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The Mayors of St. Augustine and Aviles and members of the St. Augustine City Commission stand in front of the original tapestry presented to Aviles on August 23. Seen following the ceremony in the Aviles Town Hall are (from left to right) Commissioner Errol Jones, St. Augustine Mayor George Gardner, Aviles Mayor Santiago Rodriguez Vega, Commissioner William Lennon and Vice Mayor Susan Burk.
Whether under the rules of protocol or just good manners, it's always a good idea to take a gift when visiting friends. Such was the case when an official delegation of St. Augustine officials visited the City of Aviles, Spain in late August and, during the visit, offered a truly one-of-a kind gift: an original tapestry, created by members of the Textile Guild of St. Augustine.
In a ceremony held in the Edificio del Ayuntamiento, Aviles' City Hall, on Saturday, August 23, Mayor of St. Augustine George Gardner, joined by Vice Mayor Susan Burk and Commissioners, William Lennon and Errol Jones, made the presentation to Aviles Mayor Santiago Rodriguez Vega and members of the Aviles City Council.
The tapestry had been presented to the City of St. Augustine on July 16, in a ceremony hosted by the St. Augustine Sister City Association and held at Government House. It was then that the Textile Art Guild under the leadership of President Paula Koza and founder Nancy Garrard, officially presented the tapestry to the City for presentation to the City of Aviles.
The 8-foot by 6-foot tapestry is comprised of individual panels each created by a member of the guild. Each panel is unique in its depiction of some aspect of St. Augustine, including some of the city's landmarks, and is unique in the way in which it was made, including, crocheted, knitted and embroidered.
The presentation of original art as an official city-to-city gift continues a tradition started two years ago when the city’s delegation presented an original painting as a gift. Created by St. Augustine artist Jean Light Willis, Aviles Street in August, now hangs in the City of Aviles' City Hall.
While the final display space for the tapestry has not yet been determined, one of the locations being considered is the Aviles' newly opened Municipal Center of Art and Exhibitions. The center's director, Ramon Rodriguez, is the director of city’s Municipal School of Ceramics and coordinated the assembly of the Menendez mural, located in the Government House West Garden, presented to St. Augustine in February, 2002.
Related information appearing in The St. Augustine Record