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 Barbara Woodford, Interpretive Program Manager for Alapocas Run and Wilmington State Parks, 302-577-7020, cell:  302-383-4608,; or Jim Hall, Chief of Cultural Resources, Delaware State Parks, 302-739-9186,                   

Blue Ball Barn, White Oak Baskets: Meet the Artist and Make a Basket

WILMINGTON (April 18, 2012) The Blue Ball Barn is hosting a special Folk Art in Action program with basket artist Mary May and folklorist Jaclyn Stewart on Sunday, April 22, 10 12:30 p.m. The Blue Ball Barn, where Delaware-made white oak baskets are on permanent display, serves as the setting for basket artist and basket fans to gather to share and make baskets.  This Mid Atlantic Arts Outreach Program is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The program is offered free to the public; park entrance fees are in effect.

The program begins with an introduction from Mary May, describing her background and the fundamentals of basket construction.  Participants learn the importance of basket weaving in New Jersey, and its impact on life from the colonial period to the present. Participants learn basic weaving techniques as well the uses of several different types of baskets. 

The highlight of this afternoon program will be the lucky participants who will make their own hand-woven blueberry basket with guidance from May.  The Blue Ball Barn program concludes a three-day long artist exchange with Delaware Master Basket Maker Joe Hughes. Both Hughes and May will be demonstrating their crafts at the Killen’s Pond Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 21, 2012, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information on Jersey Traditions, call the Blue Ball Barn at Alapocas Run State Park, 302-577-1164.

Mary May, of Forked River, NJ is a master basket maker specializing in South Jersey white oak baskets and basket traditions.  She has researched and compiled extensive information on baskets and basket makers from local historical societies, museums and private collections. She is a regular demonstrator at the Tuckerton Seaport, New Jersey Forestry Interpretive Center and the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, and she is a teaching artist in the Jersey Shore Folklife Center’s Jersey Traditions outreach program.

The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation develops partnerships and programs that reinforce artists’ capacity to create and present work, advance access to and participation in the arts, and promote a more sustainable arts ecology. The Foundation serves the states and territories of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the US Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia.

Alapocas Run State Park features the Can-Do Playground, the historic the Blue Ball Barn and a multi-use trail that connects to the Northern Delaware Greenway. The Blue Ball Barn, built in 1914 by Alfred I. DuPont, is named after the Blue Ball Tavern, an inn and meeting house that was once located near the property. The Blue Ball Barn is now the home of the Delaware Folk Art Collection, which reflects local cultures of Delaware.  

Vol. 42, No.138

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