Woven Gardens of Hope

January 23 – March 1, 2015

Opening Celebration: Sunday, January 25, 3:30 – 6:00 pm

3:30 – 4:30 pm – ARZU Studio Hope, Empowering Women Through Their Carpets

Lecture by Connie Duckworth, Founder and CEO of ARZU

4:30 – 6:00 pm – Delicacies by Kabul Restaurant

Through stunning traditional Afghan carpets and textiles, Woven Gardens of Hope presents the reinterpretation of an artisanal tradition through social entrepreneurship, embracing a sustainable approach to poverty alleviation by empowering Afghan women in rural villages.  Based on traditional designs and techniques, women weave carpets to be competitive in the American market. Through the women’s artistic work, traditions of the past are re-purposed to address contemporary needs and aspirations.

The exhibition will include approximately 35 handmade carpets by ARZU Studio Hope craftswomen, carpets from private collections, textiles from the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, and more, approximately 60 objects. For additional information, read our Woven Gardens Press Release.

Related Events

Small Wonders: Collectible Oriental Rugs

Thursday, February 19, Noon-1:00 pm

Sharon Fenlon curates and lectures internationally, and teaches on textiles of nomadic tribes. President of the American Conference on Oriental Rugs.

Weaving for Kids! Ages 5-12

Sunday, March 1, Noon-3:30 pm

Marianne Fairbanks (Assistant Professor, Design Studies) provides a hands-on exploration of weaving and the many ways of making fabric, playing with strings, colors, patterns, and textures. Materials provided. Adult must be present. Register on Facebook prior to event.

Past Events

International Design Community: Transforming Poverty into Opportunity

Wednesday, February 4, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Join the Madison design community in learning how Afghani rug-weaving and other fair trade initiatives alleviate poverty and empower women. Sponsored by IIDA Wisconsin.

Afghan Carpets: Past to Present

Thursday, February 5, 5:00 – 6:00 pm  Reception Following

Carnit Minasian specializes in traditional Oriental carpets and tribal rugs.


About Design Gallery

The Ruth Davis Design Gallery holds exhibitions that relate to the processes and results of design. Together we encourage research, education and outreach by bringing together the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, the Design Gallery and Ruth Ketterer Harris Library, as well as undergraduate and graduate programs in Design Studies. We are located in the new Nancy Nicholas Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Human Ecology.

Completed in June 2012, the LEED-certified Nancy Nicholas Hall supports the School’s mission to improve the quality of human life, through its education, research, creative endeavors, outreach and engagement. This technology-rich environment facilitates webinars, video conferencing, and interactive learning. Its accessibility, café, roof terrace, and other comfortable community spaces welcome visitors and promote interactions among faculty, staff, students, and visitors. An enlarged, climate-controlled Design Gallery and Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection enhance the visibility of creative works from both students and professional artists.

Support Us

All Design Gallery events and exhibitions are free and open to the public, thanks in part to the generous support from the Anonymous Fund. Support our programming through a gift to the University of Wisconsin Foundation.

More questions?

Please call 608-262-8815. You can also email Gallery Director Liese Pfeifer. For the most up to date information, like us on Facebook.