Woven: The Art of Contemporary Native Basketry

The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation is proud to have acted as a fiscal sponsor for Woven: The Art of Contemporary Native Basketry, an art exhibition held at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington in March – April 2016. A critical goal of this Native-led exhibition was to create a lasting and positive impact in the Pacific Northwest by creating a deeper awareness, knowledge of and sensitivity about both traditional and contemporary Native American arts and cultures.

Curator and exhibition designer Todd Clark (Wailaki) coordinated the Woven show as part of his I.M.N.D.N art-exhibition project, a Vancouver-based charity-in-formation whose mission is to proactively advocate for Native artists. Approximately 1,300+ visitors attended during its two-month run. Woven marked the first time some of the finest contemporary artists in the nation have been exhibited together:

  • Joe Fedderson (Colville)
  • Kelly Church (Odawa/Ojibwe)
  • Patty Courtney Gold (Wasco)
  • Gail Tremblay (Mi’kwamq/Onodaga)
  • Bernice Akamine (Native Hawaiian)
  • Kaila Farrell-Smith (Klamath/Modoc)
  • Shan Goshorn (Eastern band Cherokee)
  • Sara Siestreem (Hanis Coos)
  • Lisa Telford (Haida)
  • Dawn Nicholas Walden (Ojibwe)
  • Brittany Britton (Hupa)
  • Joey Lavadour (Chinook/Walla Walla)
  • Carole Emarthele-Douglas (Northern Aarpaho/Seminole)

All artists attended the opening reception on March 1, 2016, a chance to talk to the public about their work. On Sunday, April 3, five artists participated in an Artist’s Talk at Clark College. The event was free and open to the public. Approximately 70 people attended. Basket-weaving workshops and demonstrations created an opportunity for local Native and non-Native basketry artists to exchange ideas and techniques while learning from master artists:

  • Five workshops were led by Kelly Church, Bernice Akamine, and Lisa Telford; 60 participants paid a minimal materials fee to participate.
  • Dawn Nichols Warden conducted two free demonstrations on how to make a traditional folded birch bark container; the maximum of 30 participants attended (space restricted the number of participants).

In addition to strategic counsel, bookkeeping services, and a fiscal sponsorship, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation helped Mr. Clarke raise significant funds for Woven, indicating a high level of regional support around the project and the future of the I.M.N.D.N project. Its uniqueness has resulted in invitations to travel to Aurora University in Illinois in 2017, an unanticipated and exciting signal of the national interest Woven has generated.

Regional media coverage and additional images

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