With the upcoming exhibit at Florida Tech’s textile museum, the Ruth Funk Center, anyone will be able to come in and learn about the history of the American art form of basketry.
The exhibit is titled “Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America.”
It will open to the public from Sept. 21-Dec. 14, as detailed from the museum’s website at www.textiles.fit. edu.
“[The exhibit] chronicles the history of American basketry from its origins in Native American, European and African traditions up to contemporary baskets,” said Donna Sewell, manager of visitor services at the Ruth Funk Center.
The exhibit will divide all basket-related items into four sections based on the themes of “cultural origins,” “living traditions,” “basket as vessels” and “beyond the basket.”
The museum’s goals for the exhibit are listed on their website as, “To model how to look at, talk about and analyze baskets aesthetically, critically and historically; and to contextualize American basketry within art and craft history specifically and American culture generally.”
Before the exhibit opens, the Ruth Funk Center will hold a Funky Fall Art Fest across from Evans Library from 3-7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30.
The museum will be empty, as it’s in-between exhibits, so the event will be both indoors and outdoors.
Inside the museum for the event’s participants will be painting, pottery wheels, a game room, performances and more.
Outside activities include lawn games, chalk art and a live band with free food via food trucks.
The museum is hoping to make this an annual event going forward to celebrate the anniversary of the Ruth Funk Center opening up on campus.
“As a staff, we’ve been wanting to do a student-led event,” Sewell said. “So the idea developed through these collaborations with SMART and SGA.”
SMART is the museum’s student advisory committee that students can join to plan events with the museum, help the museum bring in new visitors and give insight into the planning of museum exhibits.
Sewell said that the first weekly meeting for the exhibit was held in May.
“As a staff, we’ve been planning this for a year,” Sewell said.
Other coming events will include a gallery tour by Exhibit Co-Curator Jo Stealey on Oct. 8 and basket weaving demos from Oct. 8-12 as part of the museum’s spinning and weaving week.
After this semester’s coming exhibit closes, the next exhibit titled “Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence” will run from Feb. 1-April 25.
“We want to let the students know that we are the center of creativity, fun and art,” Seawell said. “We want the students to have fun and relax.”