Slater Memoral Museum
180 Crescent Street
Through September 2
"The Slater Memorial Museum is located in a Romanesque Revival building dating to the 19th century. The origin of the craft on display this summer, hooked rugs, dates from the same time period. Charming New England craft? Perhaps, but don’t be completely fooled. This show, taking place in the Converse Gallery, is not without a contemporary twist. These rugs and other hooked artworks are part of a twofold international exhibition devoted to modern craft.
One half of the show is a Regional Invitational featuring artists from the northeast, many of whom have learned the craft as it is passed down in their families. Included in this bunch is Norwich Mayor Ben Lathrop, who hooks rugs in his spare time. He displays a rug in the design of a prominent Lincoln banner hanging in town hall.
But this show’s reach extends much further. The second component features works from a traveling exhibition, The “Art” of Playing Cards, which has traveled the world and is just now appearing in Connecticut. Featured are both local and international artisans with some unlikely designs - all interpretations of playing cards. The idea behind this homage to a universal pastime was to contain 57 different rugs from different artists -one for each playing card, including jokers, a card back and two collaborations.