Old & New: David Hockney, Native American Baskets Explore Yosemite At Heard Museum
One of the most celebrated artists of the 20th and 21st centuries is making his exhibit debut in the Phoenix metro area, and he’s sharing the spotlight with pieces of art that are themselves leaving California for the first time.
The exhibit is called “David Hockney’s Yosemite and Masters of California Basketry,” and is on display at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. It includes a series of drawings Hockney made on an iPad during visits to Yosemite National Park, as well as some of his photo collages of the park. The exhibit also features baskets made by indigenous artists living in and around Yosemite Valley.
The Show recently spoke with Ann Marshall, director of Research at the Heard Museum and Erin Joyce, the museum’s Fine Arts curator. The Show started the conversation by asking Joyce what the thinking was behind this exhibit — in terms of combining these different artists and art forms.
They spoke about the importance of knowing the names and stories of the artists who made the baskets. That sentiment is echoed by Lucy Parker. She’s related to most of the basket weavers in the exhibit; she’s Lucy Telles’ great-granddaughter, for example. Parker still lives just outside Yosemite Valley, and when The Show talked to her outside the museum, she was surrounded by the materials to make new pieces.
"We still can make the baskets in the styles that she’s done and the thing is, we run out of material, because it’s not as plentiful as it was when they were weaving baskets 50 years ago," Parker says. "There was a lot more to gather, so those are just the things that we run into, but we still can create and do the techniques and styles that I’ve learned since I was very young."
Parker says basket-weaving has been in her family for generations, and that while the exhibit is humbling, it also makes her proud and honored.
"Just going in there and just seeing the generations of our family’s baskets — we were just emotional and tears in our eyes that these creations of our people, what they have made, it still exists," Parker says. "The baskets will last forever, and it’s up to us to carry that legacy on and we can do it."
The exhibit runs at the Heard Museum until April 5.