Jackson County’s Pabst one of two selected for 2021 New River Gorge Creative Residency

Staff Writer
Jackson Newspapers
Amy Pabst

Jessica Sands of Breesport, New York and Amy Pabst of LeRoy, West Virginia have been selected for the 2021 New River Gorge Creative Residency at Lafayette Flats Boutique Vacation Rentals.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue the New River Gorge Creative Residency in such a turbulent year,” says Amy McLaughlin who co-owns Lafayette Flats with her husband, Shawn Means. “Now more than ever we need creative writers and artists to lift our spirits and inspire our minds, to remind us of the beauty and talent in West Virginia and throughout the country.”

Jessica Sands has served as Senior Lecturer, Multilingual Writing Special at Cornell University since 2012. Before moving to New York, she taught in South Korea, Australia, Turkey, and elsewhere throughout the United States. After growing up in Southern Pennsylvania, Sands graduated from Bethany College and achieved her master’s degree at West Virginia University.

During her winter residency, Jessica will be working on a project that highlights the outstanding international women living, working, and finding inspiration in West Virginia. Her finished project will showcase new and exciting perspectives of the rich fabric of West Virginia culture through curated personal essays and interviews.

Amy Pabst began quilting in 2011 after she randomly checked out a book about quilting from her local library. Since then, Pabst has taken quilting from “craft to art” according to Fran Kordek, a quilting teacher certified with the National Association of Certified Quilt Judges. “Her fabric palette includes such challenging fabrics as silks, satins and velvets. Color is used carefully with well-planned choices and placement. Repetition, balance, and other design elements and principles are all masterfully applied.”

During her winter residency, Pabst will be working on quilts for her second series which she started in December 2018, entitled “Micropiecing.” The series comprises 25 miniature quilts. The pieces in each quilt are 1/8” wide or less, and each quilt has between 5,000 to 20,000 pieces.

About the New River Gorge Creative Residency: Since 2015 the New River Gorge Creative Residency has afforded writers and artists the unique opportunity to live and work at Lafayette Flats Boutique Vacation Rentals in Fayetteville. The residency is designed to provide creatives with an opportunity to develop their skills while devoting uninterrupted time to a particular project. Additionally, the New River Gorge Creative Residency provides the opportunity to create an alternative narrative for West Virginia: to present a view of the state and its people that doesn’t follow the tired old stereotypes that are so prevalent in literature and art.

A virtual reception for the 2021 New River Gorge Creative Residency recipients will be planned in early March.