Willow Stories: Utah Navajo Story Baskets

Peggy Black -- Navajo Basket -- Placing the Stars

Willow Stories: Utah Navajo Story Baskets, a Utah Arts Council Traveling Exhibition, will be presented from April 02, 2011 through May 28, 2011 at St. George Museum in St. George, Utah. Willow Stories features basketwork created by four generations of Navajo women, and illustrates how the role of the basket has changed over time in their society.

In Navajo society, baskets have traditionally held dual roles, both as vessels to hold household goods and as containers in various sacred ceremonies. Over time, a combination of factors, including the gradual replacement of these functional baskets with modern containers, and the strict taboos dictating how and when to weave ceremonial baskets, led to a decline in Navajo basket weaving. During the 1970s, a revival of traditional basket weaving took place, with the focal point of activity located in the Utah Navajos communities living in the Monument Valley area. Inspired by the art of the prehistoric Mibres and Anasazi, neighboring tribes, and their own native patterns, these modern Navajo weavers developed a new hybrid style that use animal images, human figures, and illusionary geometric designs to depict traditional beliefs, stories, and legends.

Curated by the Utah Arts Council's Folk Art Program, Willow Stories features the work of ten of contemporary Navajo basket weavers from Utah, and includes photographs as well as artist biographies. The exhibition will be located at St. George Museum, 47 East 200 North, St. George, UT from April 02, 2011 through May 28, 2011. St. George Museum is open Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm - 3rd Thursday 10am - 9pm. For more information on viewing the exhibition, please call (435) 627-4525 or go to http://sgcity.org/artmuseum/exhibititem.php?id=116.

For more news about Basketry Events, visit BasketMakers.com.

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