Rosemary and Garry Levin enjoy exploring Acadia, especially in the offseason. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROSEMARY LEVIN

Rug hooker inspired by carriage road bridges   



GOULDSBORO — Rosemary Levin is the best-known hooker – of rugs, that is –in the Schoodic Peninsula village of Corea. 

On July 6, Friends of Acadia honored her with its Artistic Excellence Award for her series of hooked rugs depicting all 17 of the stone carriage road bridges in Acadia National Park. Starting in 2005, she created one rug each year and donated it to Friends of Acadia to be sold at the organization’s annual benefit auction in August. 

“In the Deep South where I came from, we didn’t have hooked rugs; wool was not a thing,” Levin said. “So, my first exposure to them was in 1995, when we came to Maine for good and saw them at fairs and antique shops. I was intrigued and took a continuing education class in Ellsworth.  

“My husband, Garry, was managing a Borders store in Bangor at the time, and he bought every book on rug hooking that was available. So, I continued to teach myself and then started sharing it with others. 

“I’ve been hooking and teaching since 1999. I love to dye my own wool and design my own pieces and teach people how to do it.” 

Asked what inspired her to begin hooking rugs featuring Acadia’s carriage road bridges, Levin said, “We were hiking in Acadia on a snowy day, and we looked up and there was the Cobblestone Bridge. It was so beautiful in the snow that I had to hook it. So, I went home and immediately sketched it and hooked it.” 

She and Garry were already members of Friends of Acadia and knew that it had a benefit auction every August. She offered the Cobblestone Bridge rug to be auctioned off, and it was gratefully accepted. She continued to create and donate carriage road bridge rugs in the order in which the bridges were built, finishing with the Day Mountain and Triad Bridge in 2021. 

“I would drop off a rug in June or July and then go and find the next bridge,” Levin said. Then I would spend the winter thinking about it, photographing it, sketching it and finally getting it hooked. It was just so much fun. 

“I really love Acadia and enjoy any chance I have to get out there and explore,” Levin said. “It’s such a wealth of inspiration for me. I think it always reflects in my work. It carries me through all my art.” 

When she isn’t dyeing wool or hooking rugs, Levin makes one-of-a-kind books, such as those with hand painted pages and covers made of Maine scallop shells. She also is an accomplished painter and printmaker. She describes her work as “playful reflections of life and nature.” 

Her work, along with that of other local artists and crafts people, can be seen at Chapter Two, Rosemary and Garry Levin’s’ gallery in Corea. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from late May to mid-October and at other times “by appointment or accident.” 

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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