The hooked rugs of fiber enthusiast Mary Parker will be on view in the Museum Gallery at the White Plains Public Library from Monday, December 3, 2012 to Friday, January 11, 2013. Ms. Parker’s work is inspired by the past and present of Westchester and Putnam Counties. Hooked highlights include local historic sites and cemetery “folk art,” as well as other work from traditional to contemporary. Rug hooking has been called the one truly original folk art of America and Ms. Parker’s work carries forward the tradition of expression through this 19th century craft. Folk art expert, William C. Ketchum, says that Ms. Parker's work “reminds us how in the hands of a gifted artist the simplest materials and most prosaic themes can be transformed into an important artistic statement. Parker takes rug hooking to a new level with her vivid fabric tableaus which blend fantasy with craftsmanship”.
After a career in dance in New York City, then in publishing at Condé Nast, Mary Parker moved to Somers with her family. She pursued an interest in all things fiber, which included studying traditional rug hooking with Marilyn Bottjer. This year she has hooked a series of rugs focusing on historic sites in Westchester and Putnam Counties, and also a series on folk art images from gravestones throughout Westchester County. Previously her work has been seen in shows in New York, Connecticut, and Vermont and she has appeared on HGTV and the DIY network. Her work is also included in several Schiffer publications. She is the current president of the Westchester Area Basketmakers Guild.