Sarah Sockbeson (Artist Profile)

Sarah Sockbeson is an award-winning Native American artist who creates traditional, yet contemporary, brown ash and sweetgrass baskets. Sarah is part of a new generation of basketmakers who is pushing the boundaries of Wabanaki cultural art to an exciting new level. With her visionary approach, she seeks to not only protect and preserve a precious and culturally important art form, but also to break apart stereotypes by educating and producing works that represent her own unique perspective as a modern Native artist living in today’s world.

Growing up on and off Indian Island, the homelands of the Penobscot, Sarah was exposed to Native art at an early age. She was always strongly drawn to traditional ash baskets in particular. Coming from a long line of basketmakers, it was unfortunate that the line of knowledge stopped when her great-grandmother passed away before teaching Sarah’s generation.

Fortunately in 2004, Sarah was introduced to the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, an organization dedicated to preserving traditional cultural knowledge (founded at a time when culture bearers were declining in number and increasing in age.) It was then that she had the opportunity to apprentice with renowned basketmaker Jennifer Sapiel Neptune, Penobscot. This sparked a true love and appreciation for the art form, while deepening her reverence for culturally sacred and vitally important natural resources inseparable to Native ways of life.

Since then, Sarah has dedicated her life to being a working Native artist, becoming an integral part of the Wabanaki arts community. She continues to serve as an active participant, teacher/mentor, and innovator among her tribe, as well as within the national Indigenous arts community. While her work is undeniably tied to cultural tradition, she infuses the traditional artform with her contemporary style, embracing her modern perspective and experience.

By raising awareness about what is often considered endangered traditional knowledge, processes and materials, Sarah hopes to acquaint and broaden audiences. Her goals are for deeper understanding, appreciation, and to open the door to conversations pertaining to cultural art and Indigenous perspective. With this approach, it is Sarah’s intent to serve as a positive representation of her people and values, while inspiring future generations of Native American artists.

For more information about Sarah Sockbeson, please visit or her website and her Facebook page.

Photo – Sarah Sockbeson, basketmaker

Upcoming 2023 Wabanaki Winter Market (Saturday, December 9, 2023) :

Organized by the Hudson Museumthe Wabanaki Winter Market is New England’s largest holiday gathering of Wabanaki artists. The annual december event features Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance award-winning weavers, as well as new artists representing the next generation of weavers.

The event is supported in part by grants from the Maine Office of Tourism and the Onion Foundation

Location of the event: The Collins Center for the Arts (2 Flagstaff Road|Orono, Maine)
Date: Saturday, December 9, 2023 (from 9 am to 3 pm)
Contact: Gretchen Faulkner | Director, Hudson Museum (207.581.1904)

For event updates, please visit: