Ronnileigh Goeman | Baskets
May 25–26, 2013, from 10:00 am–5:00 pm
“When I weave a basket, I share the living past of my people. I am able to pass on a traditional art form as well as stories of those who came before, intertwining the past, present and future.” —Ronnileigh Goeman (Guynehgwenta)
Ronnileigh Goeman (Onondaga Nation, Eel Clan) grew up on the Onondaga Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy in Upstate New York. As a young girl she became intrigued with the art of basket making and began making baskets as a teenager. Her work is influenced by many traditional Iroquois women, who taught her the importance of balancing old traditions with individuality. One of these women, Mae Big Tree, a renowned basket maker from the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, became her mentor.
Although Ronnileigh uses traditional Iroquois methods of basket making, she has evolved and elevated her art to another level, in that she collaborates and incorporates the work of Stonehorse Goeman, who sculpts the bases for the baskets, creating “basket sculpture.” All the basket sculptures are inspired and based on Iroquois culture and tradition. Each basket is elaborately woven using ash and sweet grass and embellished with moose hair and quill. The elaborate weaving and incorporation of sculpture creates a one-of-a-kind Iroquois basket sculpture.
Ronnileigh presently resides at the Onondaga Nation with her family. She has accomplished a bachelor of science degree in psychology, a master of science in education, and a master’s of social work degree in clinical social work. She has shown that it is possible to maintain a balance between traditional and contemporary lifestyles. While at home she divides her time making baskets with other traditional Iroquois art forms.
About the Series: Fenimore Art Museum welcomes Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) artists to spend two days in the museum galleries and outdoors at our Native American Interpretive site Otsego: A Meeting Place. Artists teach and create unique artwork and crafts. Engaging conversations with these artists offer a delightful, insightful way to learn about traditional Native American art skills that have been handed down for generations.
Admission to the Native American Artisan Series is included with regular admission to the Fenimore Art Museum. Admission is free to NYSHA members. Become a member today!