Vera Manigault to present sweetgrass basket class April 22

Vera Manigault of Mt. Pleasant, S.C. has been creating Gullah sweet grass baskets since she was five years old. You may have seen her on CNN, the Discovery Channel or the Weather Channel. On Monday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. she is presenting a coiled basketry workshop at Sunset River Marketplace art gallery in Calabash, N.C.

This is a rare opportunity for participants to learn firsthand how to create their own small sweet grass baskets. According to Manigault, they should expect to complete them by the end of the session.

Sweet grass basketry in this country dates back to the seventeenth century when the tradition was brought from West Africa by slaves. These early baskets were made of bulrush, which grew throughout the low country marshlands. Since then basket makers have added other materials to their baskets. Today’s baskets are constructed with long leaf pine, sweet grass, bulrush, and palmetto leaves.

An eighth generation basket maker, Manigault is known for her story telling and natural dye colored sweet grass baskets. She will bring a collection of baskets for sale, which will be available to the public at the close of the workshop.

The four-hour class costs $110 per participant. To register, call the gallery at 910.575.5999.

About Sunset River Marketplace
Since opening in 2002, Sunset River Marketplace has been an active supporter of performing, literary and visual arts in the area. The 10,000 square-foot gallery features work by over 200 North and South Carolina artists. Its on-site pottery studio has two kilns and three wheels for use by students. Ongoing oil, pastel and watercolor classes are also provided, in addition to workshops by nationally known artists. The gallery’s complimentary Coffee With the Authors programs feature presentations by local and regional authors. A Paint & Party series provides a fun after-work experience for those with no previous art background. The gallery’s framing department offers full-service, on-site custom frame design for artwork, family heirlooms and other memorabilia.

Sunset River Marketplace is located at 10283 Beach Drive (Hwy. 179) in the historic fishing village of Calabash, N.C. just north of the S.C. state line. Hours Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information about the current exhibition, art classes, onsite framing or any other gallery events, call 910-575-5999 or visit the website: The gallery’s Facebook page ( also lists special events, new artists and other happenings.