Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology News
KFP and Kentucky Museum Present "A Conversation with Jackie Abrams"
- Author: Thursday, October 24th, 2019
The Kentucky Folklife Program, Kentucky Museum and The Basket Maker’s Catalog recently presented, “A Conversation with Jackie Abrams: An Artist’s Weaving Life,” featuring highly-respected fiber artist Jackie Abrams, who has several pieces included in the “Basketry Now” exhibition (at the Kentucky Museum through December 1, 2019).
Abrams shared her fascinating basketry journey that began with her apprenticeship under Ben Higgins in Chesterfield, Massachusetts in 1975. While her early career focused on traditional forms, Abrams shared that she transitioned to creating non-functional weavings in the late 1980s using various fibers, reed, and found materials, which she continues to use throughout her work to this day. Abrams also chronicled her travels, which have heavily influenced her work, particularly her current “Women Forms” series, inspired by materials and women encountered through her travels.
After the presentation, Abrams and Folk Studies alumna Beth Hester, who is also a fiber artist, hosted a Q&A and exhibit tour for Dr. Tim Evans’ Folk Art class. Students were encouraged to ask questions and interact with the artists to expand on the folk art principles being taught in Dr. Evans’ course.
This presentation was held as a part of the Kentucky Museum’s international show, “Basketry Now: 10th Anniversary Exhibition” that runs until December 1, 2019. The National Basketry Organization has assembled this show of contemporary and traditional basketry with artists, including Jackie Abrams, employing a variety of both common and uncommon techniques in a wide array of materials. Many of Abrams’ pieces, including “Hands of Light” (pictured above) in collaboration with textile artist Deidre Scherer, are featured in the exhibit.