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  • Maine Passamaquoddy Jeremy Frey wins first-place honor at Heard Indian art fair

    Maine Passamaquoddy Jeremy Frey wins first-place honor at Heard Indian art fair. Courtesy photo

    By Ramona du Houx

    In March, three Native American Wabanaki basketmakers from Maine won high honors at a national Indian art fair in Phoenix, Arizona. Jeremy Frey, a Passamaquoddy, won first place in Division B baskets (natural or commercial fibers, any form). and Sarah Sockbeson, a Penobscot, won second place in the same division at the 59th annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market.

    The Heard show is among the most prestigious in the country. It draws nearly 15,000 visitors and more than 600 of the nation’s most successful American Indian artists.

    “I’m just so honored to have my work recognized on the national stage,” said Frey. “It’s more than anyone can ask for, and I am very humbled by this win. It’s recognition like this that keeps me inspired and motivated to create new works.”

    Frey specializes in ash fancy baskets, a traditional form of Wabanaki weaving. He has won Best of Show at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market and the Sante Fe Indian Market, the largest Native American Indian arts market. His work has been featured at the Smithsonian, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, and in many other prominent museums around the country.

    Sarah Sockbeson, a Penobscot, won second place in the same division as Frey at the 59th annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market. Sockbeson incorporates many elements of traditional Wabanaki techniques in her work but uses non-traditional colors, bringing vibrance to her art.

    Geo Neptune, a Passamaquoddy, won honorable mention in Division A baskets (natural fibers and cultural forms) and a Judges Choice award in the same division.