Thu, Nov 7, 2013 07:22 PM
Meeting the artist Barbara McKenna at the Birch Ridge Inn
By Susan Wacker-Donle, Killington Arts Guild
On Thursday, Oct. 24, Bill Vines and Mary Furlong, Inn Keepers of
The Birch Ridge Inn hosted KAG "Meet the Artist" series showcasing
Vermont craftswomen Barbara McKenna.
Barbara exhibited her custom designed handcrafted wool hooked rugs
in the warm, cozy setting of the Inn's Great Room. During the
presentation, attendees were treated to a fabulous baked brie én
crôute with a smoked cheese fruit platter and cranberry salsa dip
After a brief introduction, guests were given the opportunity to
try their hand at hooking a rug with their own hooped sampler as
Barbara demonstrated the craft from hand drawn start to final
whipstitch finish. Participants left with a better understanding of
this time-honored tradition developing a greater appreciation for
the technical skill involved.
About the work: Barbara's tapestry like rugs embrace a wonderful
sense of color with world-class execution depicting classic Vermont
culture. One featured rug, titled "Sugaring" illustrates maple
sugar harvesting in graphic, decorative detail. "Winter Doe" is a
beautiful wooded scene bordered by colorful American Indian
inspired motifs. Prices range from $80 for the "Apple Tree" pillow
to $900 for the larger, more intricate area rugs.
About the artist: Barbara McKenna has been a local Vermont resident
for 42 years, spending 23 years in Wallingford and the last 19 in
Rutland. She attended Moore College of Art in Pennsylvania and New
York's Parson's School of Design majoring in Fashion Illustration.
After college, Barbara worked as a colorist for the high-end
Manhattan based interior design company Greef Fabrics.
Upon meeting her husband, Larry, McKenna moved to Vermont to ski
and raise a family. When her two sons were "old enough not to mess
with my stuff," she began painting tiny doll house furniture
replicating the look and feel of real antiques as well as creating
wooden people and farm animals.
Barbara progressed to painting Vermont scenes on wood, designing
pillows, baby blankets, quilts and hooked rugs. Her creations have
been exhibited at the Center Street Arts Gallery and Arts and
Antiques in Rutland, The Woodstock Arts Gallery, and the Killington
Arts Guild Gallery where she currently has her work for sale. The
evening ended with a delicious dinner in The Birch Ridge dining
"Meet the Artist" is an ongoing artistic series put on by the KAG.
The focus of the event is to connect and share the creative process
with members and the public through hands-on education and
For more info visit www.killingtonartsguild.org.