Ancient Garden has multiple baskets in a row, resembling (to me) a row of plants in a garden. The surface of the box is collaged with various papers and is drawn and painted on. Each basket is coiled with waxed linen thread over a paper cord, covered with paper and painted. The adornments are fabric, waxed linen, paper and leaf. It looks "dug up", which was my grandmother's favorite accolade. It's an aesthetic I return to often. 

Lissa Hunter

Looking back, it all seems so inevitable. I was born in the middle of the 20th century, in the middle of the country, in a middle-class family. My mother was an artistic, hardworking woman with a strong sense of humor and an ability to organize anything and anyone. My father was charming and eclectic in his interests, from restoring antique cars to performing magic professionally. She was a secretary and he was a salesman.

School was easy for me. Friends were everywhere to be engaged. (We counted 22 children under the age of 14 on our block, where we could play kickball in the street and run across backyards without ever encountering a fence.) There was always someone with whom to play, to work, to dream.

Indiana University, where I earned a BA in painting and an MFA in textiles, was an institution of nearly 40,000 students, with areas of study from English literature to astronomy to law to business to fine arts and music. It allowed curious students to investigate or, at least, to bump into a full range of human experience.

After teaching art at a college in Pennsylvania for eight years, I left a tenured position to give my full attention to making art, just as the contemporary craft movement was coming into its own. Maine was my destination and has been my home ever since. Choosing to work both two- and three-dimensionally from the beginning has allowed me to explore numerous materials and techniques and to push my ideas in many directions. My studio in Portland, Maine is an efficient space in which to work and our home, with gardens in every free space, is a beautiful space in which to live. Materials and techniques continue to fascinate me and the ideas keep on coming. It really has been inevitable.

I am proud to say that my work is in the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Arts and Design (New York), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Racine Art Museum (Wisconsin), as well as other museum and private collections. Teaching and writing about contemporary basketry, design and creativity have been an important part of my career and continue to give me great pleasure.