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Joan Brink was born in New Orleans, LA in 1945. Her father was a Naval aviator, often at sea for several months. Due to Naval life, she spent her early years in a variety of East coast or southern schools, moving nearly every twelve months. Her parents bought an old farmhouse in the pinewoods of Cape Cod to offer some summer stability for their four children. Joan's early connection to nature came from spending summers in Massachusetts.
When she was fifteen, Joan's family moved to Neauphle-le-chateau, a small town outside of Paris. She attended the American School of Paris for two years, where she was introduced to art history and language. During this period, she traveled extensively throughout Western Europe. In 1967 Joan graduated with a B.A. in painting from Connecticut College, where she met her husband. In 1970 they went to Florence for 2 years, a period which heralded Joan's life-long love of Italy and its people and art.
In 1972 she moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, for her husband's work at UBC. She spent many years enjoying the incredible beauty of the Northwest coast, becoming an avid ocean kayakers and gardener. In 1980 she returned to Florence for 5 years and in 1985 moved back to Vancouver.
It was during this period that Joan started weaving baskets seriously and collaborating with Native artists. These were years of intense learning and experimentation. Eight years later she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where she continues to weave her unique baskets.
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