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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Visual Arts Video Clips

Baskets: Jennifer Heller (Zurick)



Jennifer Heller describes how she harvests willow bark, experiments with various twining techniques, and designs and creates fine baskets that are both functional and artistic. She also relates how most of her skills are self-taught, having developed over time, and explains that the completion of each new basket represents a spiritual connection with the material from start to finish.

Suggested Uses:

  • Use to spark a discussion about the artist’s methods and intentions as well as the creative process in general. Have students create art based on the video and your discussion. (See “Introduction to Basket Making Traditions” in the “Art & Culture” section of the binder for more information.)
  • Pair with the “Art of Craft: Rude Osolnik” segment on Responding to Art for a discussion of the purposes of art.
  • Use in conjunction with the Kentucky Virtual Art Museum CD-ROM, finding other examples of baskets. How does Heller’s description of her work help illuminate the processes and intentions behind the baskets students find in the museum?
  • Use with other excerpts featuring traditional Kentucky arts and crafts to explore these traditions and their significance. (See “A Closer Look at Folk Art” in the “Art & Culture” section of the binder for more information.)
  • Use as part of a “careers in the arts” unit or as an introductory activity before an artist-in-residence visits your classroom.


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