The short term art gallery at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum is once again full of colorful and beautiful vessels made from hand decorated gourds, woven baskets and masks.
The artistry of Chris Warren and Leslee Burtt has become very popular with museum visitors. Their 25 plus years of experience with natural materials is quite evident.
The two of them have shown in galleries in the Western United States, participating in many art shows and have been published in the book, 500 Baskets, by Lark Press.
Warren began weaving in 1987 and truly enjoys this ancient art form. Her focus is on using materials from the Northwest such as cedar and wild cherry bark, roots, kelp, driftwood, day lilies and crocus.
Burtt also enjoys weaving, combining art with her love of the outdoors. As with Warren, she gathers her own materials to create stylized baskets in many forms. The main focus of her baskets immediately catches the eye: the use of naturally shed antlers from moose, elk, deer and caribou. This makes for a "show stopper" combination when combined with other natural material. They would like to emphasize they gather material only by permit from areas scheduled for thinning or harvesting.
The gourds are a combined effort of the two artists. It takes a great deal of patience since the entire process takes more than a year from start to finish. Dye and paint are applied to the outside once the gourds are dried or cured. Wood burning techniques are also used before embellishing with date stems, philodendron sheaths, pine needles, raffia, stone and semi-precious beads. These artists together create containers that are definitely works of art.
The exhibit consists of 22 baskets, 22 gourds and six small masks.
Don't miss this opportunity to view and enjoy this new exhibit now open until June 30.