Jennifer Heller Zurick is a self-taught artist who has been professionally producing willow bark baskets since 1980. She harvests and processes the inner bark from trees growing along the banks of the Kentucky River, transforming it into one of a kind, intricately woven vessels from her rural home studio in the foothills near Berea, Kentucky. Her work has been featured in many regional and national exhibitions and she has taught numerous workshops throughout her career.
Zurick states, “I aspire to create simple, elegant woven vessels that possess a richness of spirit and a presence embodying the soul of the tree from which they came. My creativity flows from an essential, intimate connection to the natural world and a fascination with old tribal textiles, finely woven functional containers, indigenous cultures, and ancient processes.”
Zurick has been awarded several Kentucky Arts Council grants including two Visual Artist Fellowships, and she was chosen for the 1999 Kentucky Arts Council Cultural Exchange Residency in Ecuador. Her work has been regionally recognized for years and is currently winning awards at prestigious national exhibitions and shows, most recently a $50,000 Fellowship from United States Artists. She is a juried member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen and the Southern Highland Handcraft Guild.
Works by Jennifer Heller Zurick can be seen at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.