I was a recipient of a Traveling Fellowship award from the School of Fine Arts, Boston. I spent three weeks exploring Istanbul by foot and by boat. Then I visited the Turkish countryside to see the cave churches and monasteries of Cappadocia and Rumi’s tomb and the whirling dervishes in Konya. Finally, I had my first experience of Jerusalem and its many religious sites. These experiences inspired me to start a body of work about prayer. The prayer rugs invite bowing, kneeling, and reading embroidered calligraphy, which are active and communal expressions I encountered. They resonate with my long interest in the sacred.