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Special Exhibits

for Rug Hooking Week 2024

Special Exhibits are collections of innovative and original works done by an individual or group of artists which represent contemporary or historic themes, concepts, ideas, techniques, educational, and regional projects.

Rug Hooking Week offers classes relevant to these exhibits so that you may gain insight and learn techniques directly from the artist, authority or curator. You will find more information on the classes listed with each exhibit and on the Retreat and Workshop pages.

Braided Bugs - Valley Forge Rug Braiding Guild

In 2023, the Valley Forge Rug Braiding Guild’s yearly challenge was, “Braided Bugs.”  As part of the challenge guidelines, 50% of the work was recommended to be rug braiding, however other fiber arts were allowed to be used. They including:  hooking, felting, beading, applique, quilling, and some mesh-fiber creations.

This collection of braided bugs is… charming, creepy, cringe-y, and delightful!

These delightful insects, ranging from arachnids, arthropods, and snakes (plus a bear stealing honey from bees) were shown at the Guild’s annual conference in Pennsylvania, and they are happy to exhibit it again at Rug Hooking Week.

Curator & Speaker: Christine Manges

Christine Manges has been a rug braiding artist for almost 20 years, and an author and teacher for the past 12 years. She co-authored the book, Combining Rug Hooking and Braiding with Kris McDermet and Dianne Tobias. In 2018, Christine and Kris also collaborated on the Contemporary Braided Art Rugs featured exhibit at Sauder Village. Her work has been featured in several fiber art exhibits in her home city of Pittsburgh as well as in the Schwenkfelder Museum in Pennsbury, PA. 

Christine was a founding member of the Valley Forge Rug Braiding Guild and initiated its incorporation as a non-profit in 2020. Since then, she has served as its President and Chair of Education; she has taught many online classes for all levels of rug braiding, as well as teaching others how to teach classes online. 

A happily retired obstetrician, Christine lives with her husband, one dog, four cats, and a lot of wool in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Classes: To accompany this Special Exhibit, we are offering a Workshop and Gallery Talk, for more information see our Workshop page.

Charlie Dalton - A Color Odessey 

With his background being in education, the passing down of the traditions that were and still are being taught to him by his mother-in-law is an integral part of what he does. Another cornerstone in his process is the idea of upcycling discarded clothing.  This makes his use of color a struggle finding the right values and shades “off the rack”. He supplements his upcycled stash using dyes and/or other techniques creating his own palettes.

Charlie is interested in invoking emotion through the slow movement of color throughout his pieces. He enjoys geometrics and incorporating his drawings inspired by Alma Thomas into the rugs that he hooks. Another passion of his is hooking animal portraits, over time his work developed into the cosmic pups series.

Charlie Dalton is also one of the artists in the Feature Exhibit: Magnificent Rugs in Rugs.

Artist: Charlie Dalton 

Charlie Dalton is a fiber artist from Lexington, Kentucky who currently resides in Price, Utah. A high energy Spanish teacher in his previous life, Charlie has refocused the last 4 years of his life into an array of colorful wool loops and dog walks in the desert with his wife and dogs. He can’t wait to get back in the classroom, and share his passion for creating fun and lively pieces. 

Charlie has written for Rug Hooking Magazine about his influence of Alma Thomas and was a Celebration 2023 finalist. 


Classes: To accompany this Special Exhibit, we are offering a Retreat and Gallery Talk, for more information see our Retreat and Workshop page.

"A Color Odessey" Gallery talk by Charlie Dalton

Tracy Jamar  – Rock Squares: Finding Solace in Isolation

During the Covid confinement of 2020, Tracy Jamar thought of how one’s home is your rock—a place one goes when seeking safety, security and stability. In December 2019, a couple of years after her husband’s death, she decided to sell their home, little realizing what was coming.

Needing to drastically downsize she tossed her randomly collected rocks into the woods. When the idea of inserting the rocks in a project came to her, she went out and recollected them. Using various fabrics, items and textile techniques Tracy explored a variety of design possibilities. The thought to use the rocks in her work allowed her to take a bit of the home with her.

This collection features the historic shirring techniques: chenille, bias, pleated, and bundled, as well as other standing wool and coiling techniques. Along with knitting, appliqué, beading, found objects and yes, hooking.

Artist: Tracy Jamar

Tracy has had over 30 years experience as a restorer and conservator working primarily with American antique textiles. Moving to New York City from Minnesota in 1979 she became head of textile restoration for the America Hurrah Gallery, opening her own restoration studio in 1985. In 2006 she returned to college to complete an undergraduate degree, graduating in 2009 from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. After which she committed her time to creating contemporary fiber works exploring various techniques using a combination of new, old, repurposed and non-traditional materials.

Tracy was the Keynote speaker and a teacher at the ATHA 2019 Biennial in Denver, Colorado. She taught at Green Mountain Rug School in 2018 and 2023 and other locations. She wrote Coils, Folds, Twist and Turns: Contemporary Techniques in Fiber 2017 and taught at Sauder (2016) in anticipation of the publication of her book. The book followed and was inspired by working with antiques textile dealer Jan Whitlock on their book, American Sewn Rugs: Their History with Exceptional Examples 2012 about antique rugs using various sewing techniques before rug hooking became popular. They had an exhibit at Sauder Village in 2013 where Tracy also gave a short workshop on shirring techniques.

She received “Best Mixed Media” (2014), and “Best Sculpture” (2020) for shirred pieces in the Guild Hall Members’ Art Exhibit, East Hampton, NY. Tracy’s works have been shown in juried and invitational exhibits including the Farnsworth Art Museum’s “Beyond Rugs!” where her piece, “Land Parcels Quad” was used on the exhibit poster.  She has received two Awards of Excellence from the Surface Design Association, as well as Juror’s Choice from the Newtown Hooked Art Show and Juror’s Choice in Hooked Art 2014. Tracy has also appeared on HGTV with Mary Emmerling and twice as a guest on Martha Stewart Living TV show. Several of her articles have been in Rug Hooking Magazine and the ATHA magazine.


Classes: To accompany this Special Exhibit, we are offering a Retreat, Workshop and Gallery Talk, for more information see our Retreat and Workshop page.