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Sally Bright basketry conjures images of topographical landscapes

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Sally J. Bright is one of America's most talented and creative basketry artists. She is one of the 120 artists who are exhibiting their work at this weekend's 13th Bi-Annual Estero Fine Art Show.

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Bright is a sculptor who just happens work in the genre of basketry. She weaves topographical landscapes and non-representational shapes that capture action and emotion rather than an objective, readily-discernible motif. Her media include rattan, palm, a mix of metals, and acrylic paint, which she applies via airbrush to the finished wall-hanging or freestanding 3D work.

"I began collecting baskets as a teenager in Southern California - always searching the local shops for the most unusual ones, never thinking about where they came from," Sally reminisces. "The synchronicity and realization of my life long love of basketry came full circle after moving to Michigan as an adult years later."

Her life-changing moment occurred one day when she happened upon a new craft shop announcing basketry classes. "I instantly envisioned that once I learned to make baskets I would combine the traditional craft of basketry with my creative arts background to create organic sculptural designs unlike anything I'd ever seen before. Before I knew it, the images in my head were becoming a reality. My traditional basketry weaving techniques enabled me to develop my very own peerless art form by freely using my imagination and creative interests."

Her work is abstract in the sense that she leaves it to the viewer to assign their own interpretations and meaning to her work. Many are biomorphic, suggesting amoeba, paramecium and other single-cell organisms. Others conjure images of rolling hills, mountain ranges and the Amazon rain forest.

"None of my sculptures are pinched or squeezed," Sally explains. "The shapes you see are woven that way." There is no armature or skeleton, which makes even her largest wall hangings extremely lightweight and easy to hang.

Not surprisingly, Bright has won numerous Best of Shows and Awards of Excellence across the country in the 10-15 shows in which she exhibits each year. She enjoys the art festival experience, which affords her the opportunity to share her art, inspiration and process with countless admirers and future collectors. "I'd exhibit more, but I also need to put in my time in the studio," she quickly adds. ""After weaving artistic works for almost 30 years, I still strive to continue pushing the definition of 'basketry;' to increase the complexity of my work; to stimulate the imagination of the viewer; and to create beauty."

The Estero Fine Art Show™ takes place at Miromar Outlet Mall this weekend. This high-quality juried art show opens at 10 a.m. today and runs until 4 p.m.

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