Sculptures installed in Westminster to honor county barn quilt trail

Two cube-shaped aluminum barn quilt sculptures were installed in Westminster this week, after the Board of County Commissioners approved acquisition of them earlier this summer.

The sculptures were created by local artist Charlie Maiorana, a former Washington, D.C., resident who has lived in Manchester for the past three years and found himself enamored with the burgeoning barn quilt trail tradition spreading through Carroll County — one that was born in Ohio to celebrate rural America through art.


“I was inspired by seeing some of the barn quilts and realizing there was a whole trail of them,” Maiorana said. “I saw the brochure with all of them in it and that inspired me more. I like that you can see the [barn quilts on the trail] from afar. They are very colorful and attractive.”

Commissioners approved for the Office of Tourism to purchase Maiorana’s sculptures for installation outside the Carroll County Government Offices on N. Center Street and the Carroll County Farm Museum in late June, after tourism Manager Bonnie Staub saw them and was intent on getting them out for the public to enjoy.

“I just think [public art] is a great way to showcase our county,” Staub said. “You know, we are a farming community, and I think the barn quilts that are put on the people’s barns has really brought some attention to that. And I think people really enjoy seeing the really decorative things on the barns.”

She added, “I think the sculptures are just adding to that, and hope it will make people aware of the barn quilt trail and that people will take a good look at that.”

Maiorana agrees that public art is important. He said it enhances the community and makes people smile.

“It kind of makes you happy and inspires you,” he said. “It’s a pretty drab world out there, and the more color and happiness we can put into the world, the better.”

He continued, “Public art should make you smile. Like the lion outside the Westminster library, a lion with a child reading a book. It just makes you feel better.”

The sculptures, made from aluminum, should last for 10 years, according to Maiorana. And now that this project is complete, he is continuing with his next endeavor.

His works, which include two miniature versions of the barn quilts, will be on display along with the works of two other local artists, Tara Will and Michelle Tangires, as part of the “Synergy” exhibition at the Carroll Arts Center from Aug. 30 through Nov. 3. The Carroll Arts Center will host its opening reception for the exhibition from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 13, and a screening of the first documentary about the American quilt square trail movement, “Pieced Together,” at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20.