By Dylan Morris; The Whetstone  

A new national art exhibit made its way to Dover in the form of baskets.

The Rooted, Revived and Reinvented: Basketry in America exhibit continues it’s tour of the nation by stopping at the Biggs Museum of Art through April 28.

The exhibit chronicles the history of American basketry, including some of the more modern interpretations of basketry as an art form.

“It talks about a lot of the cultural influences of basket making, the Native American, African American and Western European influences in the 18th, 19th and early 20th century,” curator Ryan Grover said. “It also shows how artists have used basketry techniques to create sculptures and fine art objects.”

He said the baskets may be seen as aesthetic objects that interpret the artist’s personal point of view.

The exhibit is separated into “Cultural Origins, New Basketry, Living Traditions, Basket as Vessel, and Beyond the Basket”. The exhibit was originally assembled by University of Missouri Profs. Jo Stealey and Kristin Schwain.

It is a comprehensive exhibit of nearly 100 art pieces from artists throughout the country.

“We look for things that we think would be popular to our part of the country,” Executive Director Charles Guerin said. “We thought it would be thrilling to have the exhibit, so we decided to bring it here to Dover.”

The exhibit is scheduled to tour the country through next year.

All exhibits at the Biggs are open from 9-4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors. Students, active military personnel and children under 18 are admitted for free.


Christine Joy,

2013 Montana

“My willow sculptures resonate with the land. They are dynamic linear forms that speak of clouds, mountains, water and fields. The density and movement of each piece evokes the rhythm of seasons and cycles.”


Jerry Bleem,

2011 Illinois

“Formally my sculptures have been influenced by humanity’s long history of making containers. In effect, I create a surface that separates the inside from the outside. Though clearly nonfunctional, these forms pose questions that their antecedents also ask: What is worth gathering or saving? What do we select as important? How does one gain access to the interior—either actually, or imaginatively? I have come to believe in the veracity of the ordinary and the overlooked. I search for materials that bring some kind of history (actual or implied), reshape them through simple means that viewers can readily discern, and trust that these records of time in my studio might become, as Barbara Kruger has said, a kind of commentary.”

Summer’s Night Do

Lisa Telford,

2007 Washington

Haida tribal member Lisa Telford learned traditional Haida basket weaving at the age of 35 from her aunt, Delores Churchill. She harvests cedar fiber to create meticulously crafted fiber sculptures, such as the dress made of pounded red cedar bark, cotton cord, vintage mother of pearl buttons, feathers.

The Builder’s Basket

John Garrett,

1999 New Mexico

John Garrett was raised in southern New Mexico by parents who were both educators. They instilled in him an appreciation for the handmade with their collections of Native American arts and crafts. Following his own desire to make things by hand, he created this piece of art. His intrigue with the tools, systems, and materials involved in weaving and other textile constructions led him to continue to exhibit his work and teach workshops on creativity and alternative sculptural basket making throughout the U.S., Europe, Africa, and Asia.


Steph Gorin,

2015 New York

Steph Gorin is an unapologetic feminist fiber artist whose work focuses on issues of social justice and gender equality throughout the world. She is interested in the use of technology, the internet, and social media in rapidly spreading awareness about these issues, and often highlights social media hashtags in her work. In her recent work, she uses the non-traditional media of rebar and vinyl to construct large-scale baskets. The use of rebar is meant to evoke imprisonment or containment as her work often focuses on the oppression of women and girls. The vinyl strips consist of selected text and images, telling a story that is literally woven through each piece.

They Were Called Kings

Shan Goshorn,

2013 Oklahoma

They Were Called Kings feature photographs of three contemporary members of the Warriors of the Anikituhwa, wearing their own 18th century style clothing. Traditionally, men in this position would serve as the first line of defense for the Cherokee people; currently, they serve in the role of ambassadors representing the Eastern Band of Cherokee and are role models within the community.


Jan Hopkins,

2010 Washington

Jan Hopkins was drawn to basketry by the Native American collection at the Heard Museum. She studied with Northwest Coast Native and Nationally recognized contemporary basketry artists. While investigating new materials, she developed processing techniques to preserve the beauty of alternative natural materials. Narrative contemporary contemplations of identity and self-image are subjects woven into many of her pieces while using coiling and looping techniques almost exclusively. She is currently working with her husband Chris on a narrative World War II Japanese American Internment Project, a deeply personal part of her family history.

The Halloween Grace

Nathalie Miebach,


 “Central to this work is my desire to explore the role visual aesthetics play in the translation and understanding of scientific information. By utilizing artistic processes and everyday materials, I am questioning and expanding the traditional boundaries through which science data has been visually translated (graphs, diagrams), while at the same time provoking expectations of what kind of visual vocabulary is considered to be in the domain of science or art.”