Texas native Sarita Westurp is a contemporary basket weaver whose sculptural works are inspired by where she was born and grew up.
Artist: Westrup grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas and earned an MFA in fibers at the University of North Texas.
Over the years, she has taken classes and served as studio assistant at several craft schools, including Penland (NC), Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (TN), and Peters Valley School of Craft (NJ). She also served as a staff member at the Penland School of Craft from 2018-2021.
Company/studio: Westrup has been working in textiles, sculpture, and public engagement since 2012. Her current studio is located at Arts Fort Worth in Fort Worth as part of their Emerging Artist Residency Program.
In the beginning:
As a young person, she started in fibers by sewing, stitching, knitting and crochet. After enrolling at the University of North Texas, Westrup took up weaving on the loom.
Her work evolved into wanting to incorporate found objects that reflect her Mexican-American identity.
Eventually, basketry became the technique that supported her interest in mixed media. It also required little, or no large equipment.
Art & materials: Sculptural forms out of basketry reed and a combination of materials, such as cement and metal. The work, in various sizes, can sit or hang on the wall.
What’s popular: Functional baskets and natural dyed textiles (under $100). Also sculptural works ($100 to $300).
Other favorites: Natural dye workshops.
Process: The sculptural basketry forms in reed are meditatively twined then massaged with cement, painted with spray paint and finally rubbed with graphite.
Favorite tool(s): Needle nose pliers, flush cutters, and a pool noodle as a gauge.
- Objects including: fencing, large mysterious vessels in rural areas, movement, nets, crusty textures and the work of friends.
- Artists including: Damian Ortega, Perla Krauze, Tanya Aguiñiga and Consuelo Jimenez Underwood.
Recent awards/honors: 2022 American Craft Council Emerging Artists Cohort program, which includes a $10,000 accelerator grant.
- Incorporating more color into her work.
- Solo Exhibition at Arts Fort Worth in Fort Worth, March 3-April 1.
Where to buy:
- The Signature Contemporary Craft Gallery & Shop in Atlanta (thesignatureshop.com/collections/sarita-westrup)
- Facebook: Sarita Westrup
- Instagram: @saritawestrup