Bay Area Basket Makers
Exhibit: May 13 through June 4
Artist Reception: Saturday, May 13, 5:00 p.m.
Once more the popular Bay Area Basket Makers (BABM) exhibit returns to the Gualala Arts Center's Burnett Gallery on Saturday, May 13 and runs through June 4. Practicing their ancient craft, artists display baskets fashioned from pine needles, kelp, gourds, grasses, palm fibers, and other materials into museum quality pieces of art.
This show has become an annual must for serious basket collectors and for anyone seeking an attention-getting accent piece. Over sixty members strong, award-winning BABM members transform easily identified materials into beautiful, highly imaginative conversation stoppers that range from the traditional container to ultra modern abstract fantasies.
The materials used - reeds, rattans, raffias, various tree barks and needles, grasses, kelp, and fruiting date palm stalks - are everyday items from nature that add a natural richness to the baskets. Recognizing these materials in a new context provides a pleasant surprise. The artists also utilize gourds, handmade papers, metals, beads, waxed linens, and even fused glass to enhance their work.
Recently, member Flo Powers made the Guiness Book of Records with a pine needle basket complete with lid that is one-half the size of a dime. Begun as a non-profit guild centered in the East Bay in 1984, BABM has grown to include members from Central California to the North Coast, including several locals and some from out-of-state.
Those inspired by the exhibit will find that the group welcomes beginners as well as professionals into a supportive organization that can provide helpful workshops and creative ideas for a $20 annual membership fees. BABM is affiliated with the Conference of Northern California Handweavers, which includes not only basket makers, but also weavers, dyers, and spinners.
More information is available at the Opening Night reception from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Gualala Arts or through an on-line search by typing in "Bay Area Basket Makers". The Gualala Arts website and the BABM site offer an
extensive virtual gallery of baskets.
Gualala Arts Center is located
at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, and is open from 9 am to 4 pm weekdays,
and weekends from noon to 4 p.m. Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information.