Contemporary Baskets

featuring work by Dorothy Gill Barnes


Contemporary Southwest Jewelry

February 1–March 22, 2015 

(Columbus, Ohio)—The work of renowned Ohio artist Dorothy Gill Barnes will be showcased in the Ohio Craft Museum’s upcoming exhibition,  “Beyond Materials: Artists Pushing the Boundaries of Basketry.” On view February 1–March 22, the show will also feature forms by seven contemporary basketmakers from across the country. “Dorothy Gill Barnes has been ‘pushing the boundaries of basketry’ for more than four decades, with her innovative—and wildly inclusive—use of varied natural materials and freewheeling approach to sculptural form,” notes art historian and critic Ann Bremner. “This exhibition offers a glimpse of the range of her creative work, from woven baskets and constructions of the 1990s to recent projects that have emerged from her ongoing work with students in the glass program at The Ohio State University.”

“Other artists in the exhibition have each developed their own ways to challenge expectations and expand possibilities—often in directions quite different from those taken by Barnes,” Bremner says. “They too have embraced unexpected materials: from plastics and wires to vernacular objects such as pencils or shoelaces. And, like Barnes, they have nudged the vessel-like forms of traditional basketry into the wider expanses of sculpture and installation while embracing intriguing possibilities for commentary and narrative.”

The eight artists invited by curator Tracy Rieger include Massachusetts artist Jennifer Maestre, who sharpens and cuts hundreds of pencils into 1-inch sections, then sews them together to create her sculptures. Working with a variety of materials, including waxed linen, paper and even shoelaces, Ed Bing Lee, Pennsylvania, uses hundreds of knots to form his objects. Elizabeth Schulze, Massachusetts, constructs her baskets with pine needles and raffia, then uses paint, handmade paper and gel medium to draw and mark the surface.

Shown alongside “Beyond Materials” is the focus exhibition, “Offerings from the Southwest,” featuring contemporary jewelry by 12 artists from New Mexico and Montana. Selected by curator Ruth Lantz during her travels to the area, the works are hand fabricated using such materials as sterling silver, leather, copper, brass, 14k gold and turquoise.


The opening reception will take place on Sunday, February 1, from 1 to 4 p.m.  Dorothy Gill Barnes will discuss her work at 3 p.m.

On Wednesday, February 11, “Scandinavian Snowflakes,” a CraftView Evening with fiber artist Phyllis Walla Catania, will be offered for adults and teens from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Participants will learn basic weaving techniques, creating a three-dimensional, 12-inch snowflake with basket reed. Fee: $18; ODC members, $15. Pre-registration is required; telephone (614) 486-4402.

On Wednesday, March 4, fiber artist and sheep farmer Chris Lang will lead a workshop on making felted flowers. Participants will learn a wet felting technique, transforming loose wool roving into a fun flower that can be used as jewelry or a fiber sculpture. Beginning to advanced felters are welcome. Fee: $17; ODC members, $15. Pre-registration is required; telephone (614) 486-4402.

The Ohio Craft Museum receives ongoing funding from the Ohio Arts Council, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and the William A. and Jane B. Scheurer and Martha G. Staub funds of the Columbus Foundation. The museum is located at 1665 West Fifth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43212. Hours are Monday–Friday, 10 A.M.–5 P.M.; and Saturday–Sunday, 1–4 P.M., during exhibitions only. Admission and parking are free. Donations are appreciated. For further information, telephone (614) 486-4402; or see our website at