Art & Design Chair Is Director/Curator of "Baskets from Appalachia and the Andes" Exhibit

photo of basket from Ecuador

Herb Goodman, chair of Eastern Kentucky University’s Department of Art & Design, is the project director and curator of a wide-ranging exhibit of baskets at the Lexington Public Library Nov. 3-Jan. 27.

“Interwoven: Rural Traditions, Modern Ties – Baskets from Appalachia and the Andes” showcases more than 100 pieces of basketry from Ecuador and Appalachia. The Ecuadorian work ranges from baskets made by Huaorani aboriginals to modern pieces collected in major cities. The Appalachian works span white oak baskets to modern contemporary craft.

Goodman traveled throughout Ecuador and Appalachia collecting baskets for the exhibit.

“It is surprising how many similarities our people have,” he said. “Beyond topography, we find strong, independent people who largely define themselves through their art, craft, music and oral traditions. Often, these simple objects are passed through generations and become part of the story of their family.

“Producing this exhibit truly has been a labor of love,” Goodman added. “Whether it’s Appalachia or the Andes, every part is beautiful, and every person has been generous in sharing their family heirlooms. The pieces will range from completely functional objects, such as tobacco baskets and fish traps to purely esthetic woven sculptures.”

The project is supported by the Embajada de los Estados Unidos Quito, Ecuador; Kentucky/Ecuador Partners; U.S. Department of State; Kentucky Arts Council; the Lexington Public Library; and EKU. A similar show is scheduled to open in the Spring at Centro Culural Itchimbia in Quito, Ecuador.

“Basketry is an important part of the culture of both Appalachia and the Andes,” said Dr. John Wade, dean of EKU’s College of Arts and Sciences. “This exhibit demonstrates the unique ways each culture went about the task of making baskets.”

EKU Provost Dr. Janna Vice declared that the exhibit and Goodman’s work “are excellent examples of how EKU fulfills our commitment to serving our service region while achieving an international focus.”

The exhibit features the work of "some of the best weavers from both sides of the equator,” Goodman said, citing Leona Waddell, Hectore Escobar, Cynthia Taylor, Scott Gilbert, Jennifer Heller Zurick and Golden Howard. “There are so many talented artisans that many great ones are left out. Honestly, this show could easily have filled this gallery space ten times over and still been wanting for space.”

A reception is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, at the library gallery, which is located at 140 E. Main St., Lexington.

Goodman, who joined EKU as chair of its Department of Art & Design in 2004, spent more than 20 years in visual communications prior to receiving his graduate degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1986. In 2000, the State of Louisiana honored him with its highest award in his field: The Division of the Arts Fellowship in Design Arts. In 2011 he was inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and is a recipient of the Wolfson Fellowship. 

Goodman was formerly the graduate art/undergraduate design coordinator at Louisiana State University. He also helped spearhead the creation of the Laboratory for Creative Arts and Technology (LCAT) at LSU and authored the LSU Graduate Graphic Design program in 1999.  He has received grants from such organizations as the Chrysler Museum in conjunction with the NEA, as well as from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, Kentucky Arts Council, Louisiana Division of the Arts, Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Center for the Liberal Arts (Charlottesville, Va.), the Wolfstein Foundation (New York), Ohio State University, and the Cincinnati Commission on the Arts.

In 2011, he was selected to go to Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, as the Arts Delegate for the Madison County International Committee, part of the American Committee for the Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project (KEEP).   

Goodman’s work has been exhibited internationally. 

Published on October 23, 2012