Woven Gardens of Hope

January 23 – March 1, 2015


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 the Woven Gardens Press Release.

Design Gallery events are free and open to the public.
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Special Events

Small Wonders: Collectible Oriental Rugs Thursday, February 19, Noon – 1pm
Sharon Fenlon curates and lectures internationally, and teaches on textiles of nomadic tribes. President of the American Conference on Oriental Rugs.

International Design Community: Transforming Poverty into Opportunity Wednesday, February 4, 5:30 – 7:30pm
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 – 6pm  Reception Following
Carnit Minasian specializes in traditional Oriental carpets and tribal rugs.


About the Design Gallery

Each academic semester the Design Gallery organizes a major curated exhibition related to a design topic followed by showcase installations of Design Studies student creative work at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

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All Design Gallery events and exhibitions are funded entirely by competitive grants and private donations. Help us keep our programs free and accessible to the public through a gift to the Design Gallery Exhibition Fund at the University of Wisconsin Foundation.
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More questions?

Please call 608-262-8815. You can also email Design Gallery.