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Featured Item/Artist

Penelope "Penny" Minner, Seneca (Turtle Clan)

Media: Black/brown ash splint baskets, corn husk dolls and graphic
designs, watercolors

Penny's parents, Lester and Hazel Jimerson were very artistic and used traditional craftsmanship in their creations.  Lester was a traditional
hahgeo:gwas (wood carver) and Gagöhsa' (mask) maker.  He also made
onö'gagasdöwë'shä' (horn rattles) and ga'no:wa' (turtle rattles) as well as
Seneca head dresses.  Hazel made corn husk dolls, salt bottles and corn husk mats.  Penny's parents have art work at the Smithsonian Institute Collections.

Penny said that she learned a lot from watching her parents' passion for doing their art work.  She also shared that her cousin, Midge Dean Stock, taught her various skills in the art of basket making.  Penny said that she feels through her talents, she is channeling her parents and her cousin's spirits with others.  She feels she is passing this talent on to the next generation and to those who are willing to learn. 

Her art work experience exceeds 13 years.  For the past 4 years, she has worked within the community to teach/demonstrate black ash splint making and corn husk doll making.  Penny shared that the basket making process is time consuming and labor intensive.  She feels that because of this many new students decide that basket making isn't for them.  To find a dedicated student to whom she can pass this beautiful art form along to and keep the tradition alive is a true pleasure for her.

Penny earned a Bachelors of Science Degree as a Graphic Designer from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.  Besides being a member, Penny has been very instrumental and a driving force behind the creation and promotion of the Native Roots Artist Guild (NRAG).  Join the NRAG on facebook.