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Weaving Across Time: Contemporary Cherokee Basket Making, Land, and Identity
December 13, 2021 - April 22, 2022
Weaving Across Time features a recent resurgence of contemporary Eastern Band Cherokee artists who are creatively building on a centuries-old practice of basket making. Learning from mothers, grandmothers, and mentors, these nine artists sustainably harvest, prepare, and dye materials found throughout Western North Carolina, and weave them into exquisite baskets.
Their creative practice is intricately connected to the land – land that has been stolen, extracted, and depleted. The Cherokee have lived throughout what is now known as the Southeastern United States for over 15,000 years. However, broken treaties and forced removal have barred access to ancestral homelands and their natural resources. Development and climate change continue to threaten these environments. Today, mountain rivercane, one of the oldest Cherokee basket making materials, is 98% less abundant than before.
In the face of these conditions, generations of Cherokee have adapted their cultural practices, developing innovative designs and evolving traditions. The interwoven elements of land and cultural identity become embedded into the structure of each basket, a testament to an ongoing process of adaptation, transformation, and resilience. The works on view in this exhibit are more than beautiful objects. They are vessels that preserve, store, and celebrate indigenous wisdom, identity, and creativity through ongoing, contemporary practice.
This exhibition features over forty rivercane and white oak baskets, mats, and miniatures made between 2000-2021. Exhibiting Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Artists include: ᏚᏍᏓᏯᎫᎾᏱ Gabriel Crow, Faye Junaluska, Lucille Lossiah, Ramona Lossie, ᏯᏗ ᎺᏂ Betty Maney, ᏗᎳᏂ Dylan Morgan, ᎺᎵ ᏔᎻᏏᏂ, Mary Thompson, ᏎᎳᏂ ᏔᎻᏏᏂ Sarah Thompson, Patricia Welch.
The Center is offering free, unguided visits and affordable tours of its exhibitions to the public. Guests can reserve a 30-minute visit to explore the current exhibitions, learn more about the Center’s national impact in their Craft Research Fund Study Collection, and enjoy interactive activities. The Center is open to the public Monday-Friday, 10 am – 6 pm. Hours of operation may be subject to change.