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Zempel now calls this piece her "Homeland Security blanket"  (Source:  Zempel
Zempel now calls this piece her "Homeland Security blanket" (Source: Zempel

Adirondack artist's hour at the border brings fifteen minutes of fame

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A New York artist who spends much of each year in the Adirondack town of Keene is making national headlines. Not for her art, but because of an encounter last summer with Homeland Security agents. Jerilea Zempel was crossing into Maine after attending an exhibition in New Brunswick when she was detained for an hour at a border post. Zempel - who describes herself as a "radical" knitter - was questioned about sketches in her artist's notebook. Zempel's experience has since been featured in an Associated Press story, an article in the Plattsburgh newspaper - and on the popular comedy program, the "Colbert Report." She spoke about the experience with Brian Mann.

Postscript: Zempel is looking for a place to display her crocheted SUV cover here in the U.S. She said her "SUV cozy" is "custom made for a Hyundai Santa Fe," but in an email Zempel added, "because it stretches, I bet it would fit more villainous models like Lexuses."

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief


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