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Reimagining Old Fishing Rope: Rebecca Hooper Weaves Newport's Fishing Heritage into Every Strand

photo of Rebecca Hooper. Owner and artist at Gypsea Weaver Studio. Rebecca is sitting on a bench in front of a pile of materials collected from dumpsters at the Port of Newport. She has her hair pulled back in a hairband and weaving a brown shirt with the Gypsea Weaver logo.

Step into the captivating world of Rebecca Hooper, a visionary artist leading an extraordinary woman-owned venture in the coastal paradise of Newport, Oregon. With a 19-year journey as a weaver, Rebecca's passion is in the pursuit of innovative weaving techniques and materials. The genesis of her weaving odyssey with retired fishing rope traces back to the serendipitous encounter with Maine lobsterman Dave Carter's rope doormats, designed in the 1970s. His innovative design sparked an artistic revolution around the world.

 

Rebecca's studio and store is nestled in the heart of Newport, Oregon amidst the blue economy pulse of Dungeness crab fishing. Rebecca's creative sanctuary breathes life into discarded fishing gear by weaving a tapestry of rope mats, baskets, and her iconic jellyfish sculptures. Her creativity expands with one-of-a-kind wreaths and woven wall art that embody the essence of Newport's thriving maritime heritage.

 

Each creation at Gypsea Weaver Studio is a testament to the resilience of the local fishery, a beacon of sustainability in a sea of waste, and a celebration of Newport's maritime spirit. 

CV

Formal Education

2002 - M.S. Aquatic Biology. Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN.   
 

Training and Workshops on Weaving

2023 - Harriet Goodall - Freedom to Form, weaving for fibre sculpture.
2022 - Fiona Hutchison - tapestry weaving design and technique.
2021 -  Rebecca Mezoff, color theory and tapestry weaving techniques.
2020 - present - Kathe Todd-Hooker, apprenticeship and ongoing workshops on French Gobelin tapestry weaving techniques.
2020 - Tein Chu, color theory and weaving.
2015 -  Jason Collingwood, rug weaving and shaft shifting.
2012 -  Teresa Loveless, Rio Grande and southwest rug weaving techniques.
2005 - present - numerous books and online courses on pattern and structure weaving.

Memberships

2022 - present - Economic Development Alliance of Lincoln County
2022 - present - Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce
2021 - present - Oregon Coast Council for the Arts
2021 - present - Fiber Art Now
2021 - present - Tapestry Weavers West
2020 - present - American Tapestry Alliance
2020 - present - Handweavers Guild of America

Solo Exhibitions

2024 - Fiber Art Gallery, Lincoln City Cultural Center. Lincoln City, Oregon.

Juried Small Group Exhibitions

2024 - Maritime Museum. Newport, Oregon
2023 - Art Studio Tour exhibit. Chessman Gallery. Lincoln City, Oregon
2022 - ART Toledo, Phantom Gallery. Toledo, Oregon
2022 - Mayor's Art Show. Newport, Oregon

Unjuried Group Exhibitions

2024 - Celebrating Creativity. Visual Arts Center, Newport. Oregon
2024 - Oregon Coast Council for the Arts. Member's Show. Visual Arts Center, Newport, Oregon
2023 - Oregon Coast Council for the Arts. Member's Show. Visutal Arts Center, Newport, Oregon
2023 - Celebrating Creativity. Visual Art Center. Newport, Oregon
2022 - Push Pin Show. Visual Art Center. Newport, Oregon.
2022 - Tiny But Mighty. American Tapestry Association, Knoxville, Tennessee.

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