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Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology Calendar

Reaching Beyond Tradition - White Oak Basket Gathering Workshop
  • Date: Thursday, August 24th, 20232023-08-24
  • Time: 1:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Location: Kentucky MuseumKentucky Museum
  • For generations of community-based traditional artists throughout the Southeastern US, and more pointedly, in and around Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave area, basketmaking has been a way of life.  Fueled initially by necessity, the basket’s journey and its significance within the community has evolved over time from its early utilitarian use to become a heralded object of art.

  • Through Reaching Beyond Tradition, our public audience will experience the evolution of the time-honored tradition through topical narrative stage presentations that will bring this dynamic and evolving story to life.  Throughout the day’s program, attendees with discover the maker’s painstaking hands-on process, what it takes to make a basket, but also learn the historical antecedents of how the evolving marketplace, from family production within the home to the basket stands catering to travelers along the Dixie Highway (31W) affected and expanded individual innovation within a revered framework of community ideals.

  • Narrative Stage Schedule is as Follows:

  • 1:00 pm -“Tradition-Bearers” - Discover the basket makers’ unique stories of encountering and becoming involved in the art of basket making and their roles in maintaining the traditions of their regions, comparing their methods and materials. - Presenters: Scott Gilbert, Bill Smith, Sue Williams

  • 2:30 pm - “Inspirations” - Discover the inspirations behind making their works, evaluating the process of different forms of basket making and how individual and community inspirations play a role in the various styles found in the region. - Presenters: Mary Ann Smith, Sue Williams

  • 5:30 pm - “Knowledge-Sharing” - Discusses the different roles played by basket makers in their communities, including how knowledge is shared between makers and generations as well as how makers market their works to the public. - Presenters: Bill Smith, Sue Williams, Mary Ann Smith, Scott Gilbert

  • 7:00 pm - “Continuity and Evolution” - Discusses the younger generation’s engagement with tradition-bearers, roles in fostering larger community connections and awareness of traditional art forms, and how global communication is connecting and transforming local practices. - Presenters: Emily Swinney, Micah Wiles

Contact: brent.bjorkman@wku.edu or camille.acosta@wku.edu

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