Debra M. Hoag
BasketsCorn Husk Makers
Debra M. Hoag
Nation/Clan: Seneca/Turtle Clan
Media: Corn husk dolls, bead work, leather moccasins and change purses
Bachelors Of Science Degree in Business Management from Houghton College, Houghton, NY. Associates of Arts degree from Jamestown Community College. I attended Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, NY because the college had a good art program. I refined some of my drawing and painting skills at JCC.
As a teenager, I learned to sew under my grandmother Dorothy Jimerson, watchful eye. She had a pedal Singer Sewing machine, but it wasn’t until 1998 my mother, Hazel Jimerson passed away, that I came into sewing and beading and making corn husk dolls. My sister and I inherited her sewing material and beads. As the years pass I learned to refine my beading skills under other local beading artist. I won a blue ribbon at the local Seneca Fall Festival for first place with my corn husk dolls (2008) and most recently (2010) I won again with a beaded traditional Seneca collar. This November I exhibited a set of my corn husk dolls at the Seneca Allegany Casino Art show as a part of this Native Art Program.
I make my art because it is my creative outlet, and not a means of income. My work is made to order, I haven’t the need to do my art for income as yet. I enjoy sewing and beading as a stress reliever for it offers me to be creative with different colors and styles that I create. I watched and learned from my late mother, grandmother, and aunt. These three women were huge influences in my development as an artist. My parents, Lester and Hazel Jimerson were self-taught artists; my siblings and I picked up the artistic talent genetically. The ability to create traditional artwork is a gift, and not to promote your ability would be against keeping the Seneca Culture alive. I believe that if you have this talent and ability it should be taught to others, if only to keep the Seneca art alive for future generations.