Opens Friday 4/20
When weaver Chanthraphone Daoheuang fled Laos more than 30 years ago, her homeland was torn by war and her life in danger. Disguised as a fisherman, she rowed alone across the Mekong River one rainy night, leaving her 5-year-old daughter behind. At a refugee camp in Thailand she started a weaving school and was eventually reunited with her daughter Ladda. From there they made their way to Minnesota, where Chanthraphone, 71, has maintained the painstakingly difficult ikat weaving tradition that saved their lives. Made with handspun silk thread, her complicated designs are dyed into the thread before the textiles are woven. Her skill earned a folk artist fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2000 and a Bush Foundation fellowship two years later. In a new show, mother and daughter will display the traditional textiles that make Laotian ikat a marvel of the craft world. Chanthraphone will demonstrate ikat weaving at the gallery from 1-3 p.m. April 23 and 2-4 p.m. April 28.