The Carnegie Legacy

Featuring The Carnegie Rughookers

Curated by fibre artist Tzigane Caddell

AX is pleased to welcome The Carnegie Legacy to the AX gallery. The exhibition features the work of 22 New Brunswick artists from the Carnegie Rughookers, including the exhibition’s curator, Tzigane Caddell.

Rughooking is an ancient fibre art that involves pulling strips of cut wool, yarn or fleece through the weave of burlap or linen backing, reworking old fabrics into new use and allowing for artistic expression with practical ends. “Our mats and wall hangings are an expression of a love of fibre, texture, and colour, and a demonstration of the joy of taking the time to make something by hand that can be both practical and beautiful,” says Caddell. This intricate fine craft has a rich history in Atlantic Canada, and specifically in New Brunswick; the first dated Canadian hooked rug was made in New Maryland, New Brunswick in 1860 by Abigail Smith. 

The hooked rugs featured in the upcoming exhibition are created by members of the Carnegie Rughookers, who have been hooking for months, years, and even decades. Each artist has created or adapted an original hooked mat that shows some aspect of Andrew Carnegie in his time, or of the influences his life and philanthropy have had on the current day. 

AX is honored to display these beautiful mats in our gallery, and we planned this exhibition to coincide with the colder, darker time of the year this art form naturally creates a feeling of warmth, which we hope will draw people into our gallery out of the cold and bring some comfort and light to our community. 

Don’t miss your chance to come see these artists’ work while the show is in the AX gallery from November 4 until December 19. Tzigane Caddell will also offer an online rughooking demonstration and curator talk to accompany this exhibition, so keep an eye on our Facebook page and YouTube channel so you don’t miss it!

Not able to make it into the gallery? Check out our virtual exhibition!

About the Carnegie Rughookers

The Carnegie Rughookers, founded in September 2004, meet every Friday morning at the Saint John Arts Centre to hook rugs. Members are of all ages, from many backgrounds and interests, and work in a variety of styles and techniques. The rughookers named their group after Andrew Carnegie, benefactor of the construction of the Saint John Free Public Library, which was built in 1904 and is now the home of the Saint John Arts Centre. The Carnegie Rughookers have exhibited their works at the Saint John Arts Centre, Saint John City Market, Imperial Theatre, Sunbury Shores in St. Andrews, and the Hooked Rug Museum of North America in Hubbards, Nova Scotia.

About Tzigane Caddell

Tzigane Caddell is a fibre artist from Rothesay, New Brunswick. She has been rughooking for 15 years and joined the Carnegie Rughookers in 2007. Tzigane designs her own rug patterns and dyes the wool for hooking them. Tzigane has organized three group shows on behalf of the Carnegie Rughookers, and has also shown rugs in the Covered Bridges of New Brunswick (2014) and the Ganong Chocolate Boxes (2017) exhibitions; both rugs are now in the permanent collection of the Hooked Rug Museum of North America. Tzigane was the owner/ designer of Tzigane Caddell Garden Design for 20 years, until 2017. Upon retiring from landscape gardening she began exploring natural dyeing. Indigo dyeing quickly became a consuming passion and is now the central focus of her new small business – Tzindigo.