November 7 – 17
Exhibit Opening Reception: Nov 7th, 5:30 – 7:30pm (ARTIST TALK: 6pm)
What started off as a grand experiment in an Egyptian village of Harrania in the 1950’s grew into a renowned studio of woven art. The upcoming Gallery 212 exhibit at the Sonoma Community Center, “The Harrania Tapestries: An Accomplishment in Creativity,” opening Thursday, November 7th from 5:30-7:30pm, will feature a collection of the studios’ familiar and unfamiliar artistry.
Under the guidance of artist and professor Ramses Wissa Wassef (1911-1974), an experiment of creativity began in 1952 in which students were asked to weave tapestries freehand with three basic rules: “No drawings or sketches. No outside artistic influences. No criticism or interference from adults” to prove that anyone can be creative and make mature works of art. The resulting weavings became known as “the children’s tapestries” which attracted the attention of the art world, collectors, and imitators as well.
Collector and Egyptian tapestry authority David Williams will be on-hand at the exhibit Opening Reception Thursday, November 7th to provide insight into the educational experiment. “I believe the tapestries of this exhibit demonstrate the importance of doing creative work from the earliest possible age.” commented Williams. His collection of weavings have reached nearly 200.
William’s first exhibition in America of the Harrania Tapestries was in 1971 at a weaving shop in Sonoma. Since then he has traveled the country with his collection to museums, universities, and other various art venues. “I’m excited for the tapestries to return to Sonoma for another opportunity of appreciation,” remarked Sonoma Community Center’s Creative Programs Manager, Eric Jackson.
The Harrania Tapestries exhibition will run from November 7th – 17th only and will showcase the world renowned weavings that were both the children’s works as well as the work of the students who remained in the Wissa Wassef studio as they matured in their style and skill. These collectible works of art will be available for purchase during the gallery exhibit at the Sonoma Community Center. The Opening Reception will coincide with Sonoma’s November Art Walk and will feature David William’s Artist Talk promptly at 6pm. For more information regarding the exhibition please visit the Main Office or call (707) 938-4626.