Market Background 

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After the success of our inaugural market, we look forward to welcoming you to Bar Harbor in May 2019 for the 2nd Annual Abbe Museum Indian Market. Information will be available later this year. Please contact Stefanie Joy Muscat, Director of Advancement, with any questions or for additional information.

Mount Desert Island calls to many artists. Its cragged shores, woodland trails, and calming lakes inspire creativity and have lured artists to this place for generations. Wabanaki people are part of this artistic tradition, dating back thousands of years on this island. During the Rusticator era (the 1840s to 1920s), the Wabanaki people helped make Bar Harbor and the island so attractive to visitors - making art and selling it to the visitors ensure cultural survival for many art forms. 

As Abbe Museum Fellow Gabriel Frey recently wrote, “For many Native artists, their artistic expression is a family tradition, a connection to the past, present, and future, interwoven to create functional pieces of art. Family traditions, culture, personal experiences, and hopes for the future live within each piece created. For most, making art provides a source of income, but more importantly, maintains cultural traditions, family connections, and language.  Wabanaki artistry is a tool for education, cultural resilience, and decolonization.”

Jeremy Frey, Molly Neptune Parker, Jason K. Brown, Jennifer Neptune, Gina Brooks, Sarah Sockbeson, Theresa Secord, Gabriel Frey, Geo Neptune, Butch Phillips, and David Moses Bridges - just a few of the names you may know that represent outstanding creativity and skill. For years, artists like these have been traveling across the country to enter the Indian Arts marketplace. And, as they’ve traveled away from the Dawnland, they’ve repeatedly taken top prizes in Sante Fe and Phoenix.

The importance of creative placemaking and how it supports Wabanaki artists, as well as the local community, is what led us to create the Abbe Museum Indian Market. In creating this event, we are shining a bright light on Wabanaki artists and deepening the economic impact of art making for tribal communities. Artists will be more likely to work full-time, more people will have the opportunity to make a living through art, remnant art forms will be revitalized, and innovation will have even more room to develop.



The Abbe Museum Indian Market is supported by the Maine Office of Tourism. For additional information on Maine, visit www.visitmaine.com