Nantucket Baskets, Purses and Traditional and Modern Nantucket Lightship Basket Designs by Jymm.

A Blind Craftsman

Jymm Russell, prior to losing his sight in 1978, was an "Over The Road" truck driver. He was also chief instructor in the Mu Duk Kwan style of Karate, in which he holds a second degree black belt, at two martial arts schools in Ohio.

Jymm is a decorated veteran of WWII and the Korean War, and a Lifetime Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

Because of his loss of sight, Jymm uses a guide dog from Pilot Dogs, Inc. of Columbus, Ohio. His guide dog gives him independence and better mobility. He is now on his fourth dog, a red Doberman named "Share." Jymm serves as the East Coast Representative for Pilot Dogs Inc. He works as a volunteer, helping other sightless persons to obtain guide dogs at no cost to them.

He also served with the Montgomery Assoc. for the Blind in Pennsylvania as a Counselor and Braille Transcriber. He is a Past President of the Glenside, Pennsylvania Lions Club.

About 15 years ago, Jymm became involved in making Appalachian, Shaker, and Nantucket Basketry. He is considered to be among the top basket makers in the United States. He enjoys competing with sighted craftsmen and at last count Jymm had won approximately 80 First Place awards. Jymm is a member of the N.E.B.A. (National Exhibits of Blind Artists) Board of Directors and some of his artwork is currently on a nationwide National Exhibits of Blind Artists Tour.

Among some of the museums and shows that have exhibited Jymm's work are:
  • South Florida Fair (15 years)
  • Delray Affair at Delray Beach (August '92 & '95)
  • Wills Eye Hospital Convention, Philadelphia, PA
  • June Fete of Abington Memorial Hospital (Abington ,PA)
  • Wayne Art Gallery (Wayne, PA)
  • Philadelphia Art Museum
  • Philadelphia Cosmopolitan Club
  • Philadelphia Junior Womens Society (4 years)
  • Great Bay Folk Festival, Concord, NH (4 years)
  • N.E.B.A. Gallery (Held over for 2 months)
  • Number One Liberty Place, Philadelphia, PA
  • Freedom Festival at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA
  • WCAU-TV, Channel 10 Philadelphia, PA

Jymm has been written up in the newspapers and interviewed on TV many times because of his exceptional Basketry skills.

Jymm was recenty featured at iCan Online as part of their "International Disability Arts Month."

Jymm was the subject of "B's Inspiration" a regular feature of B the Sunday magazine of the Boca Raton News. The article is reposted here with the permission of the author.

Read: "B's Inspiration - Jymm Russell" by Gretchen Ganus

Copyright © 2001-2009 Jymm Russell. All rights reserved.
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