Recognition and Education

Rughooking is a technique easily learned, leading to opportunities to master the materials, various techniques and design elements with practice – one loop at a time. With the method comes a connection to generations of people who enhanced their surroundings creating utilitarian rugs from material once part of a garment or blanket. Each of these aspects drew me in and comforted me as I developed confidence as an artist.

1968 purchase award McDonald Sisters rug

 

At least half a dozen years ago I saw a large tapestry on permanent display in the Legacy of Craftsmanship Room at the State Museum, Charleston, WV with a label describing the techniques as embroidery, appliqué and hooking. How exciting to know the same technique I was immersing my time and skills in had been recognized by the state of West Virginia arts commission. At the Appalachian Corridor Exhibition of 1968 (first of three bi-ennials under that name) a purchase award to Blanche and Otha McDonald for their rug was issued along with several other media.

These first art pieces entered the collection housed at the State Museum and are now joined, over the past 40 years, by a couple of hundred contemporary art pieces thanks to the Bi-Ennial Juried Exhibition conducted by the Commission on the Arts, Division of Culture and History.

On Sunday, November 12, 2017 ten more works were awarded purchase recognition. I am thrilled to announce there is another hooked piece in the permanent collection: Progress in the Mountains, Susan L Feller, Augusta, WV.

The exhibit is on public display through February 11 at the Art Museum of WVU, One Fine Arts Drive, Morgantown, WV. The award winners will next be displayed at the State Museum gallery and then become part of the archives.

Just think 50 years from now someone will research the collection to find and study my hooked runner for materials, techniques of dyeing and hooking, and respond to my design just as I did the rug from 1968. One difference is I have documented my process, written articles, continue to record and publish the tools and materials I use and contribute these to the archives at the Museum. The McDonald Sisters work does not have these answers compiled as conveniently for research. A lesson I learned to rectify because of my frustration after seeing that rug and label on display and asking who were these ladies? Why did they mimic rughooking with their needle, thread and fabric strips? What inspired their designs and development of product?

It seems I can now say I too am part of the generations of rughooking craft makers. And that makes me happy pulling new loops.

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About Susan L. Feller

Artist, educator, author, curator
This entry was posted in elements and design in art, Fiber Musings, juried art exhibit, juried exhibits, McDonald Sisters, textile art, West Virginia Artists and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Recognition and Education

  1. marne close says:

    Congratulations. I loved the rug when I saw it this spring in KC and knew that it would be an award winning rug. And how great it will be staying in West Virginia. Marne Close

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Mary Cochran says:

    Susan, How wonderful of you to document the wonderful art of rughooking for all of us and for you to be recognized in your own right as such an owner of that skill! Thank you for all you do for rughooking. I am so happy to know you and your talent.

  3. helen horvat says:

    Congratulations Susan! The rug is wonderful.

  4. Nancy Klunder says:

    Congrats Susan. You are an inspiration. Nancy

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