Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Mavis Doering - 1929-2007

Except taken from: Art of the Cherokee by Susan Power

"One of the most accomplished weavers, Mavis Doering, was born August 31, 1929, in Hominy, Oklahoma. She was named an Honored One by the Red Earth organization of Oklahoma in acknowledgment of her exceptional weaving skills. Doering's style combines elements of traditional Cherokee basket construction techniques with her own unique desing interpretations. Ina 1989 artist's statement for the Native Americans as Creative Adaptors exhibition in Athens, Georgia, she says, "Basket weaving offers many things to me and, as a third generation weaver. I strive to do the best job I can so that my people would be proud" (Doering 1989, 30) Four examples of her weaving, Buckbrush Baskets (figure 63), illustrate her style, emphasing repetitive bands of contrasting colors, two adorned with leather, beads, and fathers, typical of her mixed-media works.

Using buckbrush and honesuckle runners, white-Oak and ash splints, reed, and cane, Mavis Doering creates a range of different styles and patterns, often embellished with attachments to give the baskets heightened visual interest. She faithfully researches and fathers natural materials, spending many hours preparing and dyeing the weaving elements before beginning the actual weaving. "The majority of materials that I use are gathered in eastern Oklahoma. My mother owns and lives on 80 acres which is part of her original allotment, about 20 miles east of Tahlequah, and this is where I obtain most of the natural materials that I work with" (30). Most Doering baskets bear well-known Cherokee patterns, such as Mountain Peaks, Double Chief's Daughter, and Lightning.

A member of the Cherokee Nation of (in) Oklahoma, Doering created a group of baskets that incorporated painted elements contributed by contemporary painters Gerald Stone (Seminole-Cherokee), Jeanne Rorex (later Jeanne Rorex Bridges, Cherokee) and Joan Brown (Cherokee-Creek) and unique motifs such as the Witch Deer. The basekts were shown at the Sixth Annual Sales exhibition, June 12-September 30, 1988, at the Southern Plains Indian Museum and Crafts Center, Anadarko, Oklahoma (Anonymous 1988, 64-65) Mavis Doering has been featured in television programs and is the recipient of numerous awards for her works, which are represented in several private and permanent collections, including the Southern Plains museum and the Oklahoma State Art Collection."

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