trail are seen in rural settings, Campbell said.

“They’re often seen on barns,” she said.

The blocks on barns and other large buildings are 8-feet-by-8-feet, Campbell said, and ones mounted on free-standing frames on the ground are usually 4-feet-by-4-feet. The panel on the Jutila Center is made of four of the smaller panels.

The panel was mounted by workers from Closner Construction of Marquette, and John Rajala, carpenter foremen for the company said it took only 20 minutes to mount the frame and 45 minutes total to get the panels in place.

“It was easy,” he said.

Campbell said Sandstone Piecemakers approached Finlandia President Philip Johnson, and he agreed to the idea.

“He was very supportive,” she said.

Campbell said there are no quilt block trails in the Upper Peninsula, but there are some in Wisconsin and the Lower Peninsula. There are other blocks on display on Millionaire Street in Calumet Township, on Sunshine Road in Hancock, on Denton Road in Houghton and in Jacobsville.

A quilt block trail involves several quilts in a particular location, and viewers follow the trail to see the blocks, and Campbell said it’s hoped the block mounted at the Jutila Center will inspire other local groups and individuals to display more blocks.

“After we get a dozen or 15, we will create a brochure,” she said.