Baskets at River Gallery


Basketry is perhaps the oldest human art. It ranges from the mundane to the sacred and reflects the world of the artist in terms of motif, material and raw inspiration. Baskets carry all manner of things, from rocks to water to the honored deceased on their road to the afterlife. They are deceptively simple and impossibly complex and as individual as fingerprints. They render storage beautiful and mark concepts as stunning as resurrection. Yet they remain approachable. Who of us hasn’t woven a basket from paper strips to house treasures? Who hasn’t secretly longed to do more? Those dreams can come true this fall.


River Gallery in Independence is honored to represent a trio of contemporary basket artists and each of them will offer instruction in her craft during the month of October.


Carol Horvath produces large, sinuous baskets of cedar and willow, reminiscent of human forms in some cases, stunningly geometric in others. Her October 29th class will lead students through the building of a small beginning basket of western red cedar and native sweet grass. Carol’s baskets will be featured in the gallery’s front window during October.


Vivian Byers works in intricate basket forms made from pine needles, often incorporating stones or nuts as decorative elements. On October 15th she will instruct students in basic basketry skills resulting in a pine needle coaster with a walnut slice center.


Mariana Mace has done extensive research in curating and creating baskets and creates both traditional and innovative basket forms. On October 1st she will teach basic twining techniques and color work, as students create a trinket basket from western red cedar bark and dyed raffia. On Friday, October 14th she will explore design variations as students make a beaded cross stitch trinket basket incorporating motifs from simple spirals to more complex geometrics. Finally, on Sunday, October 30th, Mariana will present a talk on identifying and caring for traditional baskets.


The Sunday talk from 2:00 to 4:00 is offered at no charge and will include a reception for the basketmakers. The public is cordially invited to attend.


This is a rare opportunity to learn a variety of styles and techniques in an intimate setting and at an affordable price. For enrollment information, please see the River Gallery website at

River Gallery is located along the Willamette River at 184 South Main Street in Independence, and is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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