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Marin Show: Art of the Americas

"A major traveling exhibition of California Indian basketry" celebrates "Yesterday and Today."

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    Marin Show
    Marin Show: Art of the Americas is on in San Rafael from Feb. 20-22. (Pictured: Yokut bottleneck made by Mrs. Dick Francisco, master weaver, CA 1905)

    A RARE CHANCE: Many an artistic calling requires a meticulous hand and a careful eye and the ability to go deep into the design, carefully considering stitch after stitch or brushstroke after brushstroke, while always keeping the ultimate whole in sight. Basketweaving is such an elevated form, one that has an important utilitarian purpose that co-exists with its art-lovely look. To see a weaver at work is to understand that methodical commitment to both a basket's role as a vessel and its more esoteric but essential purpose to delight the viewer, tell a story, and reveal more about the artist and the story she or he wants to tell. One of the best places to see this discipline unfold is at the annual Marin Show: Art of the Americas, which celebrates its 31st year at the Marin Center in San Rafael from Friday, Feb. 20 through Sunday, Feb. 22.

    THE THEME... of the 2015 gathering is "Yesterday and Today," so look for history-filled works as well as modern entries aplenty. One of the special parts of the three-day extravaganza is the chance to observe "master weavers on site demonstrating the techniques and skill of the lost art." The Marin Show is billed as a "major traveling exhibition of California Indian basketry," so this is absolutely the spot to start learning more about the ancient art form, one that is still very much practiced nowadays. Other arts displayed will include jewelry, textiles, paintings, photography, and more.

    ON THE SCHEDULE: Look for a comparison "over 150 historic -- and seldom displayed -- California Indian basket from the Collection of the California Academy of Sciences with 45 contemporary baskets created by CIBA master weavers." The California Indian Basketweavers Association is presenting the show in association with the Academy. Lectures, special events, and a hands-on basket activity for kids round out the weekend. It's a weekend devoted to a calling that is ever-present, always beautiful, and a rare treat to behold from up-close, with weavers at the ready to discuss technique and inspiration.