NBO exhibit at The Bascom

fitched willow market basket

Katherine was recently invited to send some of her work to an exhibit of National Basketry Organization members at The Bascom, a non-profit center for the visual arts in Highlands, North Carolina. The Bascom art center is located on 6 acres of beautiful pastoral land with buildings that encompass museum quality galleries and art studios for instruction. Artistic Director Kaye Gorecki worked with NBO President Michael Davis to select a few basketmakers to showcase in a small exhibit June 12-July 18. Katherine was honored to be chosen along side some outstanding artists that included  Jackie Abrams, JoAnn Kelly Catsos, JoAnn Russo, Donya Stockton, and Pamela Zimmerman.

An exhibit of contemporary basketmakers should be a nice compliment to another work at The Bascom. Beginning June 2, sculptor  Patrick Dougherty is constructing a site specific work on The Bascom grounds. He has made his unique structures all over the world. Katherine had the opportunity to volunteer a couple of days on a work he made in Lynden, Washington a few years ago.willow basket purse by Katherine Lewis

Katherine only had a week’s notice to decide what to send. Unfortunately there was no time to make anything specifically for the exhibit, so she picked out these two baskets to send. The oval market basket or “panier á jour” is woven primarily with our farm “‘brown” (with bark) willow and “buff” (peeled) willow for the fitching. It is a traditional French design, but woven with the “browns” rather than all peeled. The small square purse is an original design woven from willow with a braided leather strap. Katherine hopes viewers will appreciate these functional forms of contemporary basketry.

Post Script: Well there are good experiences and there are learning experiences…

crushed box

This is how our box looked when it returned from the exhibit. The Bascom sent it back by UPS ground. When we opened the box we saw that the ‘panier á jour’ had been packed incorrectly – upright instead of sideways and without the cardboard baffles like when we shipped it by FedEx. The Bascom’s exhibitions registrar replied to our complaint “I want to assure you that it was not done through carelessness.” Really? It seemed like a double dose of carelessness from the packer and UPS. And we end up with a basket that is decidedly tweaked in shape.
Most of our boxes only go one way – direct to the customer and we’ve never had a basket damaged in shipping. I guess we should have been reading the helpful info over on Ask Harriete about packing your artwork for delivery to and return from exhibits. Chalk it up as a learning experience.