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Basket Weaving Workshop at Carver Community Center Dec. 2

30 November, 2004 — A basket weaving workshop at Carver Community Center on Thursday, December 2 may result in senior artisans becoming distinguished as longleaf pine needle basket makers.

Imagine an arts community located in central Calhoun County at historic McClellan—unique galleries filled with beautiful artwork ranging from oil and acrylic to sculpture and pottery. Now envision cozy street corners alive with artists who demonstrate and sell their crafts—basket weaving, quilting, music, acting—the possibilities are endless, according to JSU Field School Coordinator, Renee Morrison. Mrs. Morrison believes that we have a living treasure of community artists and that they need a venue to share their talents with local citizens and tourists.

What began with the idea of sweet grass basketmakers along cobblestone avenues in Charleston South Carolina (where ecotourism and the arts have merged in an extremely beneficial community partnership) is fast becoming a possibility for Calhoun County, the centerpiece of Alabama's Mountain Longleaf Region.

“This program has a triple impact. It passes along a native craft. It creates economic opportunity for our talented seniors. And at the same time it uses our newly adopted trademark, state tree and National Wildlife Refuge namesake – the Mountain Longleaf. Who knows, in time people may even travel here just to rediscover the lost art of Longleaf basketry,” states Pete Conroy, Director of EPIC and JSU Field Schools.

The JSU Environmental Policy and Information Center (EPIC), JSU Field Schools, and JSU Southeastern Indian Education and Research Center (SIERC) have invited Gail Thrower, an artist from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to initiate this community-based “living artist” concept. Twenty senior citizens from the Carver Community Center and Choccolocco Heritage Society have been selected to learn the ancient technique of basket weaving.

Their artistic medium? Longleaf pine needles, of course!

Gail King, Director of the SIERC says, “Artwork produced from materials found in our environment gives us a sense of belonging—a basket made from local materials heightens our awareness of the usefulness of the natural world.”

JSU Field Schools hope to offer many future workshops of this nature to the local community.

  • Date of Event: 12/02/04
  • Time of Event: 10:00 a.m.
  • Location of Event: Carver Community Center
  • Admission Charge: Free to Selected Participants
For more information contact Renee Morrison, LRCFS, at 782-5697 or

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