This Friday, Oct. 17, 6-9 pm, marks the last event for the Chatham artist residency of weavers Eric and Janet Chavez Santiago. They will be at the NC Arts Incubator, 223 N. Chatham Ave., Historic Siler City, for an exhibition and discussion of their work during the town’s Third Friday Artwalk. At 8:30 pm, a raffle will be held for the handwoven and cochineal dyed 100% wool rug created by Janet Chavez Santiago. Tickets are still available, and at most, only 100 will be sold at $10 each. For information, contact Sue Szary, director, NC Arts Incubator, 663-1335.
The Chavez Santiago family are from the Zapotec village of Teotitlan del Valle, renown throughout the world for its rug weaving. The family is only one of a handful in the village who dye their own wool using only natural plant materials and insects native to the region. Rugs are woven from the churro sheep, whose wool is carded, handspun, washed and dyed before weaving. Intricate and ancient traditional rug designs represent carvings found on area archeological sites and in the pre-Hispanic codices recreated by anthropologists. Colors of blue come from the indigo plant, tan and green from pomegranate, red, pink, orange and purple from the cochineal insect, and yellow from wild marigolds. Eric is the coordinator of education at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca.
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to see how this beautiful art form contributes to sustainable indigenous culture. It may be some time before they return.