Cherokee Basket Show Concludes at WCU, NC

(Taken from the Smoky Mountain News Arts & Events for the week of 10/25/06)

Western Carolina University and the Asheville Art Museum in North Carolina will hold a reception on Sunday, Oct. 29, to celebrate the exhibition and upcoming tour of “Transformations: Cherokee Baskets in the Twentieth Century.”

Currently in Gallery B:

“Transformations: Cherokee Baskets in the Twentieth Century, Part I.” The extraordinary skill of Cherokee weavers who transformed customs to participate in changing economies and communities. Through October 29.

The reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center, where the exhibit of historical and contemporary Cherokee baskets has been on display since August. The exhibit at WCU closes on Oct. 29, but will be traveling to museums in Wilmington, Raleigh and Johnson City, Tenn., over the next year.

In conjunction with the reception, Cherokee basketmaker Katrina Maney will be conducting a basketmaking class and demonstration at the Mountain Heritage Center from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. the same day. The class is full, but reception attendees will have an opportunity to watch Maney and her students at work.

The exhibit is organized by the Asheville Art Museum, with assistance from guest curator Sarah H. Hill, Betty Dupree, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual Inc. It is sponsored by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, the Friends of Mountain History, and the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation. Support to send the exhibit to additional venues across the Southeast is coming from the Cherokee Preservation Foundation.

The exhibit is divided in into three categories: Early Tourism (1890-1940), the Qualla Cooperative Period (1940-1960s) and Expanding Markets (1960s-1997.) It examines changes in material, form, function, size, price, trade networks, ornamentation, dyes, weavers and the fundamentals of basketmaking.

“Cherokee Baskets in the Twentieth Century, Part II.” Through January 26.

The Mountain Heritage Center is located on the ground floor of WCU’s H.F. Robinson Administration Building. For more information contact the museum at 1-828-227-7129 or visit their website

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