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Arts Visalia holds 7th annual Baskets and Gourds Show and Workshop Exhibition April 28-29

Arts Visalia holds 7th annual Baskets and Gourds Show and Workshop Exhibition April 28-29


VISALIA – Arts Visalia will open its biennial Baskets and Gourds Show & Workshop today, April 4. The exhibition runs through April 27 with an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 6 at the gallery, 214 E. Oak Ave. in Visalia. Arts Visalia will also host an Artist Talk at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 7 at 2 p.m. Come enjoy an art conversation with two of the featured artists, Toni Best and Sam McKinney.

The exhibition is entitled Containers of Our Culture and is a culmination of basket, gourd, and handweaving artists. There is a wide variety of talent from across the country which include artists and speakers such as Toni Best, Judy Burkett, JoAnn Kelly Catsos, Gloria Crane, Kristy Dial, Cookie Hanson, Mary Hettmansperger, Bonnie Kennedy, Sam McKinney, Margaret Mathewson, Marilyn Moore, Vicky Nickelson, Polly Adams Sutton, and Jennifer Wool. A closing reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 27 to kick-start the 7th Biennial Conference on April 28-29 at the Elks Lodge Mill Creek Conference Center.

Among the artists exhibited at Arts Visalia is JoAnn Kelly Catsos, who will be the key note speaker at the conference. Catsos is an award-winning black ash splint basketmaker and teacher from Western Massachusetts. Her designs are influenced by traditional Shaker and New England splint basketry, and are woven on molds made with help from her woodworker husband, Steve. Toni Best teaches in her studio in Visalia. She has been a creator and advocate of basketry for over 50 years. Specializing in pine needle baskets and pine needles coiled on gourds, Toni has been creating pieces which stretch the imagination and are “outside” the box.

Judy Burkett is an award-winning gourd artist and Certified Zentangle Teacher who currently resides in Tennessee. Gourds have become her favorite medium for expressing her unique artistic visions. She is known as “The Gourd Lady” and as “The Zentangle Lady.”

Gloria Crane is from Hesperia, California. She has enjoyed creating and teaching gourd art for over eighty years, incorporating many techniques and mediums into her work, including power carving, pyrography, inks, acrylics, and natural fibers. Kristy Dial lives in Minden, Nevada and is a professional gourd artist and teacher with 20 years of experience. Her award-winning gourds have been shown in galleries throughout the western United States. She is also the first vice president of the American Gourd Society.

Cookie Hanson, coming from Seal Beach, Calif. is a well-known California fiber artist who has been exploring basketry techniques since the 1970s. Primarily engaged in basket making, Cookie also explores the intersection of gourds and fiber, as well as free form sculpture using both traditional and natural materials. Mary Hettmansperger, from Peru, Ind., has taught internationally and across the U.S. Mary has authored and illustrated four books and has had work exhibited in both private galleries and invitational exhibits. Bonnie Kennedy, residing in Reno, Nev., became a basket weaver in 2010 when a friend gave her a membership to the Great Basin Basketmakers Guild. Her goal was to be able to look at a basket and figure out how it was made. She demonstrates pine needle and chase weaving. Margaret Mathewson is a scholar, teacher, and basket maker, from Alsea, Oregon, weaving traditional styles since 1980. She attends western native weavers’ gatherings every year and works for tribes in several states on issues of land management, access to weaving materials and ancestral food plants, and on cultural resources education. Margaret works with tribal and other museums to identify basketry and to create exhibits in collaboration with tribes, focusing on native plants and ancestral technologies. Sam McKinney has been creating gourd art since 1998 and lives in Lindsay, California. Not having formal art training, she has studied with the best in the gourd world. She has taught a master class on coiling at Fresno State, and has taught beading classes with other teachers from across the United States. Marilyn Moore, who lives in Iowa City, Iowa has taught for guilds, conferences, and conventions around the county, written numerous articles, and featured in many publications since 1979. Marilyn’s first loves are basketry, and basketry-related jewelry. Her education is in Fiber Art. Vicky Nickelson, coming from Kent, Washington, has a passion for pine needle baskets. She has organized, participated, and taught in various basket demonstrations and her baskets have won many awards. Polly Adams Sutton, from Seattle, Washington, is a full time studio artist, working with cedar bark to create sculptural baskets. Her educational background is art with an emphasis on painting and printmaking, but her preferred art form is basketry. Lastly, Jennifer Wool, coming from Mt. Hamilton, California, has a love for creating three-dimensional artwork for over 30 years. She started working in clay, and then moved to making baskets and gourds and has taught basket and gourd workshops in her home studio, community adult and elementary schools, and the Misti Washington Gourd and Basket Guild conference.

Arts Visalia has a beautifully revamped gift shop space. Don’t forget to shop Arts Visalia for all your gift needs and AmazonSmile for all your online needs. AmazonSmile proudly supports Arts Visalia. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Arts Visalia. When placing online orders, don’t forget to use smile.amazon.com. For more information and class descriptions, please go to artsvisalia.org, call us at 559-739-0905 or visit us at the gallery, 214 East Oak Avenue, Visalia, California 93291.

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