Community

Gail Horton’s art depicts local stories and landscapes

Stirling Historical Society of Greenport unveiled an exhibit of longtime village resident Gail Horton’s hooked rugs, depicting personal and local history, at the Red School House with an opening reception Friday.

Ms. Horton is a well-known figure in the area — she has been a village trustee, deputy mayor and past president of Stirling Historical Society. Many of her hooked rugs depict local scenery and stories from family and other area residents, such as a scene of Wednesday night boat races in Greenport and a historic family home on First Street in the village.

“My sister grew up in Southold, that’s where she raised all her deviltry, but she married a Greenport man and she’s done a lot over the years for the village, with the park and the carousel and different things,” said Peggy Murphy, Ms. Horton’s sister and one of the exhibit’s organizers. “I thought the idea of an exhibit honoring her would be an appropriate thing.”

Ann Heller and Carole Monsell from the historical society also played significant roles in organizing the exhibit.

Ms. Horton has hooked rugs since the early 1980s and sold pieces to private collections throughout the United States and Europe. For her, the craft is a medium to tell stories.

“There’s a lot of tradition in the hooking. I don’t think of myself as really a traditional person, but I love traditions like that, and the storytelling,” she said, adding, “There’s a rich history here and so many stories. I lucked out when I moved to Greenport because there were so many wonderful storytellers — it was just amazing, they’d stop you on the street and tell you a story about this or that. And some of them … appeared in my rugs.”

The exhibit will run between 1 and 4 p.m. on weekends through the end of October.

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