Dawn Bassett is something of an outlier in the world of fine art. She didn’t have any artists in her family; she grew up far from any town in the mountains where a career in the arts was as close as a walk on the moon. She didn’t go to art school; and she didn’t chart an immediate path into a career in fine art. But since childhood, Dawn’s vivid mindscape and ability to create with her hands what those visions entailed, has been core to her very existence.
As a young adult, Dawn carved a prolific channel into the architecture and design community. She opened her first successful business at the age of 23, combining object design and hand-sewing to create custom lighting pieces, as well as building relationships with designers and architects, undertaking apprenticeships, and showcasing thousands of her pieces in luxury projects.
Along the way Dawn discovered lime-based plaster and saw untapped potential. Largely self-taught, she dedicated years to mastering the forms of architectural plaster, all the while experimenting and planting seeds for a breathing body of artwork that stands in stark relief against a backdrop of plaster as a static finish. With pilgrimages and residencies around the world, she obtained as much knowledge as she could gather about fine plasters. With techniques developed by herself through innovation and experimentation, a more than 2,000 year old formula for a Moroccan building material, tadelakt, is exploded into a new artistic medium. In this new genre, you see the transformation of a prosaic time-worn architectural finish into a new language backed by a voice dedicated to unlocking it’s secrets while preserving the material’s mystique and curating the artist’s own wonder.
EDUCATION Apprenticeships with Master Plasterers in Paris, Rome, Lacoste, and Marrakech
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS 2023 Around the Edges: Dawn Bassett, Mitra Fabian, Leslie Lewis Sigler, and Tim Yankosky, Billis Williams Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2023 Disruptive Innovation: Group exhibition, Vetri/Traver, Seattle, WA 2023 New Arrivals: Wall Sculpture, Billis Williams Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2023 Gallery Artists: Recent Work, Billis Williams Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2023 Oxides and Pigments: New Works by Dawn Bassett and Cedric Mitchel, Vetri/Traver, Seattle, WA 2023 Dawn Bassett: Time In A Bottle, Collector showcase with Seattle Art Source, Seattle, WA 2022 Pressure + Water / Fire + Air: New works in tadelakt plaster by Dawn Bassett and glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly and John Kiley, Vetri/Traver, Seattle,WA
BIOGRAPHY Dawn Bassett grew up in the mountains of nowhere and pursued her interests over a formal art education. The curiosity and experimentation payed off when she started working with plaster nearly 20 years ago. Alongside a 15 year career in designing/building of custom lighting, she studied and mastered the applications of multiple fine architectural lime plasters. Through this research she found the most mystery and possibilities in the 2,000+ year Moroccan formula for tadelakt. Currently residing in the Rogue River Valley of Oregon, Bassett and her daughter enjoy a beautiful life eating figs and tomatoes from the yard and of course, playing with ancient mud.