Rug hooking exhibit to be displayed at Stephens Gallery

Release Date: 8/25/2009

Clarksville, Ark. --- The University of the Ozarks' Stephens Art Gallery will host the exhibit "Arkansas Rug Hooking: Tradition and Innovation" throughout the month of September as part of the university's Artist of the Month series.

The exhibit will run from Sept. 1-25 in the Stephens Gallery, which is located in the Walton Fine Arts Center. The gallery is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and there is no charge for admission.

Rug hooking is a craft where rugs are made by pulling loops of yarn or fabric through a stiff woven base, such as burlap or linen. Rug-hooking has been popular in the United States for more than 200 years.

The Arkansas Rug Hooking exhibit will feature art from five Arkansans: Aileen Anderson of Hot Springs Village, Vicki Hardcastle of Eureka Springs, Wilma Hill of Fort Smith, Laura Thompson of Deer and Karen Williams of Hot Springs Village.

Anderson originally trained in drapery construction in Memphis and teaches rug hooking at the Ozark Mountain Folk Center. The owner of Bear Creek Rugs in Hot Springs Village, she is a McGown certified hooking teaching with 12 years of teaching and designing experience.

Work by Aileen Anderson

Originally from Oklahoma, Hardcastle has eight years of rug hooking and teaching experience. She is the director of the annual Eureka Springs Rug Hook-In and directs hooking workshops. One of her creations, “The Sun,” has been published in Rug Hooking Magazine.

Work by Vicki Hardcastle

Hill recently retired from a 30-year career as a music teacher in Baton Rouge, La. She is a McGown certified rug hooking teacher with nearly 40 years of hooking experience. In the Fall of 2008, her rug of the Great Seal of Louisiana was displayed in the Old Governor’s Mansion Museum in Baton Rouge. Her rugs have also been displayed in the Fort Smith Art Center.

Work by Wilma Hill

Thompson is the former owner of an Arkansas fine crafts store and gallery, where she also had a weaving studio. Originally trained in literary translation, she became a McGown certified teacher and has more than 15 years of hooking and teaching experience.

Work by Laura Thompson

Williams is a former registered nurse from Wisconsin. The McGown certified rug hooking teacher has more than 15 years of experience in the field. She has won awards for her works, “LISA” and “Bethesda Church” in exhibitions at the Arkansas State Fair.

Work by Karen Williams

For more information on the Arkansas Rug Hooking: Tradition and Innovation exhibit, please call the university’s Humanities and Fine Arts Division at 479-979-1349.