An exhibition showcasing the African American art of sweetgrass basket making is on display at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture through January 2015.
Originally curated by the Avery Research Center staff in 2009, this exhibition features baskets made by various African and African American artists in the 20th and 21st centuries.
The art of African American basket making in the South Carolina Lowcountry first began with enslaved Africans who arrived through the trans-Atlantic slave trade from the present-day Mano River, Senegambia, and Angola-Congolese regions of West Africa. Today basket makers in both the Lowcountry and various parts of Africa draw from their shared craft traditions to weave works of art from various materials.
Items featured in the exhibition include a new collection of baskets donated by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Alliance that were featured in the exhibits “USA and NEH on the Road” traveling exhibition, “Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art;” baskets made by children from the Lowcountry for the Avery Research Center’s The Next Generation sweetgrass basket making project in 2008; and various sweetgrass baskets from the Avery Research Center archival collections.