An upcoming benefit for the Priene Hali rug workshop

Two weavers at work in the Priene Hali workshop in Gullubahce, Turkey.


Two years ago, I wrote a post for the VCS blog about faculty member Peter Hristoff’s ongoing involvement with Priene Hali, a rug-weaving collective in Gullubahce, Turkey that teaches traditional rug weaving techniques to women from the surrounding area. Recently, Peter sent out an update about some of his recent projects with the workshop, including an upcoming benefit at SVA to support its work. Here’s some of what he had to say:

I was in Turkey last week and picked up the last of the rugs woven from designs created by “Visual and Critical Studies” students of the School of Visual Arts. These rugs, by my “Artist’s Journal” class from last Fall and Spring semesters, are being exhibited on the fourth floor of SVA’s 133-141 West 21st Street building. [Editor’s note: I will post some images of this exhibition in a few days. (See below for update.)] I also brought back a just completed rug designed by NY painter Judith Linhares.

Three of my rugs (photo below) are currently on exhibit at C.A.M. Gallery (in Istanbul) in “The End is Also the Beginning” open through December 1st. And the “Minder” rugs created by students of PS 290 of Manhattan (311 East 82nd Street) with the support of the American Turkish Society Curriculum Grant will are on display at that school through November 19th. I am proud to say that it’s quite a presence Priene Hali has in NYC this month!

In addition, over 80 established and emerging artists — such as Leigh Behnke, Don Eddy, Mary Frank, Maya Harder Montoya, Marisa Leah, Dennis Kardon, Nils Karsten, Marilyn Lerner, Linda Oubuchoska and Murat Germen (to name a few) — have committed to the benefit exhibition that will take place on November 30th. These works, each selling for $75 (cash only please) will help raise funds for Priene Hali; all proceeds will go to the weavers. Please come on the 30th and bring friends.

The exhibition/sale will take place on the ground floor of SVA’s Fine Arts building at 133 West 16th Street 6 to 9PM on Friday, November 30th. Very special thanks to Suzanne Anker, chair of Fine Arts at SVA, for her support of this project; to Jonathas Nazareth for his tireless graphic design work for Priene Hali; to VCS Department Chair Tom Huhn for his continuous support of Priene Hali and to Fatma Ozturk, the guiding light of the workshop.

Another view of the Priene Hali workshop.


Around the time that this update went out, Peter also sent me a couple images from “The End is Also the Beginning” at C.A.M. Gallery in Istanbul, including the shot of three of his rugs that me mentioned above and a few works by VCS alumna Marissa Leah (shown below). You can also see some of Marissa and Peter’s work in a slideshow on the gallery’s page for the exhibition.

Three of Peter’s rugs on display in the exhibition “The End is Also the Beginning” at C.A.M. Gallery in Istanbul.

Works by Marissa Leah in “The End is Also the Beginning” at C.A.M. Gallery in Istanbul.

Works by Marissa Leah in “The End is Also the Beginning” at C.A.M. Gallery in Istanbul.


Here is some additional information about the upcoming benefit sale, quoted from SVA’s event announcement:

Established and emerging artists alike have donated over 80 works of art, each available for purchase for $75, to benefit the Priene Hali rug workshop in Güllübahçe, Turkey. The workshop has taught the craft of pile rug weaving to over 50 women from Gullubahce and its environs, allowing them to create and sell rugs independently and providing a community center.

Artworks range from drawings and paintings to photographs and editioned prints. Note: Cash only accepted for purchases.

Priene Hali traces its origins to a 2006 public-private partnership to provide women vocational training in the Turkish village of Güllübahçe. Under the leadership of Fatma Öztürk, the director and hodja (master teacher) of the studio, and with support from the Güllübahçe Municipality, the community has grown to include over 50 women who are practiced in traditional pile rug weaving.

Organized by faculty member Peter Hristoff and presented by the BFA Fine Arts and BFA Visual & Critical Studies departments in partnership with the American Turkish Society.

Participating artists (as of November 8) include:

Alex Addario
Suzanne Anker
Marshall Arisman
Mustafa Ayatac
Leigh Behnke
Jessica Bowman
Farrell Brickhouse
Shannon Broder
Maria Carlucci
Michael Caudo
Emily Cheng
Maureen Connor
Daisy Craddock
Anton Van Dalen
Paul D’Innocenzo
William Donovan
Autumn Grace Dougherty
Don Eddy
Joseph Ellis
Muriel Favaro
Seth Michael Forman
Mary Frank
Steve De Frank
Joy Garnett
Murat Germen
Kayla Gibbons
Frank Gillette
Nadia Haji Omar
Maya Harder-Montoya
Valerie Hird
Dimiter Hristoff
Peter Hristoff
Shirley Irons
Evan Izer
Suzanne Joelson
Dennis Kardon
Nils Karsten
Hallie Kruger
Ignacio Lang
Brooke Larsen
Marissa Leah
Cassandra Levine
Judith Linhares
Abby Lloyd
Ro Lohin
Marie Losier
Sakura Maku
Idelisse Malave
Judy Mannarino
Henrietta Mantooth
Nihal Martli
Michelle Mercurio
Melissa Meyer
Keren Moscovitch
Dominic Musa
Jon Nazareth
Billy Ogawa
Carlos Pisco
Priene Hali
Mahshid Rafiei
Dominick Rapone
Chris Retsina
Kenneth Rivero
Taney Roniger
George Rue
Tom Saettel
Pamela Saturday
Jeffrey Schiff
Jo Shane
Gary Sherman
Amy Smith
Joan Snyder
Gary Stephan
B. J. Sussman
Gary L. Sussman
Panayiotis Terzis
Betty Tompkins
Elif Uras
Charles Yoder
Sara Varon
Trici Venola
Marilyn Walters
Naormi Wang
Daniel Wapner
Mia Westerlund
Joanna M. Wezyk
Mark De Wilde
Amy Wilson
Kevin Wixted
Thomas Woodruff
Holly Zausner

As more updates about the benefit sale and Peter’s other projects with Priene Hali become available, I will post them here. We hope to see you on the 30th.

[Update, 11/25/2012: the images of the 4th floor Artist’s Journal rug exhibition are now up. You can see them in this post.]

Visual & Critical Studies