The exhibition showcases about 200 baskets from around the world, a fraction of the baskets that collector Nancy Schermer gathered during her world travels. The exhibition offers exuberant color and toothy texture. Part of the appeal is the diversity, ranging from Crayola-colorful telephone wire baskets created by the Zulu people of South Africa, to subtle brown and ivory split ash and sweet grass baskets fashioned by artists in American's Appalachia.
The baskets range widely in size. Miniature baskets from the Darien rainforest in Panama are so tiny and tightly-woven that a hummingbird could sip from them. An Ethiopian ritual basket is so large that a small child could hide under it. Many baskets have intensely beautiful geographic patterns, but the pictorial baskets may steal the show. Macaws, parrots, and monkeys pose on baskets made by the Embera and Wounaan peoples of the Darien Rainforest of Panama. Butterflies and ponies move in a circle around the face of flat Hopi baskets. Butterflies, beetles, and snakes crowd each other uneasily on a Zulu basket. This dazzling exhibition is up through September 9, 2012.
We are pleased that our marketing partner for this exhibition is The Grand Hand Gallery, a store in St. Paul specializing in hand-made objects that span the bridge between craft and art. The Grand Hand's owner, Ann Ruhr Pifer, just opened a collaborative exhibition, American Baskets: from Traditional to Contemporary, from Coast to Coast. It features the work of six basket artists: Tari Kerss, Martha Monson Lowe, Sharon Meyer Postance, Ann Hall Richards, Linda Sorem, and Tressa Sularz (through July 8 at The Grand Hand, 618 Grand Avenue, St. Paul; thegrandhand.com). See our joint ad in the June/July issue of American Craft, magazine of the American Craft Council.
Kathleen Campbell, GMD
Top left: A subtly-colored Appalachian basket
Bottom left: Pictorial basket by the Zulu people of South Africa
Bottom right: Pictorial basket by the Embera-Wounaan people of the Darien Rainforest in Panama