GORHAM – An exhibit of baskets from around the world, both utilitarian and art objects, will be on display in the University of Southern Maine’s art gallery on the Gorham campus from Jan. 27 through March 12.

The exhibit is curated by basket artist, educator and curator Carol Grant Hart of Salisbury, Conn., and art gallery director Carolyn Eyler. The gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The gallery will be closed for school break the week of Feb. 20. The opening reception will be 4 to 7 p.m. Jan. 27. During it, Hart will give a gallery talk at 6 p.m. Many of the baskets are from her collection. Others are on loan from individual artists and browngrotta arts.

The exhibit features four basic basket-making techniques: plaiting, twining, wicker and coiling. The baskets demonstrate various motivations for being created, ranging from economic survival and the preservation of cultural traditions to basket making as an art form. The collection comes from the Americas, China, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, the British Isles, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. The exhibit includes a selection of Maine baskets with pieces by Theresa Secord and others from the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, and pieces by Stephan Zeh.

Contemporary basketry is represented by Maine artist Lissa Hunter as well as other U.S. artists: Jonathan Kline, Nancy Moore Bess, Judy Mulford, Dorothy Gill Barnes, Karyl Sisson and Gyöngy Laky. International artists include Anda Klancic, Slovenia; Jiro Yonezawa and Norie Hatakeyama, Japan; Dawn MacNutt, Canada; and Markku Kosonen, Finland. The exhibit will conclude with a daylong symposium on March 12, with events in the art gallery and in Bailey Hall. During the day, there will be sales and demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. during which Native American cuisine will on sale in Bailey Hall.

Hart will give a tour of the exhibit from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. From 2 to 4 p.m. the symposium will feature several speakers: artist Lissa Hunter; Theresa Secord of the Maine Indian Basketmakers; Nathan Hamilton, a basket collector and USM anthropology professor; and Tom Grotta of browngrotta arts. A reception will follow from 4 to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Carolyn Eyler at 780-5008. The exhibit, gallery talk and symposium are free and open to the public.


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