Mary Zicafoose Tapestries and Prints, Omaha, NE

J Doe

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Fiberarts Magazine, "Notable Events: J Doe and the Magic Carpet," Jan/Feb 2002

Last summer, Omaha, Nebraska, mounted a city-wide sculpture exhibition in the tradition of the cows, pigs, and other creatures that in recent years have been on parade in cities across the country. But instead of using an animal as its central figure, Omaha chose an anonymous, androgynous human form - J. Doe. Omaha's project also differed from others in that it was conceived and organized by the local crafts community instead of by a chamber of commerce or advertising agency.

J. Doe and the Magic Carpet is a contribution by tapestry rug weaver Mary Zicafoose. Her challenge was to adapt her flat tapestry technique to a three-dimensional human form - and to do it in a way that would withstand five months' exposure to the elements. Her solution
was to paint the fiberglass J. Doe plug - and also a flying carpet that she contracted to have forged from steel - in patterns reminiscent of her colorful and generically symbolic woven rugs. For fringe, she added twists of wire.

Though the J. Does, craftspeople addressed mankind's relationship to broader issues. Zicafoose explains that her Doe and his magic carpet
"mirror each other in a reflection of centuries of symbols, patterns, and handwork."

-Verna Suit.

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