Help Promote Contemporary Wabanaki Art On A National Level
Organized by: Sarah Sockbeson
This fundraiser was created in the hopes of raising funds, to assist Penobscot Artist/ Basketmaker Sarah Sockbeson's creative endeavors outside of the New England area. These funds will be used to help offset some of the costs associated with traveling to and participating in one of the largest indian markets in the world, the 2015 Santa Fe Indian Market in New Mexico. Any donation will receive an entry to win an original work of art, a basket handmade by Sarah.
Coming from rural Maine, trips to the major Native markets can be very expensive, stressful, and logistically challenging, especially for an emerging artist, branching out on to the national stage. I know personally, as a full time basket maker, I would not be where I am today in my career, without the support and dedication of individuals, museums, and organizations all over Maine, New England and the country. I extend my gratitude and thanks to all. At these markets, both near and far, the most common question I receive is: what are the baskets made of? The simple answer is "black/or brown ash," but most people outside of New England, have never even heard of the tree, the baskets, or often Wabanaki people and culture. Even among the other Native Americans in the country, there is very limited knowledge of Eastern Tribes. It was these observations that led me to creating a photographic documentation of the traditional basketmaking process. Demonstrating stages from harvesting the tree and sweetgrass, through wood preparation and basket making. With this initial project, I was able to actually bring the information TO people, in a visually appealing way; educating/sharing everywhere I go. While I still feel that it is a work in progress, the reception which the displays have received, is beyond what I could have expected. At every show I attended, there are always crowds interested in the process documentation display. Once someone realizes that the baskets are made from wood and that we harvest the trees ourselves, their eyes are opened and they are amazed by our traditional creations. Educating as many people as possible has become a welcome and fortunate side effect of branching into these national markets, as it gives me the opportunity to bring both the baskets and information to people, in a way that books, print and the Internet never can. When you actually hold a Wabanaki Ash Basket in your hands, you can start to understand why they're so special. I can only hope that by extending the web of educated persons, I will be in turn, helping future artists more easily market and promote their own work at the national level, as well as foster an appreciation for contemporary native culture in today's world. Attending Santa Fe Indian Market in the past, has been an amazing experience for me, both as an artist, as well as a conscious Native person in today's modern world. Spending time in such a vibrant and creative environment has allowed me to broaden my horizons both culturally and artistically, while introducing me to people and opportunities that I might not likely find at home in Maine. I hope that by continuing to attend the larger national markets, that I can continue to share a piece of Wabanaki art and culture and help extend the knowledge and education of our culture outside of Maine. To ensure my continued participation in these Southwestern markets, I reach out to my family, friends, and supporters of my work and Native art, to assist me in my goal of attending this prestigious market in New Mexico. Any donations received will be put towards transportation, lodging, per diem, festival costs, and artist/ booth fees. Donations for Santa Fe Indian Market and return travels will be accepted until August 24th, and any donations made after 8/24 will be used to secure next year's booth space and travel expenses. I am extremely grateful for any and all donations, as everything helps. As a special thank you, all donors will be entered into a drawing to win one of my baskets. To increase your chance of winning any donation over $50 will receive a second entry and additional entries will be entered in increments of $25. The drawing will be held on October 30, 2015 and I will announce the winner on my website and via email. To be entered into the drawing, please submit your name and email address to: email@example.com along with your donation receipt. I will be traveling after Indian Market and will continue educating at every opportunity around the western states. It never ceases to amaze me, how responsive, receptive and genuinely interested people are about ash baskets and about Maine's Wabanaki Tribes. I am thankful everyday for the support I receive as an artist, as it is what has allowed me to continue these important cultural traditions and allows me to do what I love on a daily basis. Thank you for your generosity and on going support. I hope that with this journey I can make my supporters and ancestors proud. Anticipated Fees/ costs: Booth/Artist fee: 400+75 Accommodations: 900 Travel to and from: 1000 Per diem: 300 Booth supplies/ misc: 320