Kathryn Rousso

Ketchikan
2023 Fellowship AwardCrafts2015 Project AwardCrafts

About the artist

Rousso says that when she moved to Southeast Alaska in the late 1970s, she felt she had found her place. She lived in remote camps working for the U.S. Forest Service. Then she took a cedar bark basketry class at the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan. She says she instantly fell in love with basketweaving.

2023 Fellowship Award

Rousso is a textile artist and third-generation immigrant whose ancestral roots lead back to the 1492 Sephardic diaspora from Spain. She will explore her unique Jewish heritage and cultural identity through intensive research, museum visits and travels to trace her roots back to her homeland.

Rousso will reestablish connections with traditional Jewish customs and connect with other Jewish Alaska artists. She plans to research traditional Jewish textiles and cook traditional foods for Jewish holidays. She will physically reverse the direction of her lineage through a pilgrimage eastward from Ketchikan to Seattle, New York, Greece and Spain, exploring Sephardic neighborhoods and learning about the places of her ancestors. Rousso will also be an artist-in-residence at Mudhouse Residency in Crete, Greece.

2015 Project Award

Rousso created an exhibit exploring A Sense of Place, featuring photos and textiles made from plant materials used around the world.

Artwork by Kathryn Rousso

“A View from the Window” / round reed, red and yellow cedar bark and woven abaca / 13″ x 10″ x 10″ / 2021.
“Forest Canopy”represents the green forest canopy of the coastal rainforest. Waxed linen, seed beads, round reed and yellow cedar bark / 11″ x 10” x 10″/ 2020.
“Winter Blues with a Hint of Hope” is a unique basket design and style by Kathryn Rousso drawn first on graph paper with the top band woven around her knees during a loved one’s extended hospital stay. The top band is twined, and the bottom section is knotless-netted cedar bark over round reed. Waxed linen, seed beads, yellow cedar bark and round reed / 13″ x 11″ x 11″ / 2018.