Kathi Wilson Quilt BlockThe Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism (WIGCOT) is one of the nation's largest state tourism conferences, pairing education and networking to uplift Wisconsin's powerful tourism industry. 

This year we celebrate the intersection of the arts and tourism under the theme of the Art of Tourism. From the tangible expressions of imagination attracting visitors to the deeper connections of creativity driving the work of place making and place promoting, the conference will embrace the bonds between art and tourism, while celebrating the momentous 50th anniversary of the Wisconsin Arts Board (WAB).

A visible form of folk art are the painted quilts adorning long-standing barns along the rural byways of Wisconsin. Tourists travel to our state from all over the country, looking for barn quilts as they drive down rustic roads, eat at yummy restaurants, and stay in local hotels. As creators of "Quilts on Barns," the Beauty of Rural Art in Racine County, Kathi Wilson and Pat Levine were contacted by Karen Goeschko, Assistant Director of the Wisconsin Arts Board, to be Artists-in-Residence at the conference. The idea is to lead an art project for participants which would allow them to engage in the color and design making of a barn quilt pattern.

As creative minds got to work, it became apparent we could design a special 50th Anniversary barn quilt for the Wisconsin Arts Board (WAB) and build off that idea. Artists Caye Christensen, Kathi Wilson and Pat Levine designed "Sugar Robin Blues" ©, a new quilt pattern featuring the Sugar Maple, designated as Wisconsin State Tree in 1893, American Robin, designated as Wisconsin State Bird in 1949 and Wood Violet, designated as Wisconsin State Flower in 1909. Using crayons, markers or colored pencils, conference participants will be able to color this pattern using the same colors, pick their own colors or create a completely new pattern on grid paper guided by Kathi and Pat.

"Sugar Robin Blues" © was named by Pat Badger and computer grid measurements were created by Kjell Erlandsson. A special 2' x 2' wooden panel was painted by Jean Jacobson and will be presented to the WAB at the WIGCOT on Sunday, March 10 at the Grand Geneva Resort and Conference Center in Lake Geneva.

Kathi Wilson Quilt Block