Basket maker is selected for prestigious show

NEIGHBORS

February 22, 1996|By Judy Reilly | Judy Reilly,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

KEYMAR basket maker Joyce Schaum will exhibit and sell her work in Baltimore March 1 to 3 at the 20th annual American Craft Council's Craft Fair. Ms. Schaum will be among 700 contemporary craft artists chosenby a jury for one of the premier craft shows in the country.

"In the world of crafts," Ms. Schaum said, "this show is the most important one. It's a real exciting show. We're lucky it's in our back yard."

Indeed. At last year's show, Ms. Schaum was tapped by an art consultant for the U.S. government to do some commissioned pieces for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. The new embassy building was completed recently, so Ms. Schaum now can share this piece of exciting news with the world -- it's been under wraps for months. Ms. Schaum's work in Bangkok is part of a special basketry exhibit with other American basket makers.

Ms. Schaum has been weaving baskets for 12 years, honing her craft by taking classes from other nationally known basket makers, and has won national recognition for her work. She specializes in splint woven construction, using twills, which allow patterning in her work.

Her baskets will take your breath away. Apparently the American Craft Council thinks so, too -- her basket is one of the crafts featured on the promotional postcard for the show sent to thousands of craft enthusiasts.

Raising two boys while pursuing a craft career is a good lifestyle for this artist. "Being self-employed allows me to juggle my time," Ms. Schaum said. "And I like the travel [to craft shows]. Last year I went to Denver and Nantucket Island."

The American Craft Council's fair is at the Baltimore Convention Center. Information: (410) 962-1122.

Ms. Schaum can be reached at her Keymar studio at 756-4225.

New municipal arts program

Taneytown artist Laurel Brown is on a fact-finding mission. Recently tapped by Taneytown Mayor W. Robert Flickinger to scout out artists, locations for art productions and shows, and business support for the arts in Northwest Carroll, Ms. Brown is excited about the possibilities of her new volunteer post.

She's part of MAP, the Municipal Arts Program, an outreach endeavor sponsored by the Carroll County Arts Council. MAP wants to use the arts as a connection between schools, businesses and government in the county. "It's a fine little spider web filament right now," Ms. Brown said.

The basic premise of MAP is that arts enhance the quality of life. After meetings around the county, Ms. Brown and other arts council members, including Sharon Lindemon in New Windsor, Linda Van Hart in Uniontown and Ruth Aukerman in Union Bridge, search their respective communities for artists who might want exposure and support, and for gallery or performance space.

In this way, MAP wants to serve as an arts broker. The group is also on the lookout for those who do their art in less expected ways, such as gardening.

Committee members see the potential for community development through art.

"If you use an empty storefront for a show someone who comes to the performance might notice the empty building as a place for his business," Ms. Brown said.

At a recent Chamber of Commerce meeting, she learned that many residents run small businesses from their garages. "If they're artists," she said, "they need to be encouraged to come out."

Ira Zepp is chairman of MAP; Hillary Hatfield is director of the Arts Council. If you know an artist in your neighborhood, or know about a space in which to show art, call them at 848-7272. You can also reach Ms. Brown at 876-0972.

Spring is on the way

It's been raining, foggy and there's still snow on the ground. But the potted hyacinths, roses and ivy in the produce aisle at Jubilee Foods in Union Bridge say spring can't be too far away. Cheer up.

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