MacArthur grant goes to basketmaker

Y’know those genius grants where you get a ridiculous amount of money over a couple of years (it’s actually $500,000 over 5 years). We’ll one of this year’s recipients makes baskets. How rad is that? Congrats Mary Jackson. Read more here.

Mary Jackson is a fiber artist whose intricately coiled vessels preserve the centuries-old craft of sweetgrass basketry and push the tradition in stunning new directions. A descendant of the Gullah community of coastal South Carolina, Jackson learned to make baskets at the age of four from her mother and grandmother, who passed on skills brought to the United States by their West African ancestors. Developed originally as domestic and agricultural tools for cotton and rice production, sweetgrass baskets have traditionally taken such utilitarian shapes as storage containers and rice fanners. With masterful technique, Jackson translates these practical designs into finely detailed, sculptural forms.

I’m mostly just fascinated by this because occasionally archaeologists get the grants and I kinda want one for myself. Do I have to apply or do they just give it to you? hmmm…. Thanks Simone because I totally snatched this from your status message.


February 26, 2009. Tags: , , . Becko, FYI, Museums/ Becky is nerding out again, World saving.

One Comment

  1. dan replied:

    As my family is in the basket industry (a true fact), I like this.

    I also like Genius Grants. David Foster Wallace got one, and John Zorn got one a couple of years ago. And Alex Ross from The New Yorker just won one. Someday…

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