Threads Through Time-Louise Halsey

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Up in Smoke, 2020
Wool tapestry of linen warp
On loan from the artist


Black, Blue and Bleeding, 2020
Wool tapestry of linen warp, beading, rya hair of mixed fibers, wooden armature, painted
On loan from the artist


Louise Halsey has been weaving textiles since she took a workshop on the subject in 1971. Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Halsey has called Northwest Arkansas home for decades. She studied weaving techniques at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, the University of Tennessee and the University of Georgia. When she was 55, she earned her MFA from Goddard College. However, her art education began much earlier. Both of her parents were artists who ran an art school in their home.

Ranging from pure, linear abstraction to the geometric houses of her current work, Halsey’s tapestries glow with bright colors. The current political climate influenced Up In Smoke and Black, Blue, and Bleeding. Her Peruvian inspired figure pleads with us to find understanding during a time of racial and political divide. Up In Smoke shows a house sitting on an unequal field of black and white squares, while evening falls behind it. Will the house be able to stand on such ground?

Halsey received the 2017 Arkansas Living Treasure Award from the Arkansas Arts Council, and was chosen for the High Fiber: Women to Watch 2012 exhibition sponsored by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She was one of seven women in the world selected.

For more on Louise Halsey, visit her website: