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Sundays at the Cahoon: Artist Talk with Arlene McGonagle

Cahoon Museum of American Art / November 21, 2021


Meet artist Arlene McGonagle who will discuss her fascinating artistic journey from master Nantucket lightship basket maker to the creator of a unique artistic form of sculptural “scripted baskets” and “basket books.” McGonagle will discuss how she grounds her work in traditional and historical values but pushes them beyond established traditional rules. McGonagle will bring samples of baskets from her 40 year career and will discuss her current basketry innovations, including working with materials such as galvanized steel hardware cloth, waxed linen, honeysuckle vine, and paper. In addition, she will explain how her creative explorations inspired her to incorporate language into her work using excerpts from her journals, personal reflections on the lessons of life, and the writings of many authors, including Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, Shelly, Yeats, and others.  McGonagle holds an MFA from the University of MA, Dartmouth, her works may be found in many New England Museums and notable collections.  Several of McGonagle’s scripted baskets, as well as two of her prints are on view in the Interwoven: Contemporary Basketry exhibition.


This program is held in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition, Interwoven: Contemporary Basketry, and will be hosted by Education and Programs Manager Michael MacMahon.

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