An exhibit of baskets from around the world, both utilitarian and art objects, will be on display in USM’s Art Gallery on the Gorham campus from Thursday, January 27, through Saturday, March 12. The exhibit is curated by basket artist, educator, and curator Carol Grant Hart of Salisbury, Conn. and Art Gallery Director Carolyn Eyler. The Gallery is open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturday. The Gallery will be closed for school break, February 22-26.
There will be an opening reception for the exhibit from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, January 27, at which Carol Grant Hart will give a gallery talk at 6 p.m. Many of the baskets are from Hart’s own collection, and others are on loan from individual artists and browngrotta arts, known for its representation of contemporary fiber artists.
The exhibit features four basic basket-making techniques: plaiting, twining, wicker, and coiling. The baskets demonstrate a variety of motivations for their creation–ranging from economic survival and the preservation of cultural traditions to basket making as an art form. The baskets in Hart’s collection come from the Americas, China, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, the British Isles, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India. The exhibit includes a selection of Maine baskets with pieces by Theresa Secord (USM class of ’81) and others from the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, and by Stephan Zeh.
Contemporary basketry art is represented by Maine artist Lissa Hunter and other U.S. artists Jonathan Kline, Nancy Moore Bess, Judy Mulford, Dorothy Gill Barnes, Karyl Sisson, and Gy?ngy Laky. International artists include Anda Klancic, Slovenia; Jiro Yonezawa and Norie Hatakeyama, Japan; Dawn MacNutt, Canada; and Markku Kosonen, Finland.
The exhibit will conclude with a daylong symposium on Saturday, March 12, with events occurring in the Art Gallery and Bailey Hall in Gorham. During the day there will be basket sales and demonstrations from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. during which Native American cuisine will be available for sale in Bailey Hall. Carol Grant Hart will give a tour of the Art Gallery exhibit from 12:30-1:30 p.m. The symposium continues from 2-4 p.m. with speakers: artist Lissa Hunter; Theresa Secord (USM Class of ’81) of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance; Nathan Hamilton, basket collector and USM anthropology professor; and Tom Grotta of browngrotta arts. A reception will follow in the Art Gallery from 4-5 p.m.