Teaching Roster

Kathleen Janke

Self-employed since 1985, Kathleen Janke works in multiple mediums concentrating on pine needle basketry and alcohol inks. She studied at both Northern Illinois University and the American Academy of Art. In 2019 she began to find her focus and with the onset of the pandemic she began to consider working full-time as an artist. A year later she started selling her artwork and by the spring of 2021, she boldly sold her bed and breakfast to focus on being a full-time artist. By 2022 Janke’s basketry and paintings were available at shows, and on her website. During this time, she also taught classes for three different craft guilds. Often on the road selling her work at art shows and craft fairs, in the fall of 2022, she participated in a show or fair 35 out of 60 days. In 2023 Janke received the Individual Artist Fellowship in Craft from the Tennessee Arts Commission.

When asked about her process, Janke noted, “By wrapping and coiling the Southern Long Leaf Pine Needles together and attaching them to a gourd, I start weaving with a plan or idea. As I’m weaving, the basket takes on a life of its own. It takes me down a path I haven’t traveled before and evolves into an artistic journey for me. Each basket is unique and becomes more than a sum of its parts…It is largely inspired by my close connection to the natural environment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and my love of gardening and experience with landscape design.” – Janke