Emily Dvorin

158 Hillside Avenue, Kentfield, CA 94904 / (415) 461-0131

Artist Statement

I call myself a sculptural basketmaker. I am known for my innovative, “transordinary” vessels. Challenging the original definition of basketry, I explore contemporary interpretations of this traditional craft, utilizing non-traditional materials. I transform the ordinary through the processes of manipulation, construction, alteration, repetition of singular elements, coiling, weaving and assembling to create dense arrangements of common, urban objects. I sculpt with fiber and interact with material, pattern, color, design, shape and texture. My use of re-purposed, re-contextualized materials is commentary on overconsumption of commercial goods, societal excess and throwaway consumerism. My work references everyday life and our relationship with our urban environment. I use the vessel form with an emotional and personal visual vocabulary to speak about life’s issues. Color and texture, whimsy, exuberance, optimism, and a sometimes edgy approach, always enter into my work.


Emily is a self-taught, award-winning fiber artist. She grew up in New Jersey in the 50s, a child of an intellectual family. Her father was a psychiatrist, and her mother was a high-school teacher. Growing up, she was told her creativity and artistic approach were “cute”. In college in the 60s, Emily majored in foreign languages (Spanish, French and Italian) because that felt more appropriate to her parents than art did. She got married and went to graduate school for her Masters in Teaching, and then taught third grade for four years until she left to start a family. Her husband’s job took her and her family to California in the 70s, where they settled in Marin County. Art and music remained a part of her life during this time she sang in a Community Chorus, and in the mid-70s, partnered with a friend to open Various & Sundries, a contemporary crafts store in San Anselmo, California. She did a lot of macrame it was the 70s, after all–and discovered an enduring fondness for fiber art. In the early 80s, she took a basket workshop in the basement of the old Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and her life was forever changed. She had an “a-HA!” moment and realized that basketry and three-dimensional work were what she truly loved. Emily had little formal art training, other than workshops here and there, including four years in a “Fiber Sculpture” studio class. She learned traditional techniques this way, but then branched out into her own innovations. Still a teacher after all these years, as well as a learner, Emily began offering workshops of her own to adults and going into 3rd-8th grade school classrooms to bring the joy of basketry to a wider audience. In 2008, after owning and operating Various & Sundries for 35 years, and enabling other artists to gain wider audience and appreciation for their work, Emily retired to live her life’s dream of being a full-time artist. She now has a studio in Sausalito, California. She continues to teach classes for both adults and children, and she speaks, consults and exhibits all around the country.



Juried Exhibitions (Partial List)

2012“Crossing Lines: The Many Faces of Fiber”, The Textile Study Group of NY Exhibition, NYC
2011“Fiberart International” Exhibition, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY “Green: The Color and The Cause” Show, The Textile Museum, Washington, DC Inside/Outside” Exhibition, Goggle Works Center For The Arts, Reading, PA “National Fiber Directions” Exhibit, Wichita Center for the Arts, Wichita, KS “Fiber Optics” California Fiber Artists Show, Bakersfield Museum, Bakersfield, CA “Retread Threads” Show, Textile Center, Minneapolis, MN “The Edge of Excess II” Exhibit, Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles, MO “Artfully Reclaimed V” Exhibit, Marin Moca, Novato, CA “Fiber Enriched” California Fiber Artists Show, William Thonson Gallery, Eureka, CA “All Things Considered VI” National Basketry Organization Show, Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA
2010“On The Cutting Edge – West Coast Artists Using Collage & Assemblage” Show, Coos Bay Museum, OR “Fiberart International 2010” Exhibition, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburg, PA “More Than Fiber – A Creative Approach To Material” Exhibition, Goggle Works Center For The Arts, PA “Fantastic Fibers: An International Juried Art Exhibition”, Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, KY “Pushing the Limits” Fiber Exhibition, Artspace Gallery, Richmond, VA “National Art Encounter” Show, The Von Liebig Art Center, Naples, FL “Fiber Options: Material Explorations” Exhibit, Maryland Federation of Art, Annapolis, MD “Text and Texture” California Fiber Artists Show, The Gallery at 48 Natoma, Folsom, CA
2009“Twentieth Annual Teapot Show” A. Houberbocken, Inc., Chicago, IL “Nothing New – Fiber Art From Recycled Materials” Show, Textile Center, Minneapolis, MN “Alchemy: Artfully Reclaimed IV” Exhibition, Marin MOCA, Novato, CA “Resurrect: The Art of the Reclaimed Object” Exhibition, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ “Fiber Dimensions at Falkirk” Show, Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA “S.O.F.A. Chicago” Exhibition, Mobilia Gallery, Chicago. IL
2008“Strength & Vulnerability” Show, 2nd City Council Art Gallery, Long Beach, LA “Beyond Basketry 2008” National Exhibit, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH “New Fibers 2008” Exhibit, University Art Gallery & William Bonifas Arts Center, MI “Mass Consumption” Exhibit, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ
2007“Funky Junk” – The Art of Recycling Show, Art Center, San Luis Obispo, CA “Arte de Descartes VII” – Art From Discards Show, Stables Gallery, Taos, NM “Third Annual National Fiber Arts Show”, Sixth Street Gallery, Vancouver, WA “Call for Small” Exhibit, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA “Off The Wall” – Surface Design Association Show, Translations Gallery, Denver, CO “Fiber National Show”, Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster, PA “Artfully Reclaimed II­­I” Exhibit Art League of Northern California, Novato, CA “Nothing New: Fiber From Recycled Materials” Show Textile Center, Minneapolis, MN “Yosemite Renaissance XXII” Show, Yosemite Museum Gallery, Yosemite, CA (traveling) “28th Annual Contemporary Crafts” Show, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ “A Twist on Tradition” Show, Artisans Center of Virginia, Waynesboro, VA “S.O.F.A. New York” Exhibition, Mobilia Gallery, NY “S.O.F.A. Chicago” Exhibition, Mobilia Gallery, Chicago. IL (2004–2007) “Dimensions 2008” National Exhibit, AAWS Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC “Materials Hard & Soft” Exhibit, The Meadows Gallery, Denton, TX “Intersections” Show, Fiber/Dimensions, Presidio SF, CA
2006“The Art of Craft” Show, B. J. Spoke Gallery, Huntington, NY­ “Fiber Fever” Exhibit, Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles, MO “Waves of Tradition” Show, Slater Mill Gallery, Pawtucket, RI “Absolute Abstracts” Show, Artisans Gallery, San Rafael, CA “Crafts National, Contemporary”, Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster, PA “Beyond Fibers: New Forms” Show, Eleanor Bliss Center for the Arts, Steamboat Springs, CO “Materials Hard & Soft” Exhibit, The Meadows Gallery, Denton, TX (2005–2006) “Intersections” Show, fiber/Dimensions, Presidio Herbst Exhibition Hall, San Francisco, CA (2002, 2004) 38th, 36th, 34th “Annual Textile Art Exhibit”, Olive Hyde Gallery, Oakland,CA (2002, 2004) “Innovations in Fiberart” Exhibit, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA (2002, 2004)
2005“Hide and Reveal,” 4th Cheongju International Craft Competition, Cheongju City, Republic of Korea “Nothing New – Fiber Art from Recycled Materials” Show, Textile Center Gallery, Minneapolis, MN “Craft USA”, National Craft Triennial Juried Exhibition, Silvermine Guild Arts, New Canaan, CT (2002)
2004 “California Design 2004” Show, 600 Townsend Gallery, San Francisco, CA “Forms: Function Optional” Show, Artworks Downtown, San Rafael, CA
“Traditional Craft / Contemporary Art” National Exhibit, New Hampshire Institute of Art, Manchester, NH “Found Objects” National Exhibit, Long Beach Arts, Long Beach, CA (2003)
2003 “Seams Likely: An Exhibit of Contemporary Fiber”, Art Works Gallery, Newark, OH “Traditions: The Blessing and the Curse” National Exhibit, Womanmade Gallery, Chicago, IL “Fun &Games:A Playful Look at Fine Craft”National Exhibit, Artisans Center of Virginia, Waynesboro, VA
2002 “Moving Through Light”, National Juried Exhibition, Portland, OR “Light and Laughter: An Exhibition of Crafts and Small Art Works”, Claudia Chapline Gallery, Stinson Beach, CA
2001 “Visceral Works: Ten Fiber Artists”Show, Sight and Insight Gallery, Mill Valley, CA “Contemporary Baskets” Exhibit, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ “eMotion Pictures – Orthopaedics in Art” Show, San Francisco, CA Transforming Trash”Exhibition, Redding Museum, Redding, CA“Form:Paper &Fiber” Show, Artisans Gallery, Mill Valley, CA
1999 “Marin Lagoon Art Festival”, San Rafael, CA (1999 – 2007)
“Fine Art Exhibit”, Marin County Fair, San Rafael, CA (1999 – 2007)

Invitational Exhibitions

2009 “Fiber 2009” Show, ACCI Gallery, Berkeley, CA “Nature/Culture – Artists Respond to Their Environment”, Lakeview Museum, Peoria, IL.
2008 “Shredding Precepts – Explorations in Fiber” Exhibition, Lakewood Cultural Center, Lakewood, CO “Nature/Culture – Artists Respond to Their Environment”, Mansfield Art Center, Mansfield OH. “Nature/Culture – Artists Respond to Their Environment”, Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH.
2007 “Nature/Culture – Artists Respond to Their Environment”, The Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ.
2006 “Nature/Culture – Artists Respond to Their Environment”, Soc. for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA. “Goods and Objects”: Artisan Exhibit & Sale, Pelham Art Center, Pelham, NY “Extreme Materials” Exhibition, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY

Solo Exhibitions

2005 “Emily Dvorin” Show, Crockett Contemporary Art Gallery, Crockett, CA
2000 Solo Show, Arrivederci Restaurant, San Rafael, CA (1996, 1997)
1995 “Women’s Work”Show, Brick Hut Gallery, Berkeley, CA


2006 Profile – Emily Dvorin (Niche Magazine, Spring 2006)
American Art Collector, Alcove Books “Breaking New Ground” (Surface Design Journal Gallery Issue, Fall 2006)
2005 Art Collectors West, Alcove Books
2003 “Profile in Success – Emily Dvorin: Weaving Three Decades of Craft Retailing and Artistry” (The Crafts Report, October 2003) – feature article “Creating Abundance” (Surface Design Journal, Summer 2003) – front cover and feature article Craft of Northern California, Alcove Books
2001 Women Artists Datebook, Cedco Publishing Company
2000 Making the New Baskets: Alternative Materials, Traditional Techniques, Lark Books


2011 Original basket for Nick Walker, San Francisco, CA
2004 Original basket for lobby of Hydrofarm, Inc., Petaluma, CA
1997 Original basket for lobby display, Summit Medical Center, Oakland, CA
1996 Original basket for front cover of Tradición y Cambio, McGraw Hill Publishing Co., San Francisco, CA