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Traditional Egyptian Fiber Art & Inspiring Embroidery in Las Vegas, NM

May 17 - June 17, 2019
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

This exhibit showcases original and traditional Coptic embroidery designs by members of a women's cooperative in Akhmim, Egypt, as well embroideries by Las Vegas artist Gail Malley, who worked with them for two decades. Malley writes: "The inspiration for my embroidery comes from a group of women with whom I worked in the ancient town of Akhmim in Upper Egypt from 1960 to 1980. Traditional customs kept women and girls in Akhmim home-bound, so to help them get out of the house and have some income, we encouraged them to use the beautiful local handwoven cloth to embroider some of the historical designs for which the town was famous in the Coptic era (3rd to 7th centuries CE). Later, the women began to embroider their own designs as well. They eventually grew into a cooperative, selling their embroidery and woven cloths in an annual Cairo exhibit. The Akhmim Center is still alive, with over 100 women involved. When I was there, I encouraged them to be bold enough to make their own designs. Now, in the past few years, I have finally found the courage to do it as well."