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Baskets & Gourds Exhibition 2014

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Baskets & Gourds Exhibition 2014

  1. 1. 1 Containers of Our Culture 2014 Baskets & Gourds: ARTS VISALIA Visual Art
  2. 2. 3 INTRODUCTION Baskets & Gourds: Containers of Our Culture 2014 A reoccurring discussion among artists revolves around the relevance of histori- cal, traditional art forms in our twenty-first century digital culture. Why would one choose to make things by hand, using old ways and natural materials, when one could use modern technology to create that thing more quickly and for less cost? This discussion arises anew with each new generation, with each new technological development. Old methods seem outdated and irrelevant while new tools and technologies are the wave of the future. Often, it seems, artists become the few among us who continue to practice us- ing old ways of making things. Today, museums are repositories for all manner of aesthetically compelling objects, whether functional or non-functional, purely decorative or intellectually-based expression. While new art forms seem to arise with each generation and we renew again the debate as to what constitutes a work of art, we, too, continue to feel a pull toward the handcrafted object. We still seek to fill the spaces in which we live with beauty. In the latest exhibition at Arts Visalia, we approach this subject once again as we present a fascinating display of artworks created by artists whose primary practice revolves around the making of containers, bowls, baskets and other vessels, from natural fibers and gourds. Not only are these traditional art forms, they are, in fact, ancient practices utilized by cultures throughout human history. Yet today artists continue to find inspiration in these old methods and in doing so, remind us all of our own history and why we treasure each and every connection we have to our memory of old ways, knowledge and culture . For the third time in five years, Arts Visalia is proud to partner with the local Tu- lare-Sequoia Gourd Patch in presenting Baskets and Gourds: Containers of Our Culture 2014, an exhibition of gourd art and basket-weaving. The exhibition serves as an extension of a weekend of workshops and presentations to be held here in Visalia over the last weekend of April as gourd art and basket artists from throughout California and, in fact, throughout the United States, will be descend- ing upon Visalia in order to study the techniques of these contemporary masters of gourd art and basketry. Remarkable craftsmanship is one hallmark of the works in the exhibition, while reverence to these traditional art forms is another defining characteristic present in the works. Yet, while the artists clearly demonstrate a passion for the ancient traditions represented by the methods they employ, it is clear that these artists continue to adapt new materials and contemporary aesthetic concerns to their work. As the title of the conference and the exhibition may suggest, the artworks on display are rooted in baskets and gourds, utilitarian objects plain and simple. Traditionally speaking, such objects may well have been ornamented and pat- terned for decorative purposes, but the objects were made for functional pur- poses, to contain, to store things. Today’s artists have expanded the scope of their work by making non-functional, purely sculptural works as well as by em- ploying new, modern materials into their working process. In addition to local artists and conference organizers Toni Best, Sam McKinney and Linda Victory, artists with work in the exhibition come from throughout Cali- fornia addition to others from Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Nevada and Washington. The list of artists includes some of the most widely recognized practitioners of these traditional art forms in the country and we are excited to share their work with the community. by Kevin Bowman TABLE OF CONTENTS 4 Introduction by Kevin Bowman 5 6 Artists 13 The Exhibition 47 Acknowledgments 2
  3. 3. THE ARTISTS 5 Baskets and Gourds – Containers of our Culture was born in 1997 when gourders and weavers in the central valley saw a need for a local conference. Carol Rookstool, who was then President of the California Gourd Society, thought that the name was appropriate since both baskets and gourds have been utilized as containers of every culture. The first two conferences were organized by Toni Best and held at College of the Sequoias with teachers from around the state in 1997 and 1998. The COS Art Gal- lery hosted a show featuring the pieces participants had created. In 2010, the conference was revived by Toni and a group of six people who were interested in making this conference a success. New sites were explored and the Elks Lodge was chosen for its terrific space – both indoors and outside. Teachers came from all over the country. Ginger Summit, a noted gourd artist and author, and Sue Coleman, a Washoe Native American and renown basket maker, were chosen as Keynote Speakers. With support from the California Gourd Society, Handweavers of the Valley, and an Art Grant from the city of Visalia, the new improved conference opened on a Friday night with a reception at Arts Visalia for a show of teachers’ works. Classes were held on Saturday and Sunday, while vendors were on the lawn in front of the Elks Lodge. A Teachers’ Market Place, Silent Auction, and dinner with the Keynote Speakers all made for a memorable Saturday evening. In 2012, Don Weeke, a gifted gourd artist and teacher, was the Keynote Speaker at the Saturday night dinner. Teachers came from Washington, Iowa, Arizona, Georgia, and California. Participants from several states were able to take part in the variety of unique classes on Saturday and Sunday. The three day event again started with the reception at Arts Visalia. In 2014, with a committee of ten members, the conference is trying to expand its horizons. This year, ten scholarships are being given to deserving local students. Flo Hoppe, well-known basket maker and author of several books, will be Satur- day night’s Keynote Speaker at dinner. Lunches and dinner will be catered by Sierra Subs and Salads, of Three Rivers. The opening of the show at Arts Visalia on First Friday (April 4) and a second reception to open the conference (April 25) give local residents as well as conference participants the opportunity to see the unique creations of the teachers. Thanks to Arts Visalia and the Visalia Arts Consortium for supporting this wonderful event! 4 STATEMENT AREA
  4. 4. Lanny Bergner is a national/ international mixed-media sculptor and installation artist known for his work as a fiber and sculptural basketry artist. The ethereal quality of Bergner’s work is in contrast to the mundane materials he uses to construct them. They are created using industrially woven bronze, brass, aluminum and stainless steel mesh, silicone, wire and glass frit. Using only a linesman pliers and cutting shear, he employs inventive yet simple joining techniques to transform mesh into semi-transparent chambers, vessels and angular constructions that play with light and overlapping patterns. The forms are made without the use of an armature and their structural integrity is determined by the method of construction. In his most recent works he employs pyrography techniques to burn patterning/drawings into stainless steel mesh. Bergner’s works reference vessel forms, architecture, plant biology, microorganisms, cosmology, undersea forms and the human body. They engage the viewer with glimpses into a world where nature and industry coalesce and they celebrate the mystery and wonder of it all. Born in Anacortes, Washington, in 1952, he received his BFA in sculpture from the University of Washington in 1981 and his MFA in sculpture from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in 1983. His work is in numerous museum collections including the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle; Museum of Art and Design, New York; Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachesetts and The Central Museum of Textile, Łódź, Poland. In 1995 he won the Betty Bowen Memorial Award, administered by the Seattle Art Museum. In 2005 he won a Gold Prize at the Cheongju International Craft Biennale in Cheongju, Korea and was invited to create an installation “Between Earth and Sky” at the 2007 Cheongju International Craft Biennale. In 2010 he was one of five American artists who exhibited in the prestigious 13th International Triennial of Tapestry in Łódź, Poland. His work was recently included in the book “Fiber Art Today,” a survey of contemporary international fiber artists, published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. Bergner maintains a studio near Anacortes, Washington. Lanny Bergner Anacortes, WA Toni Best has been creating baskets for over 50 years. Starting with reed, she now specializes in pine needle coiling, and coiling on gourds, while showing the influence of Native American styles and her own imagination. Presently, she exhibits at shows around the state, and teaches classes at her studio. Recently branching out and exploring greater use of color and design, Toni expanded from more conservative art, to one illustrating greater freedom. She is a mem- ber of Handweavers of the Valley, Misti Washington Gourd and Basket Guild, Bay Area Basket Makers, and the california Gourd Society. Her work is featured on her website: www.tonibest.com Toni Best Visalia, California 7
  5. 5. Kristy Dial was born and raised in Tucson, AZ and majored in art at the University of Arizona. She moved to San Diego, CA and worked in the printing industry for twenty years. Kristy and her husband retired in Minden, Nevada in the summer of 2012. They love the people, fly fishing, hiking and the beauty of the area. Kristy fell in love with gourds almost 20 years ago because of the artistic opportunities; she saw the gourd as a gift from nature and a wonderfully unique canvas for the artist. Kristy and her family have explored countless rock art sites, attended Pow Wows and visited Pueblos of the Southwest in order to enhance her art. Kristy strives to honor the gourd and to celebrate the Native American culture in each piece. “I draw inspiration from the art of the Native Americans. My work has evolved over the years to incorporate several techniques. In addition to introducing torching as a technique used on gourds, I am also excited about integrating embossed copper and patinas into my work.” In addition to doing art shows, Kristy also teaches several different gourd classes in California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, and Texas. “Teaching others how to create using gourds as their “canvas” is very rewarding to me. Most classes that I teach provide the basic knowledge to inspire my students to pursue their own vision and my students love going home with a finished piece that they created”. Kristy’s gourds have won several awards and can be found in galleries in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. Kristy Dial Minden, NV Janet K. Bonnell has been creating coiled art since 2002. Having tried a small project she decided that this would be her niche. With the lack of any sort of professional classes or training in her area her education consisted of the purchase of one reference book and self teaching. Her pieces are created from southern longleaf pine needles, sweetgrass, sedge, rush and horsehair. All core materials with the exception of the horsehair are handpicked by herself and her husband, Pat. Everything used in the creation of an art piece is handcrafted. Bonnell has been affiliated with the Sault Area Arts Council located in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan since 2004. She has participated in the Sault Area Fine Arts Festival and has been awarded “Best in Craft” in the years 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2012. The “Aarre Lahiti Design Award” in 2009, and “Best in Show” in 2013. She has also received the “Best in Craft” award at the Cheboygan Fine Arts Fair in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and second place in the Fine Arts Category at Art on the Rocks in Marquette, Michigan, her work has been exhibited at the Tawas Bay Fine Arts Show, where she received second place in the Fiber Category in 2006. Bonnell belongs to the National Basketry Organization, the Hand Weavers guild of America, Artistic Weavers and Fiber Artists of Sun city Arizona, the Wild West Basket Guild of Sedona Arizona, and the Mountain Weavers and Spinners of Prescott Arizona. Her work is represent- ed by Ward & Eis Gallery in Petoskey Michigan, Alberta House Gallery in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, Three Pines Sudio in Cross Village Michigan, Studio 41 in Copper Harbor, Michigan, the Les Cheneaux Historical Museum Gift Shop in Cedarville, Michigan, and the Kachina House Gallery in Sedona, Arizona. Janet K. Bonnell Sault Ste Marie, Michigan 98
  6. 6. Audrey Fontaine has been a multi-media artist since she was eight years old, and in 1983 received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Studio Art with a Ceramic Specialization from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT. In 1989 she was awarded a two-year Fellowship from Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina. That opportunity allowed her to study under dozens of internationally renowned instructors. She has experimented with about 25 different craft media including gourds, clay, jewelry and metalworking, wood, fiber, leather, polymer, precious metal clay, mixed-media sculpture and driftwood art. Natural elements and found objects often make their way into her work, which tends to be earthy by design. Each piece is one of a kind, and the creativity flows through her hands from a deeper source. Detailed patterns adorn her vessels, whereas her abstract non-functional forms allow the viewer to develop their own interpretation. She has received mul- tiple awards, been represented by galleries nationwide for over 30 years, and has taught a variety of crafts to both adults and children. She relocated from Connecticut to the Monterey, California area in 2003, and is finding much cre- ative inspiration there. Audrey Fontaine Monterey, Calfiornia Vickie has been teaching pine needle coiling for 9 years from her home class- room, with gourd patches around the country, senior centers, welburns gourd festival, and wuertz gourd festival. Vickie also teachers at gourdstock and is one of the volunteer organizers of this gourd festival. Vickie likes to incoporate natu- ral materials into her gourd baskets. She is a memeber of the San Diego county Gourd Patch and the Misti Washington Gourd & Basket Guild. She is a CGS mem- ber and an AGS cerified judge. Vickie Elchols Winchester, CA 43 1110
  7. 7. Raised on the Navajo reservation in northern Arizona as a child, Miriam Joy learned from a very early age to appreciate the craftsmanship of the Native Ameri- can people. While her father taught at the govern- ment Indian boarding schools , each day became an adventure for Miriam Joy. She moved back to Arizona a few years ago where she was in- fluenced again by the big bellowing flat bottom clouds, the turquoise jew- elry, the red clay moun- tains and the most beautiful sunsets in the world. “I knew that I had come home”. Inspired by color, Miriam Joy have developed a new wax technique using Crayola© crayons and has been developing it for many years. Her tag line is “let me add a little color to your life”. After all these years she is still learning new things about wax. Miriam Joy has several methods of apply the wax such as the Wax Design Technique and Twice Melted Wax Technique. Miriam Joy also developed a line of wax tools and craft templates to use on gourds and crafts. Visit her website at www.miriamjoy.com Miriam Joy is a Professional Artist, Author, Public Speaker, Entrepreneur and Inventor. Miriam Joy often describes herself as being a very blessed person who will continue to ‘Create and Share’ her works of art with all who seek to be artists too. Today Miriam Joy also has taken her creative talents to the digital media world filming over (275) YouTube videos and more will con- tinue to be filmed as with each day a new creative idea is born within Miriam Joy. The digital media platform allows Miriam Joy to reach more people thus sharing her creative designs and projects. Follow her on Facebook were she posts a “Daily Gourd” at “Miriam Joy Gourd Creations”. To see more of Miriam Joy’s artwork visit her website at www.miriamjoy.com Miriam Joy Prescott, Arizona Flo Hoppe is a full-time studio artist, teacher, and author. She began her career in 1971 teaching herself basketmaking from a small booklet published in 1924. Her emphasis is on wicker basketry and Japanese basketry. She lived in Japan from 1968-1971, and on a return trip to Japan in 1994 studied with two master basketmakers. Her published books are entitled “Wicker Basketry” and “Con- temporary Wicker Basketry”. She has also co-authored “Plaiting with Birch Bark” with Vladimir Yarish and Jim Widess. She teaches and exhibits worldwide, with teaching venues in England, Canada, Japan, Russia, and Australia. Flo Hoppe Somewhere!? 1312
  8. 8. Sue Kamin LOCATION I combine the art of basketry with the beauty of what can be created from the vegetation in San Diego County. I found my “Art” in the fall of 1976 in Misti Wash- ington’s natural basketry class. We learned different techniques using different materials. I learned the techniques of basket weavers from Appalachia to the Southwest. Starting in 1981, I had the opportunity to enter some of my baskets in basket shows across the country .Many of them got in and some of them won awards and prizes. In the summer of 1983, I took a Tohono O’odham Basket class with Frances Man- uel, a well known Native American, at Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts. We learned how to make traditional yucca and bear grass baskets, while sitting un- der giant pine trees. When I returned home, I transferred all the techniques I had learned to my pine needle and raffia baskets. I now combine the techniques I learned in the late Misti Washington’s and the late Frances Manuel’s classes. In addition to making baskets, I enjoy teaching this art to others. I’ve taught class- es across the country from San Diego to Vermont As I have learned to look at trees and plants with different eyes, I hope to share this wonder with my students. 1514
  9. 9. Marilyn’s first love is basketry, and basketry related jewelry. Since 1979, she has taught for guilds, conferences, conventions and craft schools around the coun- try and has written numerous articles and been featured in many publications. She lives and works in Seattle, Washington. Her most recent work is focused on working with wire in new and unique ways. Marilyn Moore Seattle, Washington Cass has been weaving Bark Baskets since 1981 and teaching since 1985. The unique aspect of Cass’ basketry is that she gathers and prepares all of the materials she weaves and teaches with. Formerly form the state of Michigan. Her materials are Birch Bark, Eastern White Cedar, Basswood, Elm, and numer- ous pine barks. Her gratification is creating legacies to these trees by using the bark which would have been discarded when the trees were harvested for their wood. Cass co-Authored the book “Natural Baskets” in 1992. She has been published in the Crafts Report and Fiberarts Magazines. Her work is features in “Baskets Now, 2002” and “500 Baskets”, 2066. In 2005 she was chosen for a solo exhibit at the Borston Arts & Crafts Society, where some of her work went on to Switzer- land. Just recently, she was published in “Plaited Basketry in Birch Bark” released in 2009 and in 2012, she was featured in “New & Different Materials for Weaving & Coiling”. Her work has been represented by the Gingrass Gallery at the SOFA Show in chicago, and 3 of her baskets are in the permanent collection at the Michigan State University Museum. After 30 years of teaching bark basketry, Cass has turned to fine woven jewelry. All those weaving skills are now being created in silver and copper. She cuts all her own rings for her chainmail jewelry, which is Silver Filled wire making it more affordable and more tarnish resistant. Her work can be seen at the Aurum Gallery in Jerome, AZ and the Art on the Town Gallery in Pentwater, MI. CASS SCHORSCH Clarkdale, Arizona 1716
  10. 10. Nadine Spier is an award-winning fiber artist and instructor. Her elaborately woven vessels and sculptures are displayed internationally in solo, invitational and juried shows. Using nature as inspiration, Nadine lovingly transforms fallen plant materials into beautiful and unique shapes. She considers basketweav- ing to be an important environmental art that nourishes the spirit and provides an intimate connection with nature. Nadine is committed to preserving this endangered art form and breaking new ground in contemporary basketry. She has an impressive record of exhibitions, commissions, and awards including the Handweavers’ Guild of America Award of Excellence, many First Places, Best of Show and Juror’s Choice. She lectures and teaches basketry throughout the U.S. and Canada. Her work has been published in over 20 periodicals and books. In 2002 Nadine was featured on the Discovery Channel. Nadine has also produced 3 basketry instructional DVD’s. Nadine Spier Encinitas, California Linda has been creating art on gourds since 2002. She has had one of her gourds featured on the cover of the “American Gourd Magazine” and one published in “Art Doll Quarterly”. Linda sells her work at local shows and events. Originally from Bakersfield, Linda has resided in Visalia since 1985. She enjoys family, friends, pets and home life. Linda Victory Visalia, California 1918
  11. 11. Jill Walker has been teaching gourd art for more than fifteen years in her watsonville studio and at various gourd festivals in California and other western States. She is in interested in basketry as well and continues to enjoy experimenting and learned new techinques. In her gourd work she combines carving, weaving, pyography, metal work and many other techniques. Her work is included in Making Gourd Dolls and Spirit Figures and Gourds and Fibers by Summit and Wideness. Jill Walker Watsonville, California Don has been making baskets and gourds for the past 30 years. His work included in the books: Completely Book of Gourd Craft, 500 Baskets, Making Gourd Dolls and Spirit Figures, and Gourd Pyography. Don Weeke Julian, California 2120
  12. 12. Judy Zugish began experimenting with cultivating fibers 33 years ago. As her notable fiber-arts garden grew, so, too, did her basketmaking, teaching and studio work develop maturity. Judy’s delight in the irregular kindles the creative in her students, and together they find hidden gardens of expression. Recent basketry studies (2011-2013) in Ireland, Denmark, and Germany have recharged her artistic battery so all cells are firing madly. The book 500 Baskets includes one of her sculptured willow bark pieces, and her gardens are featured in Landscaping with Herbs. Judy Zugish Marysville, Washington Jennifer Wool has had a love for creating three-dimensional artwork for thirty years. She started working in clay, and then moved to making baskets and gourds. Jennifer has taught basket and gourd workshops in her home studio, community adult and elementary schools, and Misti Washington Gourd and Basket Guild conference. One of her works was included in the newly published gourd weaving book, Gourds and Fiber, by Ginger Summit and Jim Widess. Jennifer Wool Mt. Hamilton, CA 2322
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  14. 14. Mission Statement: “The purpose of Arts Visalia is to develop, foster, and promote the arts as central to the quality of life in Visalia.” Arts Visalia was founded in 1994 as the vision of group of artists and art lovers dedicated to creating a permanent exhibition space for the visual arts in Visalia. Following recognition as a 501(c)(3)non-profit organization, the original Board of Directors began a capital campaign through which the organization was able to purchase the historic Golden Creamery building that is now our home. The vision became a reality when our doors officially opened in January 2001. Today, Arts Visalia has established itself as one of the premiere visual arts venue in the region. Our diverse exhibition schedule features the work of regional, national and internationally recognized artists, with an emphasis on supporting local talent. Our goal is to provide opportunities for artists at many different levels of experience to show and sell their work. Our adult and children’s educational activities grow year after year. Through a year round calendar of events, community members of all ages come together through Arts Visalia to express their creativity and be inspired by that of others. 26 27
  15. 15. Copyright 2014 by Arts Visalia. Exhibition Coordinator: Kevin Bowman Administrative Assistant: Lorene Mendoza Catalog Design: Lauren Stanger Proofreading: Marn Reich Exhibition Design: Kevin Bowman Exhibition Installation: Published By: Arts Visalia Visual Art Center 214 East Oak Avenue, Visalia, California, 93291 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This exhibition has been produced with the support of a grant from the City of Visalia’s Community Arts Grant program. Additional support for the exhibition was provided by the generous support of the following business partners: 28 29

Created the cover page and catalogue design.

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