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Starry Night

Jun 20, 2015 to Oct 11, 2015

The 1952 Värmland Gift, a collection of items from every parish of the province of Värmland, Sweden, established a firm connection and the unique bond between the American Swedish Institute and the people of the Swedish province. A significant piece included in the gift is the dramatic 14 meter "Wedge Pattern" rag rug woven by Maria Hansson-Kärrholmen of Kila parish. Characteristically Swedish with its simple materials and delicate beauty, this rug is a favorite of weavers and crafters alike.  

Hansson-Karrholmen's creation inspired Minnesota weaver Wynne Mattila when she first saw the piece 20 years ago. Mattila set off on now a two decade exploration of woven fibers and fabric into refined “Finnish style” rugs.  Her title piece “Starry Night” borrows colors from Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting, interpreted as woven rugs.  Her skill of weaving technique and vibrant color mix is more like painting with fabrics.

On view in the Turnblad Mansion Benson Gallery.


Wynne Mattila is a fiber artist who designs and weaves one-of-a-kind rugs, which are contemporary expressions of Finnish and Scandinavian textiles. The basis of her design starts with color-the way colors blend, the way she sees them, and how they make her feel. She is preoccupied with the ever-changing play of light and color in nature and needs to create something tangible which embodies beauty and spirit. Her rugs are in many homes and the permanent collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, Goldstein Museum of Design, and Finnish-American Heritage Center of Finlandia University. Mattila's cotton rugs, one as a how-to project, are included in the book Weaving Contemporary Rag Rugs. Two of her rugs are featured in Best of Handwoven: Top 10 Rugs on Four Shafts, a 2013 eBook. Mattila teaches design and rug weaving at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota.


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.

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All admission requires advanced registration.
Admission is free for members, but registration still required.
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