Reflection: Visions of Home

Quilts by Bedford artist Sarah Scoville represent two versions of home
Quilts by Bedford artist Sarah Scoville represent two versions of home

Submitted by Sarah Scoville

In the fall I was asked to be part of an art exhibit. I could have easily taken several pieces of art off the wall of my house. However most of the art work was made 8 -15 years ago. I thought that this show was a great excuse to make some new work.

Where to start? What would it be about? What would it be made of? When would I have time to make it?

One theme stuck out on my list. It was the idea of: What is a home?

I am working with a homeless population that are living in a local hotel. They are families that share a small hotel room with only a microwave and small fridge. In the meanwhile I  am getting designs and estimates on redoing my very functional bathrooms.

With this conflict in mind of: suburban life never being good enough, always trying to keep up with the Jones’ in contract to classmates of my son living in a hotel room – I started making art.

Here is the artist statement that accompanied my pieces in the show:

I am very lucky to be a homemaker. I have been able to create a comfortable, safe, beautiful, flavorful home for my family. My family and I are fortunate to live in a home, in a safe suburb, with excellent schools. All of this is what I expected.

 Recently I have connected with families who live in Massachusetts funded transitional housing. I have met families of four and more who are living in a hotel room. The situation is intended to be temporary, but sometimes lasts for years. Their world is very different from mine.

 I take my world for granted. I assume it will never change. I’m sure that many of the families living in the hotel thought the same thing, but a job was lost or medical bills piled up and they lost their home.  

 Much of my art work has been about the questions of “What is home?” and “What it means to be a homemaker?” My recent body of work, that I am showing a part of here, is comparing family’s homes. I have decided to create small quilts to depict different spaces that people call home. I feel quilts make any space feel more comfortable, more like home no matter where it is.

Editor’s Note: Sarah Scoville writes for  the blog Two Clever Moms. She also helps with the monthly art classes funded by the Bedford Cultural Council for children living at the Bedford Plaza hotel and serves as the Bedford Family Connection liaison to the Bedford Hotel Task Force.


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