Sherry Gould

Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2014

Image of Sherry Gould with one of her baskets.
Sherry Gould

Artist Bio

 Sherry Gould lives in Warner, NH with her husband Bill. They were both born and raised in New Hampshire. Together, they raised their two daughters in Warner. They celebrate their Abenaki heritage and love making beautiful baskets.

Sherry studied Abenaki fancy baskets in 2004 and 2007 with master artist Jeanie Brink of Barre, VT through grants from the New Hampshire Arts Council, Traditional Arts apprenticeship program. Together Sherry and Bill studied utilitarian Abenaki basket-making in 2006 under master artist Newt Washburn of Bethlehem, NH. Sherry’s basket focus is on fancy baskets.

From 2009-2013 Sherry has taught four apprentices, some through an award from the NH Arts Council, Traditional Arts program. She became a juried basketmaker through the League of NH Craftsmen in 20065, being the first Native American artist in the league.

Artist Statement

 I love baskets. They are, and they have always been a part of who I am. I am many things, but I am best known for my baskets.  When I work with my husband on baskets, we are the most centered and “one” as any time in our lives together. When my mother, or my daughters, or my nephew, my sister, my brother, or my grandchildren sit down to make a basket with me, there is nothing wrong anywhere in the world. This signifies to me the rightness of basket making in my life. I can sit all alone with strips of brown ash and sweetgrass and create a work, first in my mind’s eye, then in a dimensional reality and I feel all those in my family who came before me and are no longer walking with us, who sat, saw and created their own basketry.

Gathering the materials for baskets is fundamentally woven into the process of my work. My husband gathers the brown ash trees. He is a lumberman; it is so very much a part of who he is. He is so much a part of who I am, and it brings him into each basket I create. We gather sweetgrass together from indigenous places in New Hampshire and Maine. It is an act of worship in concert with those old ones who visited and tended and harvested in those gardens of old. I gather the materials to add color and texture to my baskets from my land, or from the flea market, or online. It is all the same, a simple and beautiful act of gathering.

I learned this art form from two incredible traditional artists; Jeanne Brink, a fancy basket maker and Newt Washburn, a utilitarian basket maker. Being rooted in these two veins of Abenaki tradition provides a solid base for my work. I have started down a path of divergence from the traditional basket forms I was taught. It is a bit frightening to wander off, but it is very exciting! It is my prayer that you see beauty in my basket and that it evokes in you a deep sense that all is right in your world.

Contact Info

Phone: 603-938-2613
Email:  sherrygould@tds.net

Website: Western Abenaki Baskets 

Demonstrations

2013    

  • Nulheganaki, Island Pond, VT
  • Discovering Your Native American Roots, Franklin Pierce Homestead, Hillsboro, NH
  • The Language of Baskets. Hopkinton Historical Society, Hopkinton, NH
  • Harvest Moon Festival,  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH

2012    

  • Nulheganaki. Island Pond, VT
  • Harvest Moon Festival,  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum,  Warner, NH

2011   

  • New Hampshire Open Doors
  • Harvest Moon Festival,  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  • Nulheganaki. Island Pond, VT
  • Town of Holderness 250th Celebration, Holderness,NH
  • The Hillsboro Historical Society, Hillsboro, NH
  • Franklin Pierce Homestead, NH
  • League Of NH Craftsmen Fair

2010   

Cornish Fair, Cornish, NH

2009    

League Of NH Craftsmen Fair

Exhibits

2014     

  • Traditional Sources, Contemporary Visions – Invitational Group Art Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • All of my Relations: Faces and Effigies from the Native World – Invitational Group Art Exhibit.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, N.H.

2011    

Basket Trail, Warner Historical Society, Warner, NH.

2010    

  • Baskets and Boxes, Gallery 205, LNHC, Concord, NH
  • New England-Based Indigenous Artists, Diamond Library, UNH, Durham, NH
  • Walking with Us – Honoring the Northeast Native American Heritage, Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Concord, NH

2009    

  • Tomorrow’s Masters, Hopkinton Historical Society, Hopkinton, NH
  •  First People of the Northeast, Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Concord, NH

2007    

Gallery 205, League of New Hampshire Craftsman (LNHC), Concord, NH.

2006    

Pathways: Evolution in American Indian Material Culture, Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, St. Johnsbury VT.

 Permanent Collections

  • Handkerchief basket, Dartmouth Preschool Program, Hanover, N.H. Apr 2010
  • Wall pocket basket, Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, N.H. May, 2011

 Consultations

  • “Native American Quadricentennial Advisory Committee” member (2008-2009)
  •  “Mountains and Artists; presentation and panel discussion” Panelist and demonstration of works, at the Dreaming Mountains: Exploring the white mountains through the arts conference, Whitefield, NH (Sep 2008)
  •  “Abenaki Basket Trail” Organizing consultant, sponsored by Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Hopkinton Historical Society, Newbury Historical Society, Warner Historical Society, New Hampshire Historical Society (2009-2011)
  •  “Hillsboro, NH Living History Event” Implementing a Native American component to this annual event. For 2011 funding from the NH Council on the Arts paid three Native American artists to present. For 2012 historic presentation of an early 19th century Abenaki basket maker tourist camp with sales will be integrated to the program on Jones Road. (2010 – present)
  • “Holderness 250th Anniversary” Arranged Native American artisans to demonstrate beadwork, basketmaking and flute making. Also a woods walk, “The Feast at our Feet” (2011)

Featured Articles

Awards

  • Abenaki Fancy Basket Internship NH Council on the Arts, Jeanne Brink Barre, VT, 2004
  • Juried League of New Hampshire Craftsman, Abenaki Fancy Baskets, 2005
  • Abenaki Utilitarian Basket Internship NH Council on the Arts, Newt Washburn (National Fellowship     Award Winner), Bethlehem, NH, 2005
  • Abenaki Fancy Basket Internship NH Council on the Arts, Jeanne Brink Barre, VT, 2007
  • Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant NH Council on the Arts, Denise Pouliot intern, Warner, NH, 2009
  • Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant NH Council on the Arts, Julie Keith intern, Warner, NH, 2011
  •  Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant NH Council on the Arts, Jayne Jorden intern, Warner, NH, 2012

Affiliations

  • League of New Hampshire Craftsman (2005-present)
  • Northeast Basket Makers Guild (2010-present)
  • New Hampshire Commission on Native American Affairs, addressing (in part) the Indian  Arts and Crafts Act as it effects New Hampshire (2010-2013)
  • Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Charter Member, Wijokadoak,  Executive Director
  • Native American Quadricentennial Advisory Committee (2008-2009)
  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association