Local sweetgrass basket weaver wins another grant

Image by Mary JacksonImage by 20081111-sweetgrass.jpg Vase with Handle, 1998, sweetgrass, pine needles, and palmetto, 19" x 15"

Sweetgrass basket weaver Mary Jackson has won another prestigious award, this one is for an unrestricted $50,000 from The United States Artists.

Here's what the organization said about Jackson and her work:
Mary Jackson creates sweetgrass baskets, the oldest art form of African origin in the United States. It originated in West Africa and was brought to the United States by slaves who settled in the coastal areas surrounding Charleston, South Carolina. The techniques were traditionally passed down from mother to daughter, and Jackson learned them from her grandmother. She began producing baskets full-time in 1980, developing contemporary designs using traditional techniques. Her baskets have been shown in prestigious craft venues and museums, and are in the collections of Empress Michiko of Japan and Prince Charles. She is a teacher and spokesperson for the art form, which she has updated with new proportions. A.C.

All in all, it's been avery good year for Jackson: In September she received a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation fellowship. The Charleston City Paper did an excellent write-up on that event.

But for more on Jackson's most recent award head over to The Post and Courier.

Very, very impressive.