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Hooked on Rugs

Sept. 27 – Oct. 7

A Fundraiser to benefit Friends of Villa Terrace by artist Emily Robertson 

“Hooked on Rugs” features 48 hand-hooked rugs from Milwaukee artist and iconoclast Emily “Emmy” Robertson’s private collection, spanning her long career. Robertson is offering these works for sale in a silent auction to benefit the Friends of the Villa Terrace. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the Friends of the Villa Terrace and our mission to care for Renaissance Gardens and support the Villa Terrace Art Museum.


See these amazing rugs on display at the Villa beginning Wednesday, Sept. 27 through Oct. 7. 

Thank you to everyone who joined os Wednesday, Oct. 4 to meet Emmy during our "Hooked on Rugs" reception. Special thanks to art historian and writer Deb Brehmer for interviewing Emmy about her art.

The auction is now live. Bid now to take home your own hand-hooked masterpiece and support Friends of Villa Terrace. Bidding closes at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7.


Emmy featured on TMJ4's "The Morning Blend" to talk about "Hooked on Rugs" with the Villa Terrace's executive director, Jaymee Harvey Willms. Watch the video here.


About Emily "Emmy" Robertson

Emmy Robertson is a textile artist who uses the traditional hooked rug technique as her medium. She has specialized in custom pictorial scenes of houses and gardens, theological imagery, humor and many specialized subjects for thirty years. Her work has appeared in juried and unjuried shows across the country which include: the Wenham Museum, Sauder Village (Best in Show), Japanese/American Show, FiberArts Design Book Six, Wisconsin Designer Crafts Council, the Shelbourne Museum, Cedarburg Art Center and the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts. Her work has appeared in numerous books and publications.

Robertson is a lifetime member of the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild as well as the Cream City Rug Hooking Guild. She served on the editorial board of Rug Hooking Magazine as well as having written numerous articles for the magazine. She has taught rug hooking in this country as well as in England. Her commissioned work can be found in many homes.


Robertson has dyed much of the wool that she has used in her work. She loves to challenge herself by doing things she has never done before within the medium of rug hooking.


Recently she has turned her attention to tapestry weaving because she is a life long learner and wanted to work in a different area of the fiber arts. Curiosity is what wakes her up in the morning and informs her daily work.


About Debra Brehmer

Debra Brehmer is the owner and director of Portrait Society Gallery of Contemporary Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, founded in 2008. Since its inception, the gallery has supported artists in all stages of their careers with a spirited and diverse program. Brehmer is also the founder and administrator of a related project called On the Wing, which, through non-profit fiscal receivership, recently organized a major exhibition of Wisconsin prison art called Art Against the Odds, which is currently traveling.


Brehmer is an art historian (MA, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) who has curated numerous exhibitions and has written many exhibition catalog essays for institutions including the Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum of Wisconsin Art, the estate of Vivian Maier, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. She is currently a regular contributor to Hyperallergic, an international on-line art publication based in Brooklyn. Her essays have been published in several anthologies, including Fierce: Essays by and about Dauntless Women (Nauset Press, Brooklyn, 2018), and Write It: A Process Approach to College Essays (Kendall Hunt, 2020). She was the founder, publisher and editor of Art Muscle Magazine (1986-1996) and taught art history and critical writing at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Brehmer serves on exhibition committees for the Jewish Museum Milwaukee and the Museum of Wisconsin Art. She was awarded the Wisconsin Achievement Award in Critical Writing in 2022 and was given a Mayoral Proclamation for service to the art community by the City of Milwaukee in 2023.


We Energies


Honorary Co-Chairs

Shelley Culea

Margarete Harvey

Sup. Sheldon Wasserman


Planning Committee:

Mary Berger

Nancy Burke

Laura Couture

Mary Emory

Moira Fitzgerald

Megan Holbrook

Linda Mutschler

Emily Robertson

Stephanie Van Alyea

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