World Weaver Project
Annual World Weaver Project
2014 brought back a program I was involved with back in the 1990’s. The original idea for the residency came out of discussions with Armen and Carnig Minasian of Minasian Rug Company of Evanston, Illinois while I was working for Art Resources in Teaching. The residency was updated now that I’m a teaching-artist with Urban Gateways.
6th grade students at Stone Elementary Scholastic Academy, and McCutcheon School, both Chicago Public School, went to the Minasian Rug Company store and saw rugs from around the world, and the care and repair that goes into maintaining rugs. Students also got a chance to hand tie knots onto a loom.
McCutcheon School was added for the World Weaver Project this last Spring, 2019.
During the residency students scanned and analyzed rugs, and discussed the cultures where the rugs came from. They also discussed the elements of art (line, shape, color, space, and value), the principles of design of unity, and the uses of symbols in art.
Students created a number of design ideas before working on their final carpet design. Over the last 7 sessions students’ planned, created and completed their idea for a carpet design.
The first year students designed carpets that had to be geometrical and symmetrical in their designs. The 2015-year carpet designs had to have a narrative in their design. The last few years the carpets designs had to incorporate symbols into their designs.
An outside jury selects two student rug designs to be sent to Afghanistan, where the designs are hand knotted into 4 by 6 foot rugs. Ever year the jurist tell me this is the hardest year for the jury to choose a top ten. Almost half of the designs could have been in the top ten.
At Stone School two completed rugs were given to the school in December 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.
This year two new winners were announced, and their designs are now in Afghanistan being created,and will be given to the school in December 2019.
At McCutcheon school once again two designs were selected and will be given to the school in June, 2020
Special thanks to the Minasian Rug Company, Urban Gateways, the King Foundation, the teachers and staff at Stone Elementary Scholastic Academy, and McCutcheon Elementary School, and especially all the great young artists for making this special residency such a success.
These are some of the young artists' working designs and the completed carpets over the years.
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2019 Winning carpet designs that happened to be displayed together.