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Local textile artist releases memoir

Maiden Rock textile artist Mary Anne Wise co-authored a book about her journey working with Maya women in Guatemala. Submitted photo1 / 3
Yolanda and her rug-hooking group. The Maya women of Multicolores have become empowered through the creation of colorful textiles. Submitted photo2 / 3
Carmen Moldonado of Multicolores holds a colorful rug. Submitted photo3 / 3

Mary Anne Wise, of rural Maiden Rock, and her co-author Cheryl Conway Daly of Cato, New York, offer a poignant memoir of their eight-year long journey working with Maya women in the highlands of Guatemala.

"Rug Money: How A Group Of Maya Women Changed Their Lives Through Art and

Innovation" describes their journey.

Recognizing the dire need for more income-generating opportunities, Wise, an accomplished textile artist, volunteered to teach a weekend-long rug-hooking class. What follows is a surprising and heartening story about artistry, creative economies and how access to opportunity truly does change lives. These same artists participated in an exhibition at The Anderson Center in Red Wing in 2011.

In "Rug Money's" moving narrative, Wise describes how she created a curriculum for teaching art and design based on her Maya students' needs and abilities, while honoring their culture. The most compelling parts of this book are brought to life through the women's personal narratives when they describe the changes in their self-perception as they become successful artists.

"Rug Money" celebrates the extraordinary achievement of Multicolores in creating community, education and empowerment. While there was no business plan at the outset, the success of Multicolores serves as a model for how to organize and advance a nonprofit while effecting powerful social change.

Celebrating the book's release

Rug Money's publisher, Thrums Books, whose founder, Linda Ligon, also founded Interweave Press, a name that will be familiar to weavers, quilters, dyers, spinners, beaders and other textile artists. To celebrate the release of "Rug Money," Ligon will be present at Cultural Cloth, a social enterprise Wise co-founded located in Maiden Rock during the Fresh Art Tour, Oct 5-7. Rug Money's co-author, Cheryl Conway Daly and an artist from Multicolores will also be present.

"Rug Money" is available at;, and your local bookstore.