“Town & Country” includes the work of four artists: Anne Cox of Tenants Harbor, Mary Ann Schwarcz of Orrington, Elizabeth Stoyko of Phippsburg, and Roslyn Logsdon of both Bethesda, MD and New Harbor, Maine. Cox, Schwarcz, and Stoyko will speak about design inspiration, converting drawings to canvas, tips about the hooking and dyeing process, and the use of materials such as wools, yarns, and other fabrics to create finished work.

Anne Cox is showing two new rugs completed this winter. An avid gardener and co-owner of Hedgerow—a landscape design business in Tenants Harbor—Anne draws inspiration from her gardens and from her surroundings. For this piece, Anne hooked not only the unusually large and texturous leaves of the sprouts, but also the caterpillars, looper moths, and stems surrounding each plant. Her piece “Heating with Wood” is a visual depiction of woodpiles, flames, and stacks that tell the story of heating with wood. Anne is known for her dynamic designs, vivid colors, large-scale pieces and intricate borders.

Roslyn Logsdon has been hooking over many years and favors very fine #3 cut wool strips to create depth and detail. She maintains a teaching studio at Montpelier Arts Center in Maryland, has had work included in numerous books and magazines, and has taught workshops throughout the country. Of her work, Logsdon writes, “I always carry a sketchbook with me. When I have time, I draw the people that attract me. The café scenes are from my visits to Paris. I am interested in how the people merge with the background and how they interact with each other.” She uses tweeds, spot-dyed flat wools, yarns, cottons and silks to enhance the surface and give interest and variation to the composition.

Mary Ann Schwarcz took an introductory class in wool rug making four years ago. About the same time, she also discovered Mildred Cole Peladeau’s book, History of Hooked Rugs in Maine, 1838-1940, which exposed the vast reach of rug making throughout all the villages, islands, and cities of Maine. Schwarcz writes, “My approach to rug hooking is a slow one, even though I start with an image in mind. With no overall pattern transferred to the linen before beginning, this manner of working keeps me engaged. Events occurring in my life are the inspiration for the creation of my rugs. These rugs are the keepers of those memories.”

Elizabeth Stoyko started rug hooking in 2004 and, after many years of artistic pursuits, “found her passion.” She now teaches through her studio and through Halcyon Yarn and sells her work at galleries throughout Maine and across the country. She writes, “I began by doing portraits of family pets, which I refer to as a style of ‘whimsical reality.’ I am drawn to the aliveness of faces, whether animals or people, but also occasionally do seascapes and florals to reflect the beauty of the natural world which Maine living offers. I hand dye and hand cut my wool, utilizing various widths and textures to give my pieces a unique tactile quality. I live on a secluded salt cove near Popham Beach, where I love to walk and reflect.”

Since 2000, Maine Fiberarts has been hosting gallery exhibitions that change every two or three months. Visitors enjoy the artists’ talks, as they are a chance to learn about the working process that goes into creating fiber work, whether sewn, felted, quilted, embroidered, knit, or woven. In the coming months, Maine Fiberarts will host a show called “Masters” during April and May, and will show the works of Gee’s Bend Quilters from Alabama during July and August. Visit the group in Topsham Tuesday-Friday, 10-4 and Saturday, 11-2 or online at www.mainefiberarts.org.

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