Rexville Grange Art Show

willow baskets by Katherine Lewis

Katherine Lewis willow baskets at the Rexville Grange Art Show

The Rexville Grange Art Show is an arts and crafts show held twice each year in the Skagit Valley. The show features some outstanding artisans working in wood, weaving, glass, pottery, painting, photography and jewelry. This year the November edition of the show is extended to two weekends – Nov. 14-16 and Nov. 22-23. The Grange Hall is located at 19299 Rexville Grange Road, just off Best Road a block from the Rexville Grocery.

Campbell Road, celtic musicThe opening was Friday evening November 14 with live music and refreshments. Campbell Road provided some lively Celtic tunes while folks mingled, met the artists and shopped. You can find images and website links to all the local artists on the show’s website here.


Katherine Lewis, willow basket maker

Katherine Lewis, willow basketmaker

Katherine had a fun time chatting with customers and friends. It is always gratifying to not only sell some work, but also hear the appreciative comments. Although she sold several of her willow baskets at the opening, there are still quite a few willow baskets for the coming weekend. Below is a gallery of some of the Katherine Lewis willow baskets available at the art show. Can’t make it to the show this weekend? You can always check our website to see the baskets in stock page or the willow basket gallery for info on what you can order.


Schack 19th Juried Art Show

Pi(e) willow basket by Katherine Lewis

Katherine was honored to have three of her baskets chosen for the 19th Juried Art Show at the Schack Art Center in Everett, WA. The show opened on June 19 and will end August 2. It is a biennial exhibit of Northwest artists in a wide variety of mediums. This year’s jurors were Jan Hopkins, Ken Rowe and Joan Pinney. You can view the complete list of artists and images of the work on the Schack website.

There are two basket makers in the show with Dorothy McGuinness in addition to Katherine. One of Dorothy’s pieces “Threshold” was awarded Second Place in 3D works. Katherine received an Honorable Mention for her basket “Pi(e)” seen in the image above. Of course, anyone involved with basketry or fiber arts will recognize the name of juror Jan Hopkins. It definitely adds to the honor of having work chosen for the show.

willow basket tray by Katherine Lewis

Katherine appreciates the opportunity to display her baskets in an art venue like the Schack. Since her work emphasizes the functional element, it is not often she gets her work juried into exhibits.

Katherine works almost exclusively with willow, but occasionally she experiments with other materials. The third basket in the show titled “Slingshot” has rubber strips used in the side weavers along with the willow base, stakes, border and handle. She uses a zig zag weave with the strips doubled up to get a different look inside and out.

Slingshot - willow and rubber basket by Katherine Lewis

We hope people have a chance to see the exhibit before it closes. Thanks again to the jurors, gallery director Carrie Collver and all the staff at the Schack.


Anacortes Best of the Fest 2014

Katherine Lewis baskets, Anacortes Best of the Fest, April 2014

Katherine Lewis willow baskets, Anacortes Best of the Fest April 4-12, 2014

The Anacortes Arts Festival introduces the new “Best of the Fest” art exhibition April 4-12, 2014. The new show is an official event of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, and features artwork from 25 of the artists that participate in the annual Anacortes Arts Festival (August 1-3, 2014). Katherine has participated in the ‘Experience Art’ area as well as the ‘Arts at the Port’ exhibitions at the festival several years. Thanks to Fine Art Coordinator Rita James for inviting Katherine to submit works to be juried for the exhibition. She will have four baskets on display. It is an outstanding group of artists and Katherine is looking forward to having her baskets along side work by friends and fellow artists like Ann Chadwick ReidKathleen Faulkner and Lanny Bergner.

Katherine Lewis basket woven from willow and rubber

Katherine Lewis basket woven from willow and rubber

The show will open on Friday April 4 from 5-9 pm as part of the Anacortes First Friday Art Walk. The exhibition will be open daily 11am – 4pm from April 5 through April 12 at The Depot Arts Center at 611 R Avenue in Anacortes, Washington.


Visit to the Cole-Ware Collection

Katherine Lewis at the open Renwick Gallery

Katherine Lewis at the open Renwick Gallery

Katherine traveled to the other Washington to visit “A Measure of the Earth: The Cole-Ware Collection of American Baskets” at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The first time we ran into the federal government shutdown. This time around the doors were open for visitors.

She was able to tour the exhibition with Steve Cole who collected all the baskets. Hearing Steve’s stories about finding the basketmakers and collecting the baskets was a real treat. They also visited with exhibition curator Nicholas Bell, and all three posed for a photo next to Katherine’s Irish Potato Basket which invites visitors in to view the baskets.

Steve Cole, Katherine Lewis, Nicholas Bell at Renwick Gallery

collector Steve Cole, basketmaker Katherine Lewis, curator Nicholas Bell at Renwick Gallery next to a Lewis willow basket.

Hands-on exhibit at the Renwick Gallery

Hands-on exhibit at the Renwick Gallery

Photos weren’t allowed in the exhibition but Katherine did take a photo of the “Hands-on gallery” from the adjacent museum gift store. You can see Katherine’s fitched willow market basket on the right end of the table. The baskets in the hands-on area are tethered to the tables with a cord, and visitors are encouraged to pick up the baskets to feel and view them in detail. Another nice surprise was seeing one of Steve’s photos of the Dunbar Gardens basket willows used in this area (on the far left in the photo).

Katherine has six willow baskets in the exhibition in addition to the “hands-on gallery” basket. Fortunately the Smithsonian American Art Museum posted a set of photos of the exhibition to their Flickr photo gallery. In this photo courtesy of the Smithsonian you can see four of Katherine’s baskets in a display with other willow baskets.

A Measure of the Earth: The Cole-Ware Collection of American Baskets

Katherine’s baskets are on the left: Red & White Panier à Jour, Zig Zag Shopper, Willow Bark Tray, and Bicycle Handlebar Basket. You can view our photos of all these baskets in a previous post. Another one of Katherine’s baskets is a willow rope coil weave basket that was given a featured position in the gallery as you can see in this photo courtesy of the Smithsonian. The Rope Coil is at the perfect height for viewing both the exterior and interior details. (However we were a little perplexed at the chosen background of a hay field, and wondered why they didn’t use one of the Dunbar Gardens willow photos used in the exhibition catalog to represent the landscape from which the basket is created.)

A Measure of the Earth: The Cole-Ware Collection of American Baskets

Katherine had a wonderful time in Washington, DC. Although she did visit other museums, she visited the Renwick all three days she was there. She saw Steve Cole there all three days as well; proof that he spends a lot of time sharing stories with not only the basketmakers but other visitors as well. Steve was kind enough to spend a little more time with Katherine and her friend and basket buddy Sharle who flew out from Washington for the weekend.

Renwick Gallery signKatherine is honored to have her work included in this wonderful display of American basketry. There are over 100 baskets by 63 basketmakers working with a variety of materials. If you are interested in baskets, the exhibition is definitely worth a visit. You can find more information and links at the Smithsonian website. It runs through December 8, 2013.