John McQueen

John McQueen

Portrait of John McQueen

John McQueen of Saratoga Springs, New York, is a basket maker of sculptural baskets. He explained his evolution this way: “In the seventies I moved to New Mexico for a new perspective. I wanted to explore the desert so different from Florida where I grew up. I was drawn to the Native American reservations. At one of the Pueblo reservations, I saw a basket maker weaving a basket large enough for him to sit inside as he worked up the walls. I think it was the scale that drew me. I wanted to replicate his accomplishment—to be able to use material found at hand to make a beautiful object come alive. I was startled by its beauty and simplicity. Now 50 years later I am still startled.”

ACC Awards Committee Member Pat Hickman said, “McQueen, in exploring his deep connection with nature, has redefined volume and meaning in his sculptural baskets. His frequent use of words links him—as maker—to the natural materials his hands hold as he builds complex structures.”