Suzanne Holtkamp Recipient of First Heritage Keepers Award

The Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center (GEHC) and the Atlanta Dogwood Chapter of the Association of Traditional Hooking Artists (ATHA) celebrated the opening of its newest traveling exhibit “Off the Hook by hosting a Hook-In on Saturday, April 14th.  In addition to viewing the 200 plus rugs on display, more than 125 rug hooking enthusiasts participated by demonstrating their craft and listening to a lecture on the history of rug hooking by Gail Dufrense, national president of ATHA .

Cammie Fulmer, Exhibit Coordinator for the Environmental & Heritage Center, works on hanging rugs for the "Off the Hook" Exhibit

In recognition of her efforts to bring the exciting exhibit to life, the GEHC Foundation honored Suzanne Holtkamp at the event with its first annual Heritage Keeper Award.  “Suzanne Holtkamp was the driving force behind the creation of this exhibit and the GEHC appreciates her efforts to preserve this craft and to provide awareness on its importance and contributions to American culture,” said Jason West, GEHC director of educational programming and development.

Holtkamp began working on the development of the rug hooking exhibit along with dozens of members of the Atlanta Dogwood ATHA Chapter more than a year ago. “Suzanne is very dedicated and organized. She has worked tirelessly with the GEHC staff, not only in planning the physical layout of the exhibit but also in working with our education staff to make sure that the public walks away with a knowledge and understanding of the craft,” added West.

Steve Cannon, Executive Director and Jason West, Director of Development, Present Heritage Award to Suzanne Holtkamp

The Hook-In concluded with a presentation by the ladies of the Dogwood Chapter of ATHA to the GEHC Foundation. In recognition of its contribution to the development of the rug hooking exhibit, a beautiful, hand crafted rug depicting the GEHC logo and building was presented to Steve Cannon, executive director of the GEHC.

“The GEHC Foundation is extremely grateful and appreciative of this beautiful rug. It will hang in the building as a reminder of this important exhibit and the outstanding volunteers who made it happen, “said Cannon.  The rug was also made with recycled materials, which make it even more special to the GEHC.  “It’s an added bonus that this hand crafted rug was made from recycled fabrics as it is a perfect merging of the GEHC’s missions of sustainability and cultural awareness,” added Cannon.

The “Off the Hook” exhibit will run through June 30, 2012.  Over 52 local artists’ work is featured along with a special antique section.  For more information including Beginning Rug Hooking Classes visit




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