This is the first post in a series about the Tarot Rug Show--possibly quite a long series, as there is a lot to say and many photos to show. I'll try to keep individual posts picture-heavy.
I've written about the origins of the show here. It opened last Friday at the All Souls Interfaith Gallery (ASIG) in Shelburne, Vermont, and will be there through January 22nd or so.
But before I get into that, I have a surprise to show. I drove up Friday (4 hours, ugh) and stayed in an Airbnb I had selected because it was near the show location. Imagine my surprise when I discovered this on the upper landing of the condo, just outside my room:
Not only was the accommodation itself an inexpensive delight, but a hand-hooked rug greeted me. As it turns out, this little cutie was designed and hooked by the hostess's mother, to commemorate the family's cats Oscar (Peterson) and Miles (Davis), named after the two jazz greats. Oscar and Miles were very much alive when this rug was designed, but are now sadly long gone, as are their namesakes.
I so loved the original design and whimsical nature of the rug! Both Miles and Oscar look well-fed and assertive, staring out at us as only cats can do. I love the padula-posy borders and the wonderful backgrounds. Everything about this rug makes me smile. My Airbnb hostess was named Lydia, and Lydia's mom only hooked two rugs--this one and one other which is not of her own design. I didn't see the other rug, alas, but I'm sorry Lydia's mom is no longer hooking. Apparently she's now into watercolor. I hope she begins hooking rugs again, and I hope Lydia brings her to the tarot rug show, as I think anyone would enjoy it--but someone who knows how to hook rugs will enjoy it even more.
(And of course, if you know anything about tarot, you will also find it thought-provoking!)
You do not need to know anything at all about either rug hooking or tarot to love this show--but more about that starting with the next post in this series.
Before I begin to show the rugs (I can probably only show a few a day, and there are 22 of them, so that's why this will take a while), I just want to say something about the venue. Namely: it's EXQUISITE. Here are some views from inside:
And here are some photos to give you some sense of the gallery space. Don't drive yourself crazy trying to see the individual rugs here--I'll be posting the rugs individually over the next several days, so you will have a chance to see each one close up. Just take a moment to get a sense of the space they are in. Talk about spectacular:
Please remember that photos of the individual rugs are going to be posted here slowly over the next few days, but here's a little temptation for you. You will soon be able to see each one much more clearly.
My goal today is to give readers just a taste of the gallery itself, not of the rugs.
Oh, and why aren't there any people looking at the rugs? Because I took these photos "off-hours" before the show actually opened.
In addition to the lovely, elegant interior, the grounds of the venue are beautiful beyond belief, with that amazing view all the way down to Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains. The property was apparently originally part of Shelburne Farms, which was gifted in a parcel of 1500 acres to a daughter of the Webb family upon her marriage (ok, let's hear it for the power of wealth and the Webb Family in Shelburne--Electra Havemeyer Webb created the Shelburne Museum just down the road, but that's another story entirely).
This smaller parcel of several acres houses ASIG and was originally built as a home by members of the Webb family. I believe ASIG has owned it now since the early 90s, though I could be wrong. It is truly a dramatically lovely site; not only the land, but the buildings are elegant and meticulously maintained. The Sanctuary is absolutely stunning, even more dramatic than the photos of the gallery above, which are from another building entirely. I am kicking myself for not having photographed the interior of the Sanctuary.
Why didn't I do that? because I was giving tarot readings to viewers of the show during the entire opening. And the following day (an all-day rug hooking event was held in the Sanctuary the day after the opening) I was giving readings to any participants who asked for one. And nearly everyone wanted a reading, so I'm betting I gave close to 30 readings during the two events.
Rug hookers are just the loveliest people in the world.
More information about the two organizers, the curious story of what occurred during the creation of the tarot rugs, and the start of showing the individual rugs in closeup views.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society