The Newtown community in Sarasota, Florida, has a rich history that spans over a century, and now, local artist and community leader, Barbara Gaskin, has created a quilt that honors that history. The quilt, which measures 12 feet by 12 feet, features 36 panels that depict important moments and figures in Newtown’s history.
Gaskin, who has lived in Newtown since the 1970s, spent over three years researching and creating the quilt. She interviewed residents, pored over historical documents and photographs, and worked with other community members to ensure that the quilt accurately represented the community’s history. The result is a stunning work of art that tells the story of Newtown’s past and present.
Each panel of the quilt represents a different aspect of Newtown’s history, from the first African American settlers who arrived in the area in the late 1800s to the present day. Some panels depict notable figures, such as civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Newtown community leader Dr. Robert L. Taylor. Others showcase important events, such as the opening of Newtown’s first school for African American children and the desegregation of Sarasota’s public schools in the 1960s.
The quilt has already garnered significant attention and praise from the community. Gaskin hopes that it will serve as a reminder of the rich history and culture of Newtown, and inspire future generations to continue to celebrate and honor that legacy.
In addition to the quilt, Gaskin has also created a book that provides more detailed information about each panel and the history it represents. The book and quilt will be on display at various locations throughout Sarasota, including the Newtown Farmer’s Market and the Sarasota County History Center.
Overall, Gaskin’s quilt is a beautiful and powerful tribute to the history and culture of the Newtown community, and a testament to the importance of preserving and celebrating our shared heritage.