[Photos of Sea Island on the bottom are by Patrick Cline for Lonny, June/July. Shown at the top, elephant ear sweetgrass basket made by Jeannette Lee, image via Avery Research Center Artifact Collection and Lowcountry Digital Library.]
During the past few years I've become a true fan of the creative collaborations between Lonny founder, editor in chief, and art director extraordinaire, Michelle Adams, and photographer Patrick Cline so I was excited when Michelle told me the duo decided to explore my native state, Georgia. Their June/July issue features Pat's photos of a Sea Island condo decorated by none other than Bunny Williams, as well as a fresh Atlanta high-rise model designed by style savvy Lee Kleinhelter.
[Lee photographed by Patrick Cline for Lonny.]
Michelle also offered me a wonderful opportunity to put together a list of favorite things that, for the most part, represent my region. I hoped it would be a little ode to the creative process, so almost every piece highlighted on the back pages is handmade or designed by one person.
I just can't say enough about the sweetgrass baskets. Based on traditional West African techniques, the baskets are most closely associated with our neighboring state South Carolina (although made in Georgia's coastal area too), and, yes, they are marketed to tourists visiting Charleston, but they are still timeless, culturally significant and prized by museums.
Click here to watch a video about the 2008 MacArthur Fellow, fiber artist and Gullah descendant, Mary Jackson. She's doing really innovative designs.
The Museum for African Art has a helpful webpage about the exhibition, Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art, a show that dealt with baskets from the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia and from diverse regions of Africa. The accompanying book is available here.
Links of interest:
Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society
Hog Hammock Community
[Image via YouTube.]
Daughters of the Dust
Thanks to writer Shawn Gauthier for weaving together the Lonny back pages piece! Her work can be found throughout the magazine.