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A Manitoba artist is sharing the history of Mennonite floor patterns in an exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and in a new book.

Margruite Krahn says she found well-preserved floor patterns while restoring a house barn in 2001 for the Neubergthal Heritage Foundation.

"I was just -- what do you think -- I started photographing it and the wheels in my head started turning and, 'how am I going to document this and preserve this?'"

Krahn says she did preserve the original floors, but she also wanted to share her discovery.

Krahn has now documented more than 30 patterns. She's also made several of her own pieces, which can be seen at the Winnipeg Art Gallery until this Sunday. Her book, Resurfacing: Mennonite Floor Patterns, A Field Journal, is being launched Friday evening at the WAG.

"I'm very interested in history and art history, and as a Mennonite, first of all I want people to see what our own people do, that we're not perhaps this austere black and white that our own people think; many Mennonites think that we are, when in fact, no, art and creativity has been an important part of our culture."

Krahn says typically the women would've painted these floors in the winter, but this past fall she discovered it wasn't exclusively women; Krahn believes some of the floors she's seen were painted by one of Neubergthal's founders, Peter Klippenstein.

"I'm pretty confident that Peter Klippenstein painted a number of these floors, and as it turned out, one of the houses where I noticed a similar pattern, that was his daughter."

Krahn is hoping her work will show the creative background of the Mennonite people. She hopes her book will encourage others to go on their own journeys of discovery.