Rubin's favorite work, and my own, is Mary Merkel-Hess's Midsummer (left). A pair of slender boat shapes, walled with rising reeds in grassy green on one work and sage green fading to goldenrod yellow on the other, suggest grassy hills and evoke the Iowa landscape Merkel-Hess names as her inspiration. This quiet work, speckled in tiny buttercup-yellow dots, enchants the February-frosted viewer into dreaming about running over a sunlit summer hillside. The exhibit Transitions/Translations: Innovations in Basketry is at WCC's GalleryOne through March 14.
[Originally published in February, 2005.]