Some of the willow baskets that Katherine Lewis handcrafted this past year. Many of these baskets were commissioned work. Enjoy the slideshow.
Exploring Baskets is a show of work by members of the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild exhibited in Anacortes, WA from December 3, 2010 to January 29, 2011. There are over 60 pieces by 22 guild members and the show’s two jurors Lanny Bergner and Danielle Bodine. Several of the artists are nationally known for their work in contemporary basketry.
Katherine was excited when an Anacortes gallery asked her about a possible show with the NWBW Guild. She never thought it would be a “piece of cake”, but it’s not easy to imagine all the hours of work that will be needed to organize a group exhibit. There is getting the info out to the members, collecting applications, formatting the images and descriptions for the jury, lining up the jurors, notifying all the applicants of the decisions, printing postcards, press releases, printing the identification labels for the work, inventory sheets for the gallery, artist name tags, artist statements, making cards to promote the organization, receiving work, transporting it all to the gallery, wrangling pedestals and display cases, finally arranging the art in the gallery, staffing the opening weekend, organizing basket day classes, tracking the event budget, not to mention staffing the gallery on Saturdays because the gallery has cut back on hours due to budget cuts.
But the rewards came when the show was up, and the exhibit opened on Friday. Guild members showed up to view their own work and that of weavers they know and admire. The Anacortes First Friday Art Walk always brings out a crowd, and locals were visibly impressed with the quality and diversity of the art and craft.
Thanks go to quite a few people for volunteering their efforts to the exhibit. Katherine Lewis and Kay Ogren were the primary organizers, but they had great help from Mary Irvine, Dorothy McGuinness, Alex Keggan, Heidi Brewer-Peters, Carolyn Swain, Dianne Corso, Lanny Bergner, Claudia Mullek, Sharle Osborne and Jan Smith. The artists all paid a small application fee to enter the show, but the NWBW Guild is still contributing funds to put on the event and receives no part of the gallery commissions on sales. Katherine has certainly received quite a few appreciative comments since the opening, and she wants everyone in the Guild to share in the success.
Artists included in the show are Sally Anaya, Mary Auld, Lanny Bergner,Danielle Bodine,Heidi Brewer-Peters, David Chambers, Deb Curtis, Jill Green, Mary Irvine, Marcy Johnson, Sharon Kita, Vicki Lash, Katherine Lewis, Dorothy McGuinness, Marilyn Moore, Claudia Mullek, Sharle Osborne, Carolyn Reznikoff, Bill Roeder, Polly Sutton, Elaine Twogood, Melinda West, Sheila Wray and Judy Zugish. Katherine has four baskets in the juried exhibit. Her work is certainly the most functional form represented in this show. (Three of her baskets are in the above photos. Don’t worry, you can see other people’s work in the slideshow below!)
Another reward of all the work was seeing new people interested in the craft give it a try. The opening weekend also included a ‘Holiday Basket Day’ on Saturday. Members of the guild taught some hands on basketry with activities available for children and adults. Teachers included Sheila Wray, Elaine Twogood, Kay Harradine, Mary Auld and Karen Samdahl. It was especially fun to watch a couple of the children weave so well that they finished very nice baskets before their adult companions did.
Katherine was happy to demonstrate her willow basketry work for gallery visitors. People are always amazed at her ability to weave slender willow withies with a few hand tools into a beautiful, functional basket.
With the show up for nearly two months, there is plenty of opportunity to see this outstanding display. The gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday: 12:30-5:00, Saturday: 1:00-4:00. All the work is for sale, and there are additional baskets for sale by the same artists in a non-juried area. I uploaded photos from the opening weekend to our Flickr.com account. There are plenty of views of most of the baskets in the exhibit. Enjoy a slideshow:
News from Dunbar Gardens November 2010
Art’s Alive! 2010 at Maple Hall in La Conner, WA, November 5-7. Annual celebration of local arts in the nearby town of La Conner. Katherine will have a basket in the open show.
Adornment, a wearable art show at Gallery Cygnus, November 12-December 24, 109 Commercial Street, La Conner. Gem of a gallery in La Conner. Katherine will have one of her willow purses in this show.
Pleasant Ridge Gallery at Rexville: November 19-22, at the Rexville Grange, 19299 Rexville Grange Road (1 block from the Rexville Grocery) Annual arts & crafts show featuring ceramics, glass, painting, photography, woodwork, and basketry. Opening night, Friday, Nov. 19 will have a party with Celtic music by Campbell Road.
Exploring Baskets: A juried show and sale of work by members of the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild: December 3, 2010 – January 29, 2011, Anacortes, WA. Katherine is involved in organizing this show and expects an outstanding and very diverse exhibit. Members’ work was juried by artists Lanny Bergner and Danielle Bodine.
Katherine has four baskets chosen for the exhibit. The opening will be Friday, Dec. 3 from 6 – 9pm as part of the First Friday Art Walk in Anacortes. On Saturday, December 4 there will be a “holiday themed” Basket Day with classes and demonstrations in conjunction with the show.
Willow Basketmaking Classes with Katherine Lewis
Classes are two days, from 9am to 5pm. Everyone will leave with a finished basket. Class size is limited to 10. Cost is $175 per student which includes materials. We provide tea and coffee. Class will be held at the McLean Road Fire Hall meeting room just down the road from Dunbar Gardens.
January 29-30 (Saturday-Sunday): Oval laundry or garden basket
Two very useful baskets and a good introduction to oval work in willow. Both of these oval projects start with the same base, using twining and chase weaves. The sides of the basket include a sturdy 4 rod base wale with step up to three rod wale. Both baskets have side weave of French randing, but the laundry basket is taller and straighter where the garden basket flares out. The laundry is finished with a raised end for inset handles; the garden basket has a sturdy handle wrapped with slender willows. Some previous work with willow is suggested, but beginners could also make a gathering basket. There is a registration form on our website.
March 16-20: Northwest Basket Weavers Annual Retreat
Katherine will be teaching a two day class at the retreat this year. The ‘willow rope coil bowl’ will be the project. She is also scheduled to teach a short evening workshop on leather braided handles. See the NWBW website for details and registration.
Katherine’s willow basket “Harvesting the Skagit” was awarded Grand Champion of the 2010 Puyallup Fair in the professional basketry category of the Home Arts competitive exhibits. The Puyallup Fair (officially the Western Washington Fair) draws over a million visitors every year and is the largest attraction held annually in Washington State. Katherine originally made this basket for an exhibit called “Paint Me a River!” that was staged by the Skagit Historical Museum last winter. Katherine is pleased to receive this award for the second year. She also won the 2009 Grand Champion ribbon at the Fair for the basket “Nana Queen”. You can see photos of both the baskets online at Puyallup Fair Grand Champion.
Farmstand: We still have a selection of garden fresh produce for sale Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 10-5. You can stop by any day of the week if you want to look at the willow baskets we have on hand.
Facebook: Dunbar Gardens has a Facebook page. We post photos of Katherine’s latest baskets, commissions, and photos of the farm as well as other links of interest for willow basketry.
Katherine & Steve
The 2010 Anacortes Arts Festival starts with the Arts at the Port opening Friday, July 30, 5:30-8:00 pm. Katherine is excited to have four baskets chosen for the open juried show entitled “Next”. Juried by Esther Luttikhuizen, the exhibit showcases work from 32 artists each displaying 3 to 5 pieces. The exhibit includes painting, photography, sculpture, and fine crafts from Northwest artists. The opening Friday evening will be the first chance to see the work and meet the artists as well as enjoy food, wine, and entertainment in a great venue on the waterfront. Katherine plans on attending. You can see a slide show of all the work in the exhibit on the Anacortes Arts Festival website.
These are the four baskets by Katherine Lewis to be exhibited at the Arts at the Port show.