JoAnn Kelly Catsos

Living Traditions

JoAnn Catsos CharmJ.Catsos-01

JoAnn Catsos Cherry JubileeCharm, 1997
Pounded black ash, cherry: 2″ x 1.5″
Lent by the artist

Initially inspired by traditional Shaker and utilitarian native New England baskets, JoAnn Catsos notes, “The clean lines have remained, but my baskets have evolved into smaller, more finely woven intricately patterned vessels.” Her primary material is black-ash splint that she harvests with the help of her husband Steve. She forms her baskets over wooden molds and often stains the vertical stakes before weaving to give them vivid patterns.

Visit for more information.

Cherry Jubilee, 2004
Black ash splint, maple, stain: 7″ x 9.5″
Lent by the National Basketry Organization

Nathalie Miebach

Beyond the Basket

Natalie Miebach The Halloween GraceNatalie Miebach The Halloween GraceThe Halloween Grace, 2015
Fiber rush, paper, wood, weather data: 18″ x 18″ x 18″
Lent by the artist

Nathalie Miebach’s work explores the intersection of art and science, and her practice is the visual articulation of gathered scientific data on ecology, climate change, and meteorology into three-dimensional structures using basket weaving as a template and technique. Some of her data are her own observations and measurements. “Central to this work,” she says, “is my desire to explore the role visual aesthetics play in the translation and understanding of scientific information. By utilizing artistic processes and everyday materials, I am questioning and expanding the traditional boundaries through which science data has been visually translated (graphs, diagrams), while at the same time provoking expectations of what kind of visual vocabulary is considered to be in the domain of science or art.”

Visit for more information.

José Formoso Reyes

Living Traditions

Jose ReyesJose ReyesJose Reyes

Nantucket friendship purse with carved seagull, 1961
Oak, reed cane, ivory: 9″ x 9″
Lent by the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum

José Reyes (1902–1980) was born in the Philippines, went to school on both coasts of the U.S., and returned to the Philippines to teach. After World War II, he settled on Nantucket Island and took up his childhood skill of basketry again to earn a living when anti-Asian prejudice prevented him from teaching. He was famous for transforming the region’s lightship baskets into handcrafted purses that are now collector’s items.

Visit for more information

Lois Russell

Basket as Vessel

Lois Russell Magic BusL.Russell-01Magic Bus, 2012
Waxed linen: 9.25″ x 11.5″ x 10.5″
Lent by Betsy Rowland

Though many of her works might defy or confuse the definition of basketry, Lois Russell thinks of herself primarily as a basket maker. She studied with basket makers all over the U.S. and began with practical baskets, but over the years has explored new materials and techniques to create what are now vessels for contemplation. She says, “I imagine the first basket as two hands cupped together, a strong and universal human gesture. Baskets, like hands, can hold apples or hide secrets. They can offer bread, or solace.” While experimenting with color and texture, she finds the challenges of the architecture of a basket most intriguing and engaging. Visit for more information.

Beyond the Basket

Lois Russell Five TwoFive Two, 2013
Waxed linen: 5′ x 2′ x 1″
Lent by the artist