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Jeremy Frey

Jeremy Frey (b. 1978, Passamaquoddy Indian Township Reservation, Maine) is one of the foremost Passamaquoddy craftspeople of his generation. A descendant of a long line of Indigenous weavers, Frey learned traditional Wabanaki methods from his mother and by apprenticing at the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance. Woven from natural materials that the artist himself forages, such as sweetgrass and wood from brown ash trees, Frey’s vessels are characterized by subtle forms, delicately layered colors, and elaborate weaves. Building on and experimenting with the material histories of Wabanaki basketry, the artist’s work is simultaneously in dialogue with the formal language of Greek and Roman pottery and with contemporary sculpture’s emphasis on materiality, form, and variation within repetition. Frey lives in Maine.

The first solo show of Frey’s work was held at Karma, New York (2023). Frey won Best of Show at the Santa Fe Indian Market in 2011, marking the first time a basketmaker achieved this honor in the market’s ninety-year history. That same year, Frey won Best of Show and at the Heard Museum Indian Guild Fair and Market in Phoenix, Arizona, which he would repeat in 2015, making him the first artist ever to do so. Frey’s work is held in the public collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Denver Art Museum, Colorado; Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine; Portland Museum of Art, Maine; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; University of Delaware Special Collections & Museums; and Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, among others.

Frey’s exhibition Jeremy Frey: Woven is currently on view at the Portland Museum of Art, Maine through September 15, 2024.

Single work, Jeremy Frey

Born 1978, Passamaquoddy Indian Township Reservation, Maine

Lives and works in Maine

EDUCATION

2007-Present

Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (Master Basketmaker), Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance

2010 

AA in Automotive Technology and General Technology, Washington County Community College

2002-2004 

Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (Apprentice), Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2024

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine, Jeremy Frey: Woven

2023

Karma, New York, Out of the Woods

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2024

70 Main Street, Thomaston, Maine, A Particular Kind of Heaven

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, To Take Shape and Meaning: Form  and Design in American Indian Art

2023

Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum, Cullowhee, North Carolina, Spark of the Eagle Dancer: The Collecting Legacy of Lambert Wilson

Object & Thing at LongHouse, East Hampton, New York, A Summer Arrangement

2022 

The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum of American, Washington, D.C., Crafting A Better World

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts, New England Triennial

2021 

Monson Arts, Maine, Always Home: Traditional Wabanaki Arts

2019 

Portland Museum of Art, Maine, Open-Ended: New Acquisitions at the PMA

Space Gallery, Portland, Maine, Carry ME

2018 

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Hear My Voice: Native American Art of the Past and Present

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Hear My Voice: Native American Art of the Past and Present

2015 

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine, Portland Museum of Art Biennial: you can’t get there from here

Maine Historical Society, Portland, Maine, Baskets from the Dawnland: Weaving the past and future together

Maine Fiber Arts, Topsham, Maine, Maine Indian Basketry Exhibition

2012 

Museum of Arts and Design, New York, Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 3

Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA, Rethink! American Indian Art 

Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor, Maine, Transcending Traditions: The Next Generation and Maine Indian Basketry,

co-organized by Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance and the Hudson Museum

2008 

Hood Museum, Dartmouth College, New Hampsire

2006 

Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Washington, D.C. Demonstrator, Featured Artist

2003 

National Museum of the American Indian, New York

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS 

Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor, Maine

The Art Institute of Chicago
Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles
Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine
Denver Art Museum

Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine
Heard Museum, Phoenix
Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, New Hampshire
Hudson Museum, Orono, Maine
Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing
Portland Museum of Art, Maine

The Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology, Andover, Maine
Rollins Museum of Art, Orlando
Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington D.C.
University of Delaware Special Collections & Museums
Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond

AWARDS

2019 

Cumming Award for Artistic Excellence, Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME

2015 

Best in show Heard Indian Fair Market

2014 

Best of basketry Santa Fe Indian Market

Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) Artist Fellowship

2012 

Best of Basketry at Heard Indian Fair and Market

2011 

Best in Show at Santa Fe Indian Market

Best in Show at Heard Indian Fair Market

2010 

United States Artists Ford Foundation Fellow

2004, 2005 

First Place in Basketry, Celebration of Basketry, Heard Museum, AZ

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