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A Day at the Races

Updated June 19, 2019

Dimensions: 48" x 32"
Materials: #2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-cut wool on linen
Designed and hooked by Abby Vakay, Alexandria, Virginia, 1999.
Featured in: Celebration X

Abby Vakay has long admired primitive rugs with animal motifs, and her first rug depicted the family's Jack Russell terrier. She and her family love the breed and attend terrier races whenever possible. A few years ago, their dog was entered in a race held in conjunction with the Virginia Gold Cup steeplechase. Abby captured that spring day--made perfect when her dog won a race--in A Day at the Races.

Abby kept her palette fairly simple. "I knew I would want...a feeling of spring," she says, "so I used a lot of yellow-greens for my background grass and fields, making them bluer [and] grayer as they receded... I felt I should keep colors simple for details, hoping this would move the eye of the viewer around the rug, connecting each event. So I chose [primary colors] for the tents, cars, tractor, [and so on]." Abby wanted an "intensely blue" sky, ponds, and stream, and because blues tend to fade, she deliberately chose bold colors for those elements. To depict the crowds of people under the tents, Abby employed various plaids. The background was done with spot- and dip-dyed wools.
- Abby Vakay, Celebration Hall of Fame 2018
(Note: This rug description was taken as an excerpt from the published Celebration entry.)

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