The Art Spot: Margaret Forsey

The Art Spot: Margaret Forsey

Margaret’s rugs will be on display at the Wolfville Memorial Library, 21 Elm Avenue, throughout the month of August

I am an artist and also a Waldorf kindergarten assistant and handwork teacher. I grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and currently live in Greenwich, Nova Scotia. I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

I primarily make hooked rugs. There is a rich historical tradition of rug hooking in Newfoundland. I love the feeling that this craft connects me to my ancestors. I also love hooked rugs because they are so soft and rich in texture and colour, and the process of creating them is repetitive and calming. I learned how to hook from the fibre artist Susan Furneaux. I also did several independant studies on the craft while at NSCAD, and interviewed rug hooking innovators like Doris Eaton and Deanne Fitzpatrick.

I have a lovely pink-painted studio in my home, but I really love to get out of the house to craft, and will often take my works-in-progress to the Wool n’ Tart, Willow Park, or the library. You can currently see some of my recent rugs (and one oldie-but-goodie) at the Wolfville Public Library.

I was interested in art from a very young age, and my parents encouraged me. I think I first started defining myself as an artist in high school. I took an advanced placement art class through a distance program with Boston University. Several of my best friends did the course too and our teacher was very demanding. It was challenging but I certainly learned a lot, and I loved making art with my friends. My first job was at the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador and there I met the most wonderful and encouraging group of local artists. This was when I first began to make serious work, and submit my art to exhibits.

For several years after college, I exhibited my work and did artist residencies, but frankly, making and selling art as a career didn’t suit me. In recent years my focus has been on Waldorf early childhood education, which makes me so happy. My rug hooking has become something I do just for me. I make pieces for myself or as gifts for those I love, or to donate to fundraiser auctions for causes I believe in. My work in a Waldorf kindergarten allows me to use my artistic skills, which is lovely. As a handwork teacher, I get to teach young children the basics of sewing, felting, knitting, and other skills. I also often teach children’s summer art camps, which are so fun.

I moved to the Annapolis Valley in 2008. I visited here briefly in 2007 while volunteering at local farms and fell in love with Wolfville. I had never lived in a small town before, and, being a Newfoundlander, the lush farmland and vineyards were exotic to me! I spontaneously moved here. It has been 10 years, and now I am moving Blockhouse, Nova Scotia, to work at the South Shore Waldorf school. I will miss the Valley very much, but I am excited to explore the South Shore!