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Linda Aguilar


Eric and Barbara Dobkin Fellowship

Linda Aguilar is a Chumash basketmaker who uses traditional techniques to create her unique horsehair and waxed thread baskets. Explaining this unusual blend, she notes, “There is a stigma to basketmakers: ‘Traditional’ or ‘Non-Traditional.’ I am both. I work with horsehair and waxed thread, which are non-traditional materials. I approach the weaving with tradition. I respect the many generations of ancestral basketmakers.”

While at SAR, Linda will be working on several baskets, which may come together to form an installation. In explaining her project, Linda wrote, “We have a saying ‘outside the box.’ I will work ‘outside the basket’ creatively using various skills I have. The fellowship will empower me to create landmark art pieces.”

Linda has been featured in many exhibitions, such as “100 of America’s Best Studio Craft Artists Since 1945” at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery and the traveling exhibits “Changing Hands: Art Without Reservations” and “Intertwined: Contemporary Baskets from the Sara and David Lieberman Collection.” In addition, her works can be found in the collection of several Nobel Peace Prize winners, such as Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Linda is based in Fort Collins, Colorado. She received her degree in studio art from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She will be in residence from March 1–May 31, 2011.

“I am considered a ‘Clown/Contrary,’ so infusing humor into my work comes naturally to me.”

Shells, Bells, and Pollywogs (part of Clown Series). Linda Aguilar. Horsehair, shells, bells, and pollywogs; approx. 12”, 2000.
Courtesy of the artist.

Tools #3. Horsehair basket with buffalo bone tools, 2006. Approximately 5” in diameter.
Photo courtesy of the artist.