Abbe Museum to Host Indian Market in Bar Harbor

The Abbe Museum is excited to announce that we will host a three-day Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM) in downtown Bar Harbor on May 18-20, 2018. This event will harness the profitability of the Bar Harbor economy for the benefit of tribal communities and in return, generate approximately $250,000 per year for the local economy at a time when lodging and restaurant businesses are in need of visitors.

"The Abbe Museum brings so much to this community in the way of culture, education, and history and offers so much to our visitors,” said Martha Searchfield, the executive director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce. “The creation of this exciting new event is yet another way in which we all benefit from the hard work and vision of the Museum. The business community will prosper tremendously from the addition of an event of this magnitude.”

Small festivals are found throughout the year in Maine, but a juried Indian art show is relatively unknown in the Northeast. Award-winning Wabanaki artists like Jeremy Frey, Theresa Secord, David Moses Bridges, Emma Soctomah, Geo Neptune, and Sarah Sockbeson have traveled out West over the past few years to participate in the Indian Arts marketplace. They’ve repeatedly taken top prizes in Sante Fe and Phoenix. However, traveling long distances to attend the Indian Arts marketplace is often a hardship that prevents more artists from entering.

“The Northeast is lacking in opportunity for local artists to sell their art on a national scale,” said Suzanne Greenlaw, an apprentice Maliseet basketmaker. “The expense of traveling makes Western Native Art shows unattainable for many and I would be thrilled to see these local Native artisans sell their art on the level the Abbe Museum Indian Market can provide. The opportunity for economic gains and the possibility for artisans to gain confidence will have significant immeasurable impacts for Native communities.”
Jeremy Frey, Passamaquoddy, with his winning basket at the 2017 Santa Fe Indian Market.

Jeremy Frey, Passamaquoddy, with his winning basket at the 2017 Santa Fe Indian Market.

By creating this event, the Museum will shine a bright light on Wabanaki artists and deepen 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.

“Wabanaki peoples have rich and varied artistic traditions—many of which are underappreciated,” said Bonnie Newsom, Penobscot. “Having a Northeast venue to celebrate and share our artistic gifts with the world will not only strengthen these traditions within our communities, but it will also position these traditions in their rightful place as respected art forms unique to Maine.”

As the newly hired AMIM Producer, Dawn Spears, Narragansett/Choctaw, will focus on creating and launching the annual market and coordinating the activities, tasks, and events leading up to it. Spears has been working in the field for the last two decades, recently as the Executive Director of Northeast Indigenous Arts Alliance (NIAA) where she works to support the Native American artist population regionally by sharing resources and artist opportunities, addressing artist needs, and seeking ways to increase the visibility in the northeast. 

“Many do not realize the level of artistry that exists here in the northeast and AMIM will be the perfect way to showcase our homegrown talent alongside artists representing tribal nations from across the country,” Spears said. “Artists from across the nation are invited and welcome to come and visit the Wabanaki homeland.”

In addition to a two-day market, we're also planning a concurrent Indigenous film festival and a fashion show. And, as the event grows: a marketplace in the streets, an artist competition, a gala event, and the opportunity to taste Native cuisine. 

“As Northeastern indigenous art—and more specifically, Wabanaki art—continues to gain the attention of collectors from around the world, I believe that Bar Harbor is poised to become the “Santa Fe” of the Northeast: a place where visitors from many walks of life come to experience Indigenous North American history and culture,” said Geo Neptune, a Passamaquoddy Master Basketmaker. “Given the Abbe’s history of working with Wabanaki people and the admirable goals set by their current strategic plan, I am confident that the Abbe Museum is the only organization that is able, with the support of its community and partners, to make this dream become a reality.”

We'll reveal more details throughout 2017 on www.abbemuseum.org/indianmarket. Indigenous artists interested in participating in the Abbe Museum Indian Market should get in touch with Dawn Spears at dawn@abbemuseum.org or 207-801-4088. 
 

Welcome Dawn Spears

We are excited to announce the arrival of Dawn Spears, Narragansett/Choctaw, as the Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM) Producer. Please join us in welcoming her to the Museum and Bar Harbor! 

As the AMIM Producer, her responsibilities focus on creating and launching the annual Abbe Museum Indian Market (inaugural event is May 18-20, 2018) and coordinating the activities, tasks, and events leading up to AMIM. Dawn has been working in the field for the last two decades, most recently as the Executive Director of Northeast Indigenous Arts Alliance (NIAA) where she worked to support the Native American artist population regionally by sharing resources and artist opportunities, addressing artist needs and seeking ways to increase the visibility in the northeast. In 2016, NIAA partnered with IFAM and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum to bring the first large Indigenous market to the east with “IFAM East." 

Prior to joining NEFA, she devoted a decade to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation where she was involved in a variety of cultural initiatives, which included cultural education, powwow and dance troupe coordination, and language revitalization work. Dawn served as the Narragansett Tribe’s Tribal Secretary for two terms, and has also served on the board and volunteered at the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum. She was a member of Native Americans in Philanthropy, serving two terms on the Executive Board, (Secretary, Vice Chair). 
 
She is a 2015 RI State Council for the Arts (RISCA) Master Apprenticeship grantee, and 2015 UPP Arts teaching artist and also served on the HopArts Artist Studio Trail planning committee and is now a member of the Community Advisory Board for the Institute for New England Native American Studies. In 2014, along with her husband they formed the Narragansett Food Sovereignty Initiative to bring a concept of healthy living by providing the Narragansett people access to food, health, and wellbeing, now and into the future through sustainable agriculture, economic development, community involvement, and educational programs.
 
Dawn is the wife of thirty-one years to Cassius and mother of three: Cassius Jr., Kiowa and Coty, and grandmother of five. A believer in the preservation and education of our culture and traditions, Dawn has been teaching and demonstrating for over 25 years in many forms of art and still works creatively when time allows, exhibiting and selling at local galleries and markets. 

"I try to capture the vibrant colors of our natural world; they are my inspiration along with my appreciation of the symbolism within our indigenous culture. I enjoy opportunities that allow us to share our work and give us space to be able to dispel the myths and stereotypes that our people have been forced to endure. Misconceptions about Native American art continue today, for years I was discouraged from pursuing my own style of work because it was not “Native American” enough, it didn’t show horses, and scenes from the wild west. 
I channel my creative focus in my work making a range of corn husk dolls, drawings, painting, jewelry design, and capturing the beauty of our natural work in photography. I work in both contemporary and traditional mediums; I use both traditional and unconventional tools. I like to experiment with these mediums and create amazing colors. In the last few years I have added custom sneakers and shoes to my list, and I even tagged my first pair of jeans. I feel like the possibilities are endless. 
A Narragansett/Choctaw, my mother Diosa Summers, (Choctaw) was an artist and educator and I grew up attending and assisting her. She taught me the fundamentals early; I was immersed in the arts at a young age and I easily became an educator of Eastern Woodland Native Culture myself, my art and work professionally reflect all facets of my life. It was inevitable that I would end up with similar interests as my mother."
 

Sponsor an Art Kit for $25 and Inspire a Young Artist

The Abbe Museum is gearing up for our 16th annual Waponahki Student Art Show, in collaboration with Maine Indian Education. This art show and artist reception always bring together a wonderful variety of art created by more than 50 Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet, and Micmac students from early childhood education through high school. All the artwork will be on display in the Abbe's Community Gallery for six months.

As an award for having their artwork selected for this fan-favorite show, each student receives an art supply kit consisting of a few items to feed their artistic passion - sketch pads, paints, paint brushes, charcoal, pencils, pencil holders - and a framed certificate.

The Abbe has been able to produce these popular kits through the support of Maine Indian Education and generous donations from community members like you. For just $25, you can sponsor one of these art supply kits, ensuring that each student receives an award for their creativity. We need at least 50 kits this year. 

Each sponsor will have a kit named in their honor, as well as receive an invitation to the Waponahki Student Art reception held in May, which is usually a private reception reserved for students and their friends and families. The exhibit opens to the public on Thursday, May 4th. 

Please join us. Spread the word. Make a donation. 100% of your gift will directly fund these student art supply kits. 

Last year's sponsorship campaign was such a huge success - not only did we hit our goal, we exceeded it! Let's do it again this year!

Sponsor an Art Kit
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Abbe Staff News

With a mixture of excitement for her future adventures and sadness knowing how much we'll miss her, the Abbe says farewell today to our Manager of Creative Services, Allison Shank (although only as a staff member; we still expect to see her around as a visitor and friend!).

Allison initially came on board as a contract exhibit specialist in the fall of 2012. Her combined design and fabrication skills were key to the success of our 2013 feature exhibit, Wabanaki Guides. Her background in fine arts shaped the design of our Twisted Path exhibit series into the sophisticated art exhibition it is today. In the spring of 2013, Allison’s role at the Abbe expanded when she came on as a full-time staff member, part of which was managing the Museum’s frontline staff and refining and guiding the Museum’s graphic identity and exhibits. With the birth of her daughter, Willa Brave, she began to focus primarily on graphic design and exhibits, including managing the monumental project of bringing our core exhibit People of the First Light to fruition.

With the imminent arrival of Allison and her husband Kyle’s second child in May, Allison has decided to return to the independent graphic design world, giving her more time with her family. We will miss her creativity, sense of humor, and the special energy she has brought to the Abbe over these past five years. Have fun on this next journey, Allison!

Local Indians and the End of the Last Ice Age: Part 1

NOTE: Archaeologists and geologists work with physical evidence that indicates that people first arrived in what is now Maine following the retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet around 13,000 years ago. Wabanaki oral traditions indicate that the People of the First Light were created here in their homeland, and have been here since time immemorial. Together these perspectives offer a fuller, more complete story of Wabanaki history. – Julia Gray, Abbe Museum Director of Collections & Research 

By Bill Haviland, Abbe Museum Trustee
Previously published by Island Ad-Vantages, November 29, 2012

When the first human inhabitants arrived on the coast of Maine conditions were far different than they are today. With water from melting glaciers pouring into the oceans, sea levels rose dramatically and salt water moved in to submerge much of the Penobscot region as far inland as Medway. Relieved of the weight of the ice, once over a mile thick, the land also began to rise, slowly at first, but eventually outstripping the rate of sea level rise. By 11,500 years ago, by which time people were living in the region, sea levels reached their lowest point relative to the land, some 60 meters below where they are today. As a consequence, shorelines were up to 20 km seaward of their present location. Then, a combination of coastal subsidence, with continued sea level rise, caused the renewal of coastal flooding. By about 8,000 years ago, rising waters in what is now Blue Hill Bay drowned a large freshwater lake and wetlands as shorelines continued to shift towards their present locations. Even today the process continues, as sea levels are still on the rise relative to the land. 

The people who came to inhabit this coastal region were not just confronted with continuously changing landscapes, but changing resources as well. On the land, tundra-like conditions gave way to more mixed vegetation as scattered growths of spruce, fir, larch, and birch took root in a countryside otherwise covered by grasses, herbs, sedges, willows, and alder. Over time, the woodlands expanded, and by 8,000 years ago forests had taken on some of the characteristics of the mixed deciduous-coniferous forests familiar to us today. 

As the vegetation changed, so too did the animal life of the region. At first, caribou, musk, ox, and mammoths grazed the countryside, but as forests developed, other animals moved in. These included mastodons, the moose-elk (now extinct, like the mastodon), and woodland caribou. Some of these species, like the mammoth and mastodon, were impressively large. Other so-called megafauna included the moose-elk, beavers six and a half feet long, and bears the size of modern Kodiak bears. Ultimately, the large animals became extinct, and others, such as the musk ox and caribou moved north. By 7,000 years ago, they were replaced by the woodland caribou, moose, beaver and the other species that inhabit the Maine woods today. None- not even the moose- are as large as their gigantic predecessors.

All of these changes had profound implications for the people living in the region, who had to adapt as old resources disappeared and new ones became available. As elders passed on their knowledge and experiences to their grandchildren, we would expect that some recollection of these changes would become embedded in oral traditions, maintained over many generations. This brings us to the Gluskabe (see footnote) stories, told and retold over countless generations of Wabanaki people.

Gluskabe was a larger-than-life being, a culture hero who transformed the landscape in ways that made it more fit for human habitation. Raised as an orphan by his Grandmother Woodchuck, he had many adventures in the course of which he left his mark on the land. In our region, prints of his snowshoes can be seen in white streaks in the rock near Dice Head in Castine. These were made as he chased a calf moose from up river. The moose’s rump may be seen on Cape Rosier, its liver at the head of the Reach (Thrumcap Ledge), where it marks two canoe portage routes across the cape, and its entrails (thrown to Gluskabe’s dog) on Isleboro, where a vein of white quartz marks another canoe passage.

Other exploits of Gluskabe were the modification of the force of winter, taming of the more severe rapids, reduction of the size of giant animals, and release of the waters of Penobscot River. Could these be stories created to “explain” events that people witnessed at the end of the Ice Age? An analogy from the Judeo-Christian tradition would be the biblical story of the great flood.

One of the Gluskabe stories explains how the moose was reduced to its modern size, as well as other features of the animal’s appearance. It goes like this:

Originally the moose was much larger than today and went around bragging about his colossal strength. One day, Gluskabe said to Moose: “Strong as you are, I bet I am just as strong”.

At this, the moose scoffed and challenged Gluskabe to prove it. “Ok,” said Gluskabe, “here’s what we’ll do. I will lean my hand on your face, and you will see if you can push me backward.” The moose agreed, so Gluskabe extended his arm, with his hand on the moose’s face, leaned on it, and said, “Do your best, Moose.” So the moose pushed and pushed, but Gluskabe could not be budged. What’s more, the harder Moose pushed the shorter his body got as his body was compressed. Finally Moose, now very much smaller than before, had to admit defeat. And to this day, if you look at a moose sideways, you will see that his face is bent, where Gluskabe rested his hand.

Could this story and others like it, contain a distant memory of the Ice Age megafauna? As for the transformation of the landscape, the end of the last glaciation saw the creation of huge lakes of meltwater backed up in valleys behind dams of debris left by the retreating ice sheets. Ultimately, these dams were breached, releasing torrents of water. Could this phenomenon lie behind the story of how the Penobscot River was created? In this story, a giant frog impounded the river’s water and would allow people to have none. After defeating the giant frog (and making him smaller), Gluskabe opened the dam, releasing the water. 

Footnote
If you spend any time reading and learning about Wabanaki oral traditions, you will quickly discover that there are many spellings used for the lead character in many of these stories. Other spellings include Kluskap, Glooscap, Koluskap, Gluskap, and Glooskap. This variety reflects the process French and English-speaking writers and researchers used to create written versions of a word that had previously only been passed along through oral traditions. Even today, several of these spellings are used regularly by Wabanaki people.

About the Author
Dr. Bill Haviland is Professor Emeritus at the University of Vermont, where he founded the Department of Anthropology and taught for thirty-two years. He is a leader in his field and has written numerous research articles and books and lectured on such diverse topics as ancient Maya settlement patterns, social organization, skeletal remains, gender and graffiti in Tikal, and the culture history and present situation of Abenaki Indians in Vermont. Bill is now retired from teaching and continues research, writing, and lecturing from the coast of Maine. His most recent books are At the Place of the Lobsters and Crabs: Indian People and Deer Isle Maine 1605-2005 (2009) and Canoe Indians of Down East Maine (2012).

Guest Blogger Series
Our Guest Blogger Series is written by members of the Abbe Museum's Board of Trustees, Native Advisory Council, Staff, and special guest authors. It is a place to talk about the Museum's mission and related topics. Interested in becoming a Guest Blogger? Contact the Abbe's Director of Advancement, Heather Anderson, for more details at heather@abbemuseum.org. 

 

The Abbe Underground is Back!

 

We launched the Abbe Underground in 2012 and, since then, it has undergone a couple of different iterations. Like with any new initiative, what we originally envisioned needed some tweaking and revision, some testing and surveying, and now we're happy to announce that the Underground is back!

The Abbe Underground is a group of young friends of the Abbe Museum who exemplify the future leadership of the Museum, as well as the cultural and artistic vitality of Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island. The Underground offers the unique opportunity for young professionals and residents of the greater MDI area to experience culture, art, history, and merriment in support of the Abbe's mission. A diverse and active group full of changemakers, they are setting the course for the Abbe Museum's future.

The Abbe Underground presents A Twisted Path Unveiled, which invites guests to dive into our new exhibit, Twisted Path IV: Vital Signs. Alongside featured Wabanaki artists Jason and Donna Brown, of Decontie & Brown, you'll explore the relationship between art, fashion, and social commentary. Then, jump into a designer's shoes and create your own life inspired look - you might even win some prizes! Enjoy all of this while hanging out with friends, old and new, and eating good food - what's not to love! 

Join us at the Abbe Museum on May 4th from 7 to 9 pm. Tickets are $10 per person, and a group of five or more is just $7 per person. There is no pre-ticketing for this event, but please RSVP

And don't forget to dress your finest! Leave some room in your fancy pants for your I.D. because we'll be checking at the door. 

Interested in joining? Contact us at underground@abbemuseum.org or follow us on Facebook

N’tolonapemk Our Relatives’ Place

Native Americans have lived on Meddybemps Lake at its outlet to the Dennys River for at least 8,600 years. The Passamaquoddy people have named this site N'tolonapemk, which in Passamaquoddy means, "Our Relatives' Place."
 
We still get a lot of inquiries about this exhibit, which was open in our main gallery November 2012 through April 2014. It told the story of N'tolonapemk through archaeological evidence and the stories and knowledge of the Passamaquoddy people. The scientific methods used by archaeologists, contrasted with traditional Passamaquoddy stories, work together to create a complete picture and a richer understanding of this important place.

N’tolonapemk is centrally located within the ancestral Passamaquoddy territory in eastern Maine and southwestern New Brunswick. This location affords easy travel by canoe to the ocean, the St. Croix River, the lakes and waterways of interior Maine and New Brunswick, and to the abundant and varied resources these settings provide.

N’tolonapemk has always been known to the Passamaquoddy people; this important place lives on today in their oral history and traditional stories. Archaeologists have known about the site since the 1960s, but only recently has its historic and scientific importance become more widely understood through archaeological research.

We'd like to share the story of N’tolonapemk again, as seen through archaeology and the stories and knowledge of the Passamaquoddy people.

Volunteer Week at the Abbe Museum

Volunteer Week (April 23-29th) is quickly approaching and with it the start of another busy season. As the manager of the Abbe's Volunteer Program, the upcoming summer gives me pause to reflect on 2016 and how thankful I am to all those who helped make last year so great. Here at the Abbe, we are fortunate to have a dedicated base of volunteers – a group who is always quick to lend a hand, whether that means raking up leaves or baking goodies. We would not be able to do the wonderful work we do without you! So, for Volunteer Week 2017 we are inviting volunteers past, present, and future to come visit us for two Volunteer Open Houses, one on Monday, April 24th from 10-11 am and the other on Thursday, April 27th from 3-4 pm. This is my chance to personally thank you all for your hard work, plus give you an update on what 2017 has in store. 

I first began working at the Abbe Museum as a volunteer in 2010. Since then I have had the opportunity to work in several museums, and one fact remains: volunteers are vital to any museum's success. This is especially true for small museums. The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) estimates that volunteers provide 1 million hours of work EVERY WEEK (2013)! The Abbe’s volunteers contributed to that number by clocking in 351 hours last year, valued at $8,270. This involved standing in the rain at the Native American Festival, dancing with scarves at the Gala, and serving up s’mores on a stick at the Backyard Bash. At the Bash alone, volunteers outnumbered staff 5:1 – further exemplifying the importance of volunteers for our continued development. 

We can’t wait to bring the energy from 2016 into 2017, a year that promises to be another exciting page in the Abbe Museum book. You'll notice that the volunteer program is changing – with new recruitment and communication techniques at the forefront. Also, with two new faces on the team, there is potential for more opportunities to get involved. This is all on top of the unique events we already have planned. Those of you already following us know that we are saying goodbye to the Gathering Gala and hello to a new venture: the Abbe Midsummer. The Abbe Midsummer is a chance for us to step outside of our comfort zone, engaging with our guests in new and exciting ways. For volunteers, it is a chance to become involved in what promises to be a really fun evening full of good food, great entertainment, and cool people. It will be THE event on the island this summer, for sure!

As we embark on these changes, we welcome your feedback. Those of you attending one of our Volunteer Open Houses will get a sneak peek of our plan for the year and be invited to contribute. If you’ve worked with us in the past, we want to hear about what you thought worked or didn’t work. For future volunteers: what would make you want to participate? We appreciate all that you do to keep us strong and want to ensure that the program works just as well for you as it does for us. So, please, consider attending and lending your voice. 

Volunteering at the Abbe Museum gives you inside access to museum life, unpacking all the quirky and interesting systems that keep us going while introducing you to new people that share your interests. It's not just a way to help a rich cultural institution on the island, but a way to enrich your own understanding of our diverse community while giving back. Thank you for all that you do – your time, talents, energy, and spirit are indispensable and hugely appreciated. I’m so, so glad I get to work with you. Now let’s make some magic happen in 2017!

Abbe Museum Partners with Stanley Subaru on Membership Drive

The Abbe Museum is excited to partner with Stanley Subaru on a unique membership drive for the month of April 2017. Customers who purchase a full, premium, or signature detail at Stanley Subaru in Ellsworth will receive a membership to the Abbe Museum. Customers don’t have to have a Subaru to get a detail.

"We’re delighted to partner with the Abbe Museum," said Mark Politte, dealer principal at Stanley Subaru. "The Museum is a vital part of celebrating Maine communities. We are impressed by the way the Museum avails Wabanaki people to tell their stories and lead the way in collaborative, inclusive stories of art, history, and culture. Working together opens up the fullness of Maine to Stanley Subaru's guests. We have always been committed to the Down East community and working with the cultural and educational opportunities here. We are proud to be supporters of the Abbe Museum."

Through the support and dedication of members, the Abbe has become the only Smithsonian Affiliate in the state of Maine. When you become a member, you’ll continue to make Wabanaki art, culture, and history matter, as well as enable the Abbe to continue making bold, forward-thinking choices in its decolonization practices.

Abbe President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko shares, “This exciting demonstration of support for our mission is inspiring. We can’t thank Stanley Subaru enough for showing their support this way and for passing along their enthusiasm to their customers!”

A full detail will get customers a Season Ticket membership, which grants free access to the Museum July - October, a 10% discount in the Abbe gift shop, and reduced fees for special programming.

A premium detail will get customers a Dual membership, which grants two adults unlimited free entry to the Abbe for a year, a 10% discount in the Museum gift shop, priority entry, invitations to exhibit openings and events, reduced fees for special programming, access to the Membership Lounge, invitations to member-only events, and two additional personalized benefits members get to choose.

A signature detail will get customers a Family membership, which grants two adults and all named children in the household under 18 (including grandchildren!) unlimited free entry to the Abbe for a year, a 10% discount in the Abbe gift shop, priority entry, invitations to exhibit openings and events, reduced fees for special programming, access to the Membership Lounge, invitations to member-only events, and three additional personalized benefits members get to choose. 

Contact Stanley Subaru at 207-667-4641 to schedule service or ask any questions.

The Abbe is currently open Thursdays through Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm, through April 30, 2017. From May 1 through October 31, 2017, the Museum will be open seven days a week. The Abbe’s Acadia National Park location at Sieur de Monts Spring will be open seven days a week from mid-May to mid-October. Please visit abbemuseum.org for more details. 

About Stanley Subaru
Stanley Subaru, located at 22 Bar Harbor Road, Ellsworth, is your premier, award-winning retailer of new and used Subaru vehicles in Maine. For more information about Stanley Subaru please call 207-667-4641 or visit stanleysubaru.com.
 

Come Meet our New Education Team

There are some new faces at the Abbe Museum! We've scheduled two specific programs that will enable you all to meet Starr Kelly, our new Curator of Education, and Angela Raup, our new Manager of Guest Experience. 

On Wednesday, April 12th from 3:30 - 5 pm, all local educators are invited to come explore our collection of educational materials, join our Book Club, and offer feedback on past and future programs. Expect great conversation, light refreshments, and surprise get-to-know-you activities!

On Thursday, April 20th from 12 - 2 pm, the local community is invited to come and participate in a white glove artifact experience and learn about upcoming Abbe events. There will even be a specially curated exhibit for you to explore and get to know the new team. Light refreshments will be served. Free and open to the public. 

Stanley Subaru and the Abbe Museum Partner on Membership Drive

Stanley Subaru and the Abbe Museum have gotten together to make all the terrain of Maine available to Stanley Subaru customers, including all the history, too. We are partnering throughout April to provide Stanley Subaru customers this window into a piece of Maine's culture!

When you purchase a full, premium, or signature detail in the month of April, they will buy you a membership to the Abbe Museum!

A full detail will get customers a Season Ticket membership, which grants free access to the Museum July - October, a 10% discount in the Abbe gift shop, and reduced fees for special programming.

A premium detail will get Stanley Subaru customers a Dual membership, which grants two adults unlimited free entry to the Abbe for a year, a 10% discount in the Museum gift shop, priority entry, invitations to exhibit openings and events, reduced fees for special programming, access to the Membership Lounge, invitations to member-only events, and two additional benefits you get to choose.

A signature detail will get customers a Family membership, which grants two adults and all named children in the household under 18 (including grandchildren!) unlimited free entry to the Abbe for a year, a 10% discount in the Abbe gift shop, priority entry, invitations to exhibit openings and events, reduced fees for special programming, access to the Membership Lounge, invitations to member-only events, and three additional benefits you get to choose!

And, the even more amazing part? You don't have to have a Subaru to get a detail! 

What's in a full detail?
A full detail involves vacuuming seats, carpets, and floor mats; cleaning the windows, mirrors, dashboard, small storage (cup holders, center console), shampooing carpets; cleaning the cargo area; hand wash; chamois dry; clean tires; clean rims; tire shine; clean wheel wells; wash door jambs; clean plastic trim; condition plastic and rubber trims; polish; and wax.

What's in a premium detail?
A premium detail involves everything in a full detail as well as steam cleaning the interior as needed; shampooing seat surfaces; carpet spot and stain removal; cleaning and conditioning leather seats; paint restoration; detailing logos and trim, and removing bugs and tar.

What's in a signature detail?
The signature detail involves everything already listed AND clay bar and triple buff that go above and beyond to protect your vehicle's exterior.

(If you've never heard of clay barring before, don't worry. Most haven't! Clay barring happens between the wash and the wax. It removes contaminants from your vehicle's paint — brake dust, dirt, and salt kicked up in the winter, and anything abrasive and small enough to be stuck in your paint so much that it can't get washed away with a normal wash. It takes some time because it's a pretty intensive process, but it makes a huge difference in the longevity of your paint and for rust prevention.)

Want to schedule your detailing? Have questions? Give Stanley Subaru a call 207-667-4641 today!

Who Was Here First?

Guest Blogger.png

By Bill Haviland, Abbe Museum Trustee
Previously published by Island Ad-Vantages, April 17, 2008

A question frequently asked of me is: Who were the original inhabitants of the Deer Isle region? The answer is a people who called themselves Etchemins (skicin in Passamaquoddy), meaning “real people” as opposed to animals, monsters, and other people. Their homeland, which stretched from the Kennebec to the Saint John River they called Ketakamigwa, meaning “the big land on the sea coast.” West of them lived a people the French called Armouchiquise, from the Etchemin word meaning “dog people.” Included among them were the Abenakis (“dawn land people”), whose homeland extended from the Kennebec to the Merrimack River, and west to Lake Champlain. Their name for themselves was Alnambak, meaning “real people”: the name Abenaki is what Indians living in Quebec called them.

North and east of the Etchemins lived people the French called Souriquois, known today as Mi’kmaqs (meaning “kin friends”). Their original name for themselves was U’nu’k meaning - guess what? - "humans” or “people.”

All these people spoke closely related languages and had long traded with one another. Animal hides and copper from mines in Nova Scotia were exchanged for corn and beans grown by the Abenakis. This peaceful exchange was upset in the sixteenth century with the arrival of the French in Mi’kmaq country. Redirecting their trade to these newcomers (called wenuj meaning “who is that?”) the Mi’kmaqs gained access to guns and sailing vessels, allowing them to raid their neighbors along the coast for the things they had earlier obtained through trade. Allied with them in this raiding were the Etchemins living east of Schoodic, who are known today as Passamaquoddys (“people of the pollack plenty place”) and Maliseets (or wolastoqiyik, "people of the beautiful river"). Collectively, these people were called Tarrentines (“traders”) by the English.

To defend themselves against these raiders from Downeast, the western Etchemins entered into an alliance with the Abenakis living between the Kennebec and Cape Neddick. Known as the Mawooshen Confederacy, the name means “band of people walking or acting together.” It was headed by a grand chief named Bashabas, whose headquarters was up the Penobscot River at the mouth of the Kenduskeag Stream. As was the custom when referring to people or things of exceptional prominence, he was often referred to as “The Bashabas.”

Disaster befell the Mawooshen Confederacy in 1615 when Mi’kmaq raiders managed to kill Bashabas. On top of this came “the great dying,” an epidemic that killed up to 90 percent of coastal populations. To replenish their numbers, the local Etchemins encouraged their surviving Abenaki allies, who were under pressure from the growth of English colonies to the south, to join their communities. It is these descendants of the old Mawooshen Confederacy who became known as Penobscots. Eventually, the Abenaki language became dominant among them, although some Etchemin words still persist today. Among the Passamaquoddy and Maliseet, by contrast, modern versions of the old Etchemin language are still spoken.

By 1700, in the face of continued pressures from the English, the Penobscots joined with other Abenakis as well as their former adversaries down east to form the Wabanaki ("dawn land”) Confederacy. On a grander scale, it represented a revival of the old Mawooshen idea. Still today, these people of northern New England and Canada’s Atlantic Provinces are collectively known as Wabanakis. 

About the Author
Dr. Bill Haviland is Professor Emeritus at the University of Vermont, where he founded the Department of Anthropology and taught for thirty-two years. He is a leader in his field and has written numerous research articles and books and lectured on such diverse topics as ancient Maya settlement patterns, social organization, skeletal remains, gender and graffiti in Tikal, and the culture history and present situation of Abenaki Indians in Vermont. Bill is now retired from teaching and continues research, writing, and lecturing from the coast of Maine. His most recent books are At the Place of the Lobsters and Crabs: Indian People and Deer Isle Maine 1605-2005 (2009) and Canoe Indians of Down East Maine (2012).

Guest Blogger Series
Our Guest Blogger Series is written by members of the Abbe Museum's Board of Trustees, Native Advisory Council, Staff, and special guest authors. It is a place to talk about the Museum's mission and related topics. Interested in becoming a Guest Blogger? Contact the Abbe's Director of Advancement, Heather Anderson, for more details at heather@abbemuseum.org

Wabanaki Artists Win Big at Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market

Jeremy Frey, Passamaquoddy, won first place in Division B baskets (natural or commercial fibers, any form) and Sarah Sockbeson, Penobscot, won second in the same division at the 59th annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market on March 4-5th, which draws nearly 15,000 visitors and more than 600 of the nation’s most outstanding and successful American Indian artists. Geo Neptune, Passamaquoddy, won Honorable Mention in Division A baskets (natural fibers and cultural forms) and a Judges Choice award in the same division.

"I'm just so honored to have my work recognized on the national stage," said Jeremy. "It's more than anyone can ask for and I am very humbled by this win. It's recognition like this that keeps me inspired and motivated to create new works."

Frey, who comes from a long line of Native weavers, specializes in ash fancy baskets, a traditional form of Wabanaki weaving. In 2011, Frey won Best of Show at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market and the Sante Fe Indian Market, the largest Native American Indian arts market. It is only the second time that someone has won both shows in the same year, and it was the first time in the Sante Fe Indian Market’s 90+ year history that a basket achieved the highest honor. His work has been featured at the Smithsonian, Museum of Art and Design in New York City, and in many other prominent museums around the country.

Sockbeson apprenticed with Jennifer Neptune, Penobscot, in 2004 and learned the history, techniques, and art that has become modern Native basketry. Soon thereafter, museums and collectors across the country began to recognize her incredible talent. Her unique style incorporates many different elements of traditional Wabanaki technique and she combines that with innovative colors to create a fresh, new approach to a timeless and beautiful art form. 

Former Abbe Museum Educator Geo Neptune took home ribbons for Honorable Mention in Division A baskets (natural fibers and cultural forms) and a Judges Choice award in the same division for his “Growth of a Transberry” baskets. 

"I dedicate this piece to the seven trans women who have been murdered in 2017,  Mesha, Jamie Lee, JoJo, Keke, Chyna, Ciara, and Jaquarrius," said Geo. "It represents my growth as an artist and the evolution of my berries, from largest and easiest to smallest and most difficult. I kept the women in mind while weaving these pieces, and considering how I will be examining my own gender identity and sexuality through my art in the future. I chose to make blackberries rather than strawberries because of the purple and green--colors of the non-binary/gender queer flag. Purple or lavender is blue and pink mixed together--the colors traditionally associated with boys and girls, and the green or chartreuse is the inverse of those colors combined, representing me as in the middle of the spectrum as well as outside of it all together. As I was weaving the berries, I wanted to have one for each trans woman murdered in 2017 so far but kept hearing that I should weave seven berries. As I was en route to Phoenix, I learned of Jaquarrius' death. So, before entering, I added a woven hummingbird, my personal signature for the final basket. Even though it was added for Jaquarrius, I believe the Hummingbird is Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, the native woman that was murdered. The eight flowers, representative of my spider totem that gives me my weaving ability and my connection to the divine feminine, and the missing and murdered indigenous women. As I just came out as trans/genderqueer and am making baskets under my new name, it felt important to do this piece this way, with the spiral of sweetgrass--mother earth's hair--spiraling between them, representing the intersectionality of my identities. I want it to be a message to two-spirit youth now and in the future: you are not alone, and you are loved.”

Other Wabanaki artists invited to attend the juried fair were Abbe Museum Trustee Jennifer Neptune, Penobscot, Molly Neptune Parker, Passamaquoddy, Gal Tomah, Passamaquoddy, Emma Soctomah, Passamaquoddy, Theresa Secord, Penobscot, Gina Brooks, Maliseet, Jason Brown and Donna Brown, Penobscot, with Decontie & Brown, and Alannah Barnes, Passamaquoddy. A complete list of winners can be found at http://heard.org/news

Welcome New Staff Members

We are excited to announce the arrival of two new staff members: Starr Kelly and Angela Raup. Please join us in welcoming them both to the Museum and Bar Harbor! We'll announce a few Meet and Greet dates soon that will give you all an opportunity to meet Starr and Angela and get to know them in their new roles. 

Starr Kelly is our Curator of Education. She is a member of the Algonquin First Nation of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg in Quebec. After growing up in Portland, Maine, she attended Colgate University in Hamilton, NY as an undergraduate in Native American Studies. She continued her education at Colgate receiving a Masters of Teaching in 2013, focusing her studies on secondary social studies.

A Gottesman fellow, Starr created original research on the lasting intergenerational trauma caused by the boarding school era among Native peoples in the U.S. and Canada. A topic that led to her thesis work in the area of decolonization practices as a means to address the needs of Native students and foster healing from historic trauma inflicted by colonial agendas.

As a middle and high school social studies teacher, Starr is a social justice oriented educator and has developed what she refers to as a "curriculum for dignity." Her lessons and pedagogical approach put theory into practice by honoring those she teaches about while simultaneously creating an environment which is responsive to the needs of her learners and dignifies her students' lived experiences. 

Starr is committed to language and cultural revitalization efforts in Indigenous communities. She is a traditional beadworker in both flat and raised beadwork mediums and enjoys hiking and live music in her spare time. 

Angela Raup is our Manager of Guest Experience. She originally hails from Smithfield, Rhode Island, but is no stranger to Mount Desert Island. She previously worked for College of the Atlantic’s Summer Field Studies Program, and for the Jordan Pond House Restaurant. After graduating from the University of Rhode Island in 2012 with a degree in Anthropology and Writing, Angela moved to Washington, DC, where she began her museum career.

Angela spent two years as an Operations Manager at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment before accepting a position as Visitor Operations Manager of the United States Capitol. Serving under the 114th Congress, Angela facilitated daily operations at the Capitol Visitor Center and provided assistance and direction at Congressional events. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide and enjoys utilizing elements of storytelling to create meaningful guest experiences. Angela loves big breakfasts, chai lattes, graphic novels, and painting.

Abbe Museum and Machias Savings Bank Partner on Free Admission Program

Machias Savings Bank Branch Manager Matt Horton presents Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko with a check in support of the Abbe's free admission program

Machias Savings Bank Branch Manager Matt Horton presents Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko with a check in support of the Abbe's free admission program

The Abbe Museum will continue to offer free admission during select months in 2017, thanks to the generosity of Machias Savings Bank. Admission will be free February 2 - April 30 and November 1 - December 22, 2017.

"This year, Machias Savings Bank and the Abbe Museum celebrate 26 years as partners," said Branch Manager, Matt Horton. "We are pleased to commemorate this partnership by once again sponsoring the Abbe's free admission program, which offers an opportunity for more visitors to see the Museum's exceptional exhibits, projects, and programs."

As Maine’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate, the Abbe’s free admission program aligns nicely with the Smithsonian’s goal of being easily accessible to the public, and it helps raise the Abbe’s statewide visibility as the only museum dedicated solely to sharing the story of the Wabanaki Nations. 

The Abbe staff is currently designing and installing two new exhibits, Twisted Path IV: Vital Signs and the 2017 Waponahki Student Art Show, both of which will open in April. In addition, the Museum’s new core exhibit, People of the First Light, is open and offers visitors a wide variety of content and perspectives around more than 12,000 years of history, conflict, adaptation, and survival in the Wabanaki homeland.

“Thanks to Machias Savings Bank, the Abbe’s statewide visibility continues to grow in the off-season through this free admission program, drawing more repeat Maine visitors every year,” said Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “Since close to 80% of our visitors come from more than 120 miles away, and are typically one-time visitors, the free admission program has catered to Maine residents, which is an audience we’ve been trying to engage with more often since we opened our downtown location back in 2001.”

The Abbe is currently open Thursdays through Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm, through April 30, 2017. From May 1 through October 31, 2017, the Museum will be open seven days a week. The Abbe’s Acadia National Park location at Sieur de Monts Spring will be open seven days a week from mid-May to mid-October. Please visit abbemuseum.org for more details. 

Twisted Path Returns to the Abbe Museum

The Abbe Museum is excited to announce that the critically acclaimed Twisted Path exhibit series is back and will celebrate its fourth year in 2017. Twisted Path IV: Vital Signs is an invitational exhibition that features artwork that reflects personal stories about tribal identity and balancing life in a complex world. The exhibit opens on Friday, April 7, 2017, and an opening reception will be held that evening from 5-7 pm. 

“It's been exciting for me to work in a curatorial capacity for this exhibit,” said Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “Twisted Path is always a conversation starter and with the artists invited to participate this year, I know that new understandings about tribal community health will be revealed. Contemporary art will be the mechanism to start the conversation.”

The title Twisted Path is based on a traditional beadwork pattern of the same name, describing a back and forth or meandering quality. It is symbolic of Native artists alternating between two cultures, striving to preserve historical and spiritual traditions while experiencing modern lifestyles and new art forms.

Twisted Path IV: Vital Signs will invite audiences to consider Native American concerns about personal and community health and wellness through the medium of contemporary art. Artists’ works will express emotional and cultural reflections on the human condition in tribal communities. The American Indian and Alaska Native people have long experienced lower health status when compared with other Americans. Lower life expectancy and the disproportionate disease burden exist perhaps because of inadequate education, disparate poverty, discrimination in the delivery of health services, and cultural differences. These are the broad quality of life issues rooted in economic adversity and poor social conditions. Artist responses to this topic will be both hopeful and challenging and invite the audience to consider how these health disparities are a direct result of the colonization process. Educational programming around the exhibit's theme will be offered throughout the year. 

Participating artists were chosen based on the aesthetics of their work, their ability and willingness to tell stories through art, and the unique and contemporary natures of their forms. The list includes Jason K. Brown (Penobscot), Donna Brown (Penobscot), David Moses Bridges (Passamaquoddy), Chris Pappan (Kaw, Osage, Cheyenne River Sioux), Hollis Chitto (Laguna/Isleta, Mississippi Choctaw), and Shaax' Saani (Tlingit). 

“The Abbe staff and trustees are deeply saddened by the passing of David Moses Bridges on January 20, 2017,” said Catlin-Legutko. “His death is an incredible loss to the Passamaquoddy community and his Abbe family, and we are very honored that his grieving family shares our vision to include David in Twisted Path in memoriam. His art will continue to speak to us through this exhibit.”

The opening reception on April 7, from 5-7 pm, is free and open to the public. Guests are invited to celebrate with curatorial staff, artists, and fellow supporters while snacking on refreshments from local eateries. All guests must RSVP online or to RSVP@abbemuseum.org or 207-288-3519. 

The Abbe Museum is currently open Thursday-Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm, and thanks to the generosity of Machias Savings Bank, admission is free through April. The Museum is open seven days a week from May 1 – October 31st every year. 

Amy Lonetree Lecture on Decolonizing Museums

The Abbe Museum is excited to announce that Dr. Amy Lonetree, Ho-Chunk, will give a free lecture on Decolonizing Museums: New Directions, Ongoing Challenges at the Museum on February 1, 2017, at 7 pm. Lonetree is a leading scholar on Indigenous history, visual culture studies, museum studies, and decolonization.

“We are incredibly honored that Amy is giving this talk at the Museum, especially since decolonization has been our touchstone and guiding principle for many years,” said Abbe President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “We’ve been a resource and a model that the museum field turns to for ideas, solutions, and strategies for comprehensive museum decolonization.”

As applied to the relationship of institutions such as museums to the Native people of the United States, “decolonization” means, at a minimum, sharing authority for the documentation and interpretation of Native culture. Traditional museum practices of exhibiting, collecting, and programming have informed the collective memories of museum-goers while dehumanizing Native history and creating colonizing museum spaces. Emotional, spiritual, and physical harm is done when these colonized spaces and practices are not acknowledged and addressed. As explained by Lonetree in her 2012 book Decolonizing Museums, “Museums can be very painful sites for Native peoples, as they are intimately tied to the colonization process.” 

Lonetree’s talk will focus on the current state of contemporary exhibition practice with, by, and for Native Americans at both national and tribal museums. Central to her analysis is exploring how museums can serve as sites of decolonization by privileging Indigenous knowledge and worldview, challenging the stereotypical representations of Native people produced in the past, and discussing the hard truths of colonization in exhibitions in an effort to promote healing and understanding.  

“As a scholar focusing on the history of the relationship between Indigenous communities and museums, I am heartened to see the amazing work happening at the Abbe Museum,” said Lonetree. “Their willingness to discuss the knowledge they have gained with other museum professionals is impressive, and I would be honored to assist them in these endeavors based on my academic background in museum studies and Native American history. I am confident that the important conversations that take place at the Museum will enable all to arrive at new understandings of how best to move forward with efforts to decolonize museums.”

To learn more about the Abbe Museum’s decolonization practices, please check out our Strategic Plan. This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, or to reserve a seat, please contact the Abbe at 207-288-3519 or RSVP@abbemuseum.org. 

About Amy Lonetree
Dr. Amy Lonetree is an enrolled citizen of Ho-Chunk Nation and is an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her scholarly work focuses on the representation of Native American history and memory in national and tribal museums and she has conducted research at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, British Museum, Mille Lacs Indian Museum in Minnesota, and the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways in Michigan. Her publications include, Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums (University of North Carolina Press, 2012); a co-edited book with Amanda J. Cobb, The National Museum of the American Indian: Critical Conversations (University of Nebraska Press, 2008); and a co-authored volume, People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942 (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2011). She is currently working on a visual history of the Ho-Chunk Nation from 1879-1960.

In Memoriam

Abbe Museum trustee David Moses Bridges passed away on Friday, January 20, 2017. David was a kind and generous artist, and his contributions and accolades are numerous. Internationally known for his art, canoe-building, and activism, David was also known as a loving husband, father, and friend. He never hesitated standing up when he needed to, and he always said what needed to be said. Our hearts go out to his family and the Sipayik community as they wrap their minds around this loss and fill their hearts with his smile, humor, creativity, and love.  

Many people have asked how they can make a donation in memory of David, and you are welcome to make a gift directly to his family via The DMB Fund Facebook page

The Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News published touching tributes in the days following David's passing. 

We Must Decolonize our Museums

“Museums can be very painful sites for Native peoples, as they are intimately tied to the colonization process,” writes Ho-Chunk scholar Amy Lonetree. Reading this passage for the first time in 2012 stopped Abbe President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko in her tracks and forced her to ask herself "How does the work I do cause another person’s pain and anguish? How dare I ignore this pain?" She can’t ignore it, and she would hope most of us can’t ignore it. But for many museum workers, this intertwined colonial history isn’t discussed or represented in their institutions.

In the following talk, recorded at TEDxDirigo in Portland, Maine on November 5, 2016, Cinnamon shares the urgency of museum decolonizing practices and describe some of the work the Abbe Museum is doing.

Abbe Museum Launches New Website

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The Abbe Museum has launched a new website that offers users a fresh way to interact with the Museum. Key features of the site include a cleaner and more attractive design, a more engaging user experience with enhanced search and navigation, and an easy to use events calendar.

Featuring an eclectic arrangement of content set against a simple white background and a responsive design optimized for viewing on all platforms—desktop, tablet, and smartphone— the website has a clean, accessible look and feel that reflects the spirit of the Abbe's downtown Bar Harbor facility.

“As a cultural institution, the Abbe Museum has a responsibility to connect with the wider community beyond Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island,” said Abbe President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “Our redesigned website serves as a powerful resource to visitors from around the world, in person and virtually.”

Modern and clean, abbemuseum.org is filled with beautiful images, art, and engaging content. You'll find it much easier to explore events, exhibitions, and the Abbe’s extensive collections. Functionality and design highlights include:

  • Responsive design which ensures an optimal experience on any device
  • A focus on stunning images
  • Dynamic educational content
  • Advanced search functionality, which provides unprecedented access to the Museum and all it has to offer 
  • Built for integration of the ongoing online collections project

Still to come are the Abbe Blog and enhanced video and audio integration. Updates will also be made to the Education pages over the course of the next few months.

All of the new site’s dynamic features complement the cutting-edge Smithsonian level curatorial work and research undertaken at the Abbe Museum, while also encouraging more prolonged engagement from visitors both near and far.

“There are many museum websites that you visit only to find out when the museum is open and how much admission costs,” said Abbe Director of Advancement Heather Anderson. “We wanted our website to offer more. It's intended to invite multiple, in-depth visits.”