Home > Grantees > Nancy Burgess

Nancy Burgess

County: Pierce County



Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) 2022
Apply for Grants for Artist Projects (GAP)


Nancy Burgess is a Dakota, Umpqua(Grand Ronde) basket weaver.

Born in Seattle, Washington, based in Tacoma. She grew up always having to walk in two worlds. She spent the school year in Seattle, and Summers in Montana, working at the family hair salon, visiting family, riding horses, and enjoying cultural events.

In 1984, she moved to Alaska and became a fisher-person and cared for her husbands Naan (Grandmother) Elsie Douglas, who taught Nancy the ancestral knowledge of her ancestors and with the encouragement of Naan and other elder friends, they inspired her to carry on the tradition of weaving, Naans Aunt Susie Sunnahext, was a very fine weaver of spruce root and she left a lot of precious hats and baskets, in which she could study. She learned the basics of weaving; when/where to gather, prepare and weave baskets, from Vicki LeCornu. In 1986, she enrolled in a weaving class with Dr. Delores Churchill, Univ. of Alaska, Southeast, learning to make red & yellow cedar ceremonial hats and another in 1987, to make utilitarian seaweed baskets, learning about design and structure. Choosing not to compete until 2009, so her career wouldn’t just be about winning ribbons.

She was recently Artist in Residence at Pilchuck Glass School where she was introduced to a wide variety of ways to express her creativity through glass, prints, and glass casted and blown glass baskets hats and cups. It was an experience that can’t be matched. She continues to weave, demonstrate and explore new methods of making nature translate into art and walk in two worlds together.

Featured Works

Support Artists

We work hard serving thousands of individual artists across Washington State each year, but we can’t do it without you! Learn how you can support artists year-round.

Image: Peggy Piacenza, 2024 Fellowship Recipient

Learn More