The exhibition Prairie Woven features weaving by Saskatchewan artists – both traditional works and contemporary pieces. These artworks are inspired by the weaving drafts of Oscar Bériau’s book, Home Weaving, which was used by the students of the Searle Grain Weaving program. The Searle Grain Company Weaving program taught weaving to nearly 800 prairie women starting in the 1940s.
Oscar Bériau was a significant force in weaving in Canada during the 1930s and 1940s. The Searle Grain Company, directed by Augustus Searle, wanted to improve the life of their farmers during the Depression and war years. With Bériau’s help, the Searle Grain Company program of weaving instruction revived weaving throughout the prairies. The program provided education, resources, community, and a measure of independence for isolated prairie women. Looms were provided and left in the communities at no cost to participants after the program was completed.
The craft of weaving is thousands of years old — every civilization and culture has fabric and textiles unique to them. Learn more about this province’s weaving tradition and how it carries on today in functional and fine craft pieces. Prairie Woven: From Utilitarian Roots to Contemporary Art celebrates our history through archival displays and the creations of present-day Saskatchewan’s textile artists.
Join us at a public Reception on Friday, September 22, from 7 to 9 pm. There will be a public Lecture by spinner, weaver, and historian Mary Underwood on Saturday, September 23, at 2 pm. All are welcome!
Every Saturday in October, between 1 and 4 pm, there will be free, public demonstrations of spinning and weaving (on a loom installed in the SCC gallery).