A unique Nemeth Art Center event this Saturday will tie up the ends of the “Woven Welcome” project to make hand-woven cloth rugs to fill the streets for the 2013 Governor’s Fishing Opener.

On Aug. 10, from 10:30 a.m. onward on the lawn of the historic Hubbard County Courthouse, artist Jill Odegaard will return to help transform some of the remaining welcome mats into paper. All community members are welcome to participate, learn the process of turning cloth fiber into paper and take home a bit of history.

“Woven Welcome” was an interactive collaboration that involved the weaving of rug segments that served as a welcome mat for the governor, but also symbolized the interconnection among community members to create a public art piece. The project was realized through partnerships with the Nemeth Art Center and the Developmental Achievement Center.

Odegaard, an artist and teacher, plans to take the woven rugs in storage at the Nemeth Art Center and process the fiber to make pulp for papermaking.

“By recycling the rugs, I intend to explore another layer of content and provide a new context for the project,” says Odegaard. “The goal of Woven Welcome was to celebrate community engagement as stories, memories and new relationships were woven into a community expression. Making paper from the fabric introduces a new aspect to the conversation – one of transformation and sustainability.”

Odegaard will bring a portable papermaking studio – including a Hollander Beater for preparing the fiber, moulds and deckles for sheet forming – a hydraulic press for pressing the handmade paper and a drying system for drying the paper.

Community members are invited to come to his paper-making workshop to learn the process and take away paper that was once a collective piece of art that spread across our community. Stencils, flower petals and other additions to the process can personalize the papers as desired. Multiple sheets of paper can even be sewn into books and journals for future use.

Odegaard has her BFA from Moorhead State and an MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She is a professor and Chair of the Art and Art Therapy Department at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Penn. She works mainly in fiber-based mediums and has conducted similar projects in many locations.

Join the workshop anytime on Saturday, then stay for the traditional 2nd SAT HAP event taking place in the Nemeth Art Center’s main gallery from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. that day.

Music will be by Casimir Simonson and Electric Sky Church, with Joel London and his band. Local poet LouAnn Shepard Muhm will read her poetry and Brainerd Heartland Poets, Charmaine Donovan and Christine Grossman, will also do a poetry reading. St. Paul novelist J.J. Harrigan will read excerpts from a historical suspense novel.