Nessa Burns Reifsnyder, owner of Fabricate in Bar Harbor, describes how she was inspired by her son leaving for college in creating this card with a mixed-media bird on it. Pieces of a music program from his college were used to make the wings. ISLANDER PHOTO BY SARAH HINCKLEY

A fabric shop owner’s 365-day art challenge



BAR HARBOR — Creating a daily piece of art on a 3 x 5 card has shaken Fabricate owner Nessa Burns Reifsnyder to her core.

Nearly three weeks into her challenge for 2019, “Fabricate 365 3×5,” Burns Reifsnyder hadn’t missed a day yet. She has used all sort of materials, including vegetable peel juice, colored pencils, paint, gift bag remnants, magazine cut-outs and chalk.

“It’s really meditative art making,” she said. “It can be a poem. It doesn’t have to be colorful.”

The process of holding herself to task to produce some type of artistic expression on a daily basis, Burns Reifsnyder said, has been painful, liberating and satisfying. Each piece holds a story and many of them incorporate multiple media forms to tell it.

“Whatever I get nudged personally by the muse to do, that’s what I’m doing,” she said. “I intend to keep doing it. If I’m the only one doing it, I’ll throw something on Facebook.”

It was an idea that hatched for the cloth and paper store owner at the end of 2018: make at least one piece of art on a 3 x 5 card every day of 2019.

“I didn’t invent this,” said Burns Reifsnyder. “I’ve heard of it.”

She created a Facebook group, “Fabricate 365 3×5” prompting others to follow try their hand at a daily creation, if they wished, and share them on the site.

Creating in winter should seem easier, she said, but it has been a challenge to keep the creative juices flowing. Burns Reifsnyder figures by mid-summer she’ll be creating with ease because she will be in the habit of doing so.

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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