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Oral history interview with Billie Ruth Sudduth, 2007 July 26-27

Interviewee:
Sudduth, Billie Ruth, 1945-  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Subject:
Bringle, Cynthia  Search this
Gingrass, Katie  Search this
Risatti, Howard  Search this
Ross, Caroline Sedestrom  Search this
Trapp, Kenneth R.  Search this
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts  Search this
Huntingdon College (Montgomery, Ala.)  Search this
John Campbell Folk School  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Crafts  Search this
University of Alabama  Search this
Smithsonian Craft Show  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Basket makers -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Basket making -- Cherokee  Search this
Basket making -- Choctaw  Search this
Basket making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Women artists -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13623
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)271795
AAA_collcode_suddut07
Theme:
Craft
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_271795
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Billie Ruth Sudduth

Interviewee:
Sudduth, Billie Ruth  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Huntingdon College (Montgomery, Ala.) -- Students  Search this
John Campbell Folk School -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Smithsonian Craft Show  Search this
University of Alabama -- Students  Search this
Bringle, Cynthia, 1939-  Search this
Gingrass, Katie  Search this
Risatti, Howard, 1943-  Search this
Ross, Caroline Sedestrom  Search this
Trapp, Kenneth R.  Search this
Extent:
3 Sound discs (Sound recording (4 hr., 42 min.), digital, 2 5/8 in.)
81 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound discs
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2007 July 26-27
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Billie Ruth Sudduth conducted 2007 July 26-27, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's home and studio, in Bakersville, North Carolina.
Sudduth speaks of her childhood in Alabama; her adoptive family; growing up in a creative and musical environment; an early exposure to women working with their hands; buying a Cherokee basket at age 12; childhood piano lessons and later exploring rhythm in her baskets; attending Huntingdon College; a strained relationship with her mother; meeting her biological family; attending the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and earning a Master's degree in social work; working as a social worker and psychologist for over 20 years; balancing a career with family; taking a basket-making class in an effort to relax and do something for herself; making baskets in spare time and teaching herself new techniques; her family's move to Las Vegas, Nevada; teaching basket-making classes to adults; developing Math in a Basket curriculum; an interest in Fibonacci and the inclusion of its ratio in her baskets; an interest in color and natural dyes; returning to North Carolina and focusing full time on basket making; receiving a North Carolina Arts Council Emerging Artists grant to photo-document her body of work; becoming interested in chaos theory and its application to her basketry; the popularity and success of Math in a Basket; teaching experiences at Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and John Campbell Folk School; receiving a North Carolina Arts Council Visual Artist grant to study Cherokee, Choctaw, and other Native American tribes' basketry; her extensive basket collection; the honor of being named a North Carolina Living Treasure; participating in juried shows, including exhibiting at the Smithsonian Craft Show for 12 years and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show for seven years; the evolution of her workspace and studio; making the Carolina snowflake, which was exhibited at the White House; her exhibition history; an increasing respect for and recognition of baskets as art objects; the advantages university-trained artists have over self-taught artists; learning the business side of art making through trial and error; living and working in an incredible community of artists and collectors in North Carolina; a growing interest and participation in donating her baskets for fundraisers; and looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren. Sudduth also recalls Cynthia Bringle, Carol Sedestrom Ross, Kenneth Trapp, Howard Risatti, Katie Gingrass, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Billie Ruth Sudduth is a basketmaker from Bakersville, North Carolina. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is a curator and writer from San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 15 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 42 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Psychologists -- North Carolina  Search this
Social workers -- North Carolina  Search this
Topic:
Basket makers -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Basket making -- Cherokee  Search this
Basket making -- Choctaw  Search this
Basket making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Women artists -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.suddut07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-suddut07

Forest Service, Culture, and Community

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Introduction:
The Festival program, Forest Service, Culture, and Community, presented occupational traditions from the USDA Forest Service, an organization celebrating its centennial in 2005, as well as other forest-dependent traditions from the cultural communities it serves. Approximately a hundred participants on the National Mall shared their skills, experiences, and traditions with members of the public; they included tree pathologists, wildlife biologists, landscape architects, historic horticulturalists, botanists, bird banders, archaeologists, environmental engineers, firefighters, smokejumpers, recreation specialists, backcountry rangers, woodcarvers, basket makers, quilters, instrument makers, musicians, poets, storytellers, and camp cooks.

As the Forest Service began its second century, it already had a long tradition of caring for the land, serving the public, and meeting the challenges of conservation. For instance, the Forest Service has an ongoing mission to educate teachers and children, connecting people to the land through conservation education. Such education increases public awareness and understanding of the interrelationships in natural systems. Natural resource professionals teach in classrooms or lead field trips. Similarly, Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl have become national symbols in fire-prevention and conservation campaigns.

As the Festival program vividly demonstrated, the men and women who work in our forests and rangelands have very special connections to the land and its natural resources. They understand the science, the history, the technology, the art, and the traditions of forest service, culture, and community. They also recognize the values inherent in the work they do. Following the example set by Forest Service founder Gifford Pinchot a hundred years before, these men and women are still seeking to provide "the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run."

James Deutsch was Program Curator; Dorey Butter was Program Coordinator, and Tasha Coleman was Research Coordinator. At the USDA Forest Service, the Coordination Team included Linda Feldman, New Century of Service Program Manager; Christine Murray, Festival Program Manager; and Karen Fiore, Research and Oral Histories, Festival Co-Coordinator.

The program was made possible through a partnership with the USDA Forest Service and was produced in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts. Major support came from the National Forest Foundation, Honda, and Whole Foods Market, with additional contributions from IBM and The American Chestnut Foundation.
Fieldworkers and interviewers:
Arlena Aragon-Husband, Patricia Asteinza, Christina Barr, Sarah Barsness, Bob Beckley, Cheryl Burgess, Kevin Davis, Bonnie Dearing, Sherri Richardson Dodge, Jill Evans, Maryo Ewell, Kathleen Figgen, Karen Fiore, Sandi Forney, Don Gedney (1918-2005), Andrew Grace, Andrea Graham, Elizabeth Harvey, Teresa Haugh, David Hunt, Don Jensen, Elizabeth Harvey Johnson, Barbara Kenady-Fish, Carrie N. Kline, Connie R. Lee, Terry Livingston, Chris Losi, Jens Lund, Kari Lusk, Michelle Mcanally, Ken McCall, James L. McConnell, June McMillen, Darcy Minter, Sheila Poole, Ben Quick, Mike Ryan, John Schelhas, Cathie Schmidlin, Steve Segin, Ronna Lee Sharpe, George Sibley, Brooke Smith, Stephen Swimmer, Elaine Thatcher, Lee Webb, Janet Werren, Georgia Wier, Carol Winkler, Susan Wright, Pat York
Presenters:
Nancy Groce,

Marjorie Hunt,

Carrie Kline,

Jens Lund,

Bob McCarl,

Peter Seitel
Participants:
Susan B. Adams, 1964-, Protecting Forests and Wildlife Habitats participant, Oxford, Mississippi

Janie Agyagos, 1970-, Protecting Forests and Wildlife Habitats participant, Cornville, Arizona

Berneice Anderson, Law Enforcement participant, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Kimberly Anderson, Water, Woods, and Mountains participant, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

John Anhold, 1959-, Arizona Camp Foodways/Tree Doctors participant, Flagstaff, Arizona

Matt Arnn, Forest Landscapes participant, New York, New York

Phyllis Ashmead, 1955-, Interactive Forest participant, Mi-Wuk Village, California

Donna Ashworth, 1931-, Fire Lookout Tower participant, Flagstaff, Arizona

Barbara Balen, 1951-, Forest Landscapes participant, Hathaway Pines, California

Ian Barlow, Woodlands Heritage participant, White Bird, Idaho

Joy Barney, 1963-, Protecting Forests and Wildlife Habitats participant, Pinecrest, California

Dan Bauer, 1941-, Community Stage participant, Washington, D.C.

Keith Bear, Arts & Crafts and Sounds of the Forest participant, Drags Wolf Village, North Dakota

Karen Bennett, 1957-, Protecting Forests and Wildlife Habitats participant, Philomath, Oregon

Jeff Bryden, 1966-, Law Enforcement participant, Moose Pass, Alaska

Angie Bullets, 1958-, Arts & Crafts participant, Fredonia, Arizona

Rita CantĂș, Sounds of the Forest participant, Prescott, Arizona

Cindy Carpenter, 1955-, Sounds of the Forest participant, Brevard, North Carolina

G.W. Chapman, 1929-, Fire Camp and Forest Service History participant, Alamogordo, New Mexico

Kevin Cooper, 1959-, Protecting Forests and Wildlife Habitats participant, Santa Maria, California

Andy Coriell, 1969-, Law Enforcement participant, Sandy, Oregon

Al Cornell, 1941-, Call of the Wild participant, Sedona, Arizona

Jim Denney, 1953-, Arts & Crafts participant, McKenzie Bridge, Oregon

Dave Edwards, Water, Woods, and Mountains participant

Tim Eldridge, 1956-, Smokejumper Base participant, Missoula, Montana

Kelly Esterbrook, 1956-, Smokejumper Base participant, Bend, Oregon

The Fiddlin' Foresters, Sounds of the Forest participants -- Jane Leche, 1957-, guitarTom McFarland, 1946-, guitarJim Maxwell, 1949-, banjoLynn Young, 1944-, fiddle

Bill Glass, 1949-, Forest Landscapes participant, Wilmington, Illinois

Gordon Grant, 1955-, Protecting Forests and Wildlife Habitats participant, Corvallis, Oregon

Ed Gross, 1946-, Interactive Forest participant, Brookings, Oregon

Tony Guinn, 1956-, Water, Woods, and Mountains participant, Mountain View, Arkansas

Jim Hammer, 1948-, Call of the Wild participant, Winthrop, Washington

Elizabeth Hawke, 1966-, Interactive Forest participant, Milford, Pennsylvania

Charles Hillary, 1951-, Forest Products participant, Madison, Wisconsin

Jack Holcomb, 1945-, Arts & Crafts participant, Lawrenceville, Georgia

Leslie Hook, 1944-, Camp Foodways participant, Albany, Vermont

Saul Irvin, 1950-, Camp Foodways and Fire Camp participant, Seville, Florida

Dorica R. Jackson, 1950-, Arts & Crafts participant, Ketchikan, Alaska

Nathan P. Jackson, 1938-, Arts & Crafts participant, Ketchikan, Alaska

Patrick Michael Karnahan, Sounds of the Forest participant, Sonora, California

Robert Karrfalt, 1948-, Tree Doctors participant, Lafayette, Indiana

Nova Kim, 1943-, Camp Foodways participant, Albany, Vermont

Beth King, 1946-, Camp Foodways participant, Layton, Utah

Tosh Konya, Water, Woods, and Mountains participant

Samuel Larry, 1958-, Forest Service History participant, Atlanta, Georgia

Pat Lynch, 1939-, Forest Service History participant, Encampment, Wyoming

Wally McRae, 1936-, Community Stage participant, Forsyth, Montana

Nanette Madden, 1951-, Fire Camp participant, Fall River, California

Karen Malis-Clark, 1955-, Family Activities participant, Flagstaff, Arizona

Steve Markofski, Water, Woods, and Mountains participant

Kristen Martine, 1970-, Forest Landscapes participant, Flagstaff, Arizona

Karen Martinson, Sustainable Resource House participant, Madison, Wisconsin

Kirby Matthew, 1957-, Woodlands Heritage participant, Deer Lodge, Montana

Joe Meade, 1958-, Water, Woods, and Mountains participant, Anchorage, Alaska

Bill Meadows, Community Stage participant, Washington, D.C.

Rick Meinzer, 1950-, Canopy Crane participant, Corvallis, Oregon

Warren Miller, 1948-, Woodlands Heritage participant, Peck, Idaho

Kevin Mills, Water, Woods, and Mountains participant

Chuck Milner, 1960-, Sounds of the Forest participant, Cheyenne, Oklahoma

Heather Murphy, 1953-, Protecting Forests and Wildlife Habitats participant, Leavenworth, Washington

Lezlie Murray, 1954-, Call of the Wild participant, Girdwood, Alaska

Hank Nelson, 1933-, Community Stage participant, Wasilla, Alaska

Lavinia B. Nelson, 1921-, Arts & Crafts participant, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

Mark Pearlstein, Water, Woods, and Mountains participant

Kelly Pearson, Call of the Wild participant, Jonesboro, Illinois

Leona Pooyouma, 1946-, Arts & Crafts participant, Flagstaff, Arizona

Marvin Pooyouma, 1948-, Arts & Crafts participant, Flagstaff, Arizona

Steve Reed, 1967-, Smokejumper Base participant, Victor, Montana

Rodney Richard, Sr., 1929-, Arts & Crafts participant, Rangeley, Maine

Riders in the Dirt, Sounds of the Forest -- Riders in the Dirt, Sounds of the ForestAnne Alford, 1967-, lead singer, bassistJo Booser, 1950-, fiddle, musical saws, flutesJudy Haigler, 1952-, rhythm guitarGayle Hunt, 1954-, guitar, banjo, mandolin

Michael Ritter, Sustainable Resource House participant, Madison, Wisconsin

William Rosanelli, 1949-, Forest Service History participant, Montague, New Jersey

Michelle Ryan, 1949-, Forest Service History participant, Dillon, Montana

Catherine "Cat" Sampson, 1949-, Law Enforcement participant, Camp Verde, Arizona

Nathan Schiff, 1958-, Tree Doctors participant, Stoneville, Mississippi

Herb Schroeder, 1951-, Forest Landscapes participant, Evanston, Illinois

Dave Shaw, 1955-, Canopy Crane participant, Carson, Washington

The Shawnee Forest New Century Children's Choir, Sounds of the Forest participants, Southern Illinois

Jane E. Smith, 1959-, Tree Doctors participant, Corvallis, Oregon

Stacey Smith, 1960-, Call of the Wild participant, McKenzie Bridge, Oregon

Bill Stafford, 1949-, Camp Foodways participant, Lake Montezuma, Arizona

Jean Szymanski, 1959-, Family Activities participant, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sidne Teske, 1952-, Arts & Crafts participant, Tuscarora, Nevada

Donna Thatcher, 1939-, Camp Foodways participant, Farmington, New Mexico

Walt Thies, 1942-, Arts & Crafts participant, Corvallis, Oregon

Charmaine Thompson, 1960-, Forest Landscapes participant, Provo, Utah

Lee Thornhill, 1965-, Fire Camp participant, Lakeside, Arizona

Trails Unlimited, Interactive Forest participant, Monrovia, California

Teresa Trulock, 1965-, Forest Service History participant, Pinedale, Wyoming

Gail Tunberg, Water, Woods, and Mountains participant, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Francisco Valenzuela, 1957-, Water, Woods, and Mountains participant, Golden, Colorado

Dennis Vroman, 1943-, Protecting Forests and Wildlife Habitats participant, Grants Pass, Oregon

Linda Wadleigh, 1961-, Camp Foodways, Fire Camp, and Tree Doctors participant, Flagstaff, Arizona

Lee Webb, 1943-, Protecting Forests and Wildlife Habitats participant, Grants Pass, Oregon

Neil Weintraub, 1964-, Forest Landscapes participant, Williams, Arizona

Chuck Williams, 1934-, Forest Service History participant, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Don Wilson, Water, Woods, and Mountains participant

Marta Witt, 1955-, Forest Landscapes participant, Wilmington, Illinois

Keith Wolferman, Smokejumper Base participant, Missoula, Montana

Pat York, 1957-, Community Stage and Water, Woods, and Mountains participant, Jonesboro, Illinois

J.P. Zavalla, Smokejumper Base participant, Santa Ynez, California

Pete Zavalla, 1944-, Community Stage participant, Solvang, California

Tony Zavalla, 1970-, Fire Camp participant, Santa Barbara, Californiab
Collection Restrictions:
Access by appointment only. Where a listening copy or viewing copy has been created, this is indicated in the respective inventory; additional materials may be accessible with sufficient advance notice and, in some cases, payment of a processing fee. Older papers are housed at a remote location and may require a minimum of three weeks' advance notice and payment of a retrieval fee. Certain formats such as multi-track audio recordings and EIAJ-1 videoreels (1/2 inch) may not be accessible. Contact the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at 202-633-7322 or rinzlerarchives@si.edu for additional information.
Collection Rights:
Copyright and other restrictions may apply. Generally, materials created during a Festival are covered by a release signed by each participant permitting their use for personal and educational purposes; materials created as part of the fieldwork leading to a Festival may be more restricted. We permit and encourage such personal and educational use of those materials provided digitally here, without special permissions. Use of any materials for publication, commercial use, or distribution requires a license from the Archives. Licensing fees may apply in addition to any processing fees.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
CFCH.SFF.2005, Series 3
See more items in:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Archival Repository:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-cfch-sff-2005-ref25

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