The show "Hooked Rug Art" opens with a reception this Sunday, January 18, from 2-4 p.m. This show features more than forty remarkable pieces by Liz Guth, of Tunbridge and Gisèle MacHarg of South Royalton. During the reception, a group of rug hookers from Sharon, will be giving a demonstration of the craft, allowing visitors to try as well. Everyone is invited-- and there will be refreshments!
This exhibit will be on display from January 18 to March 15, 2015.
Liz Guth's bio and artist's statement:
I was born and educated in New York City. I obtained a PhD in biology mainly doing electron microscopic studies of sporulating yeasts at the University of Kentucky when my husband was stationed there working in Public Health Service. After obtaining my degree, our family moved to the Boston area and I stayed home with our two boys when they were young. When they were both in school, I worked at Digital Equipment Corporation as a technical writer for 7 years before moving up to Vermont.
I started hooking about 15 years ago after I saw an exhibit of hooked rugs at the Tunbridge Fair made by my neighbor Mrs. Heuser. I was very impressed with the variety of rugs she made. She directed me to the Green Mountain Rug Hooking summer school where I learned the basics. I hook mainly geometric rugs for the floor because they are easy to do. I also use nylon -- from tights and slips -- for smaller wall pieces.
Gisèle Mc Harg's bio. and artist's statement:
As a child in France I was surrounded by women in my family who were true artists at the crafts of knitting, tailoring or embroidery, although they did not think of themselves as such. It was obvious to me that these activities, besides being useful, gave them an outlet for creating items of beauty. Years later, while visiting the Acadian community on the west coast of Cape Breton, my husband and I came across the Chéticamp museum. There I discovered an exhibit of antique hooked rugs, a fiber art form I was totally unfamiliar with. Some pieces seemed to tell a story, some showed charming details. I was struck by the fact that the artist could paint such vivid, expressive tableaux with thin strips of wool, creativity and patience. Little did I know that several years later, after retiring from teaching, I would learn this traditional craft and become passionate about its possibilities.
The idea for this exhibit was inspired by a rug created for me by my French grandmother in the early '50s. Back then there was little warmth in a farm bedroom. If you had a wool rug to step on as you rose from bed, it was a luxury. I loved the picture my grandma used and her choice of bright colors. I thought I was that eager and happy little girl on her way to school. Over the years I completely forgot about this treasured possession, until recently when my sister found it stored away in the old attic and sent it to me. It was like the Proust madeleine. I had just begun to hook, so I created my own version of the rug, only this time the children are running home after their school day to kiss their mom and have their "4 heures" (snack). I then undertook to hook a series of pieces based on famous works by American and French painters, more or less contemporaries of my grandmother, who also portrayed children. Through the medium of rug hooking I wanted to create for the viewer a glimpse into the immensity of parental love. I hope that the artists would be pleased with my adaptations. For me each piece has been charged with emotion as the stitches found their place and resonance on the canvas. I strove to make my children appear real and present.