Current Issue / DU Alumni

Local music scene inspires rug artist Merry DeBoer

Rugs can be much more than just floor coverings. Some, like those designed by Merry DeBoer, are true works of art.

DeBoer, BA history ’69, has been designing artistic area rugs for 30 years. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, DeBoer worked as a dance and reading  therapist at a school for children with brain damage. But she wanted a different career. “I’d always been interested in art and this was the time to pursue it,” DeBoer says. So in 1971 she received a master’s degree in fine arts from the Instituto Allende at the University of Guanajuato in Mexico.

Several years ago, DeBoer became interested in gicleé, a process that uses a computerized print machine to spray small pinpoints of ink at a very high speed onto canvas or paper stretched over a rotating drum, creating a digitized image.

DeBoer says that art has enabled her to express the themes and mysteries of life, and her inspirations come from music, science and the Bible.

The Denver music scene inspires most of her rugs; she’s created a collection of 1,000 drawings and gicleé prints, and from those created 12 rug designs.

Deboer explains that her rug designs cannot be as complex as her paintings. “When it comes to a rug, you have to simplify the work,” she says, noting that each handmade rug takes about three weeks to complete. She signs and numbers each of her rugs, which are made to order.

DeBoer’s area rugs are on exhibit at several local galleries, including the Reed Photo Art Gallery. “I think my rug designs and art help people feel encouraged about their life,” DeBoer says.


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