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), 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

Capture.PNG

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.”

Abbe Museum Welcomes New Trustees

The Abbe Museum has added two new members to its Board of Trustees, bringing the total number of Trustees to 20. The new appointees, Mary Herman and Roger Milliken, assumed their new roles on October 21, 2016. Abbe Trustee William Haviland was elected to a third term earlier this year.

“Both Roger and Mary offer a state-wide perspective that we are always looking to add to boardroom conversations,” said Abbe President/CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “We really see ourselves as a state-wide educational resource and their experiences and connections will certainly help us deepen our purpose. And, for the past few years, we’ve made great strides in our efforts, adding board members from the tribal communities and from across New England.” 

Mary J. Herman serves on the University of New England Board and is a former member of the Maine Women’s Lobby and Safe Passage boards. After graduating college in the Midwest, she moved east, first to teach in Washington, DC, then to attend graduate school in Boston. In 1973, Herman moved to Calais (and then Perry) Maine where she worked in the Passamaquoddy basket store and was a teacher aide on Peter Dana Point. During this time she taught prenatal classes and eventually directed the family planning program for Downeast Health Services.

In 1981, Herman began work for The Maine Women’s Lobby. Following two years at the Lobby, she joined what was to become Cohen-Herman Associates and eventually Mary J Herman Associates, a public policy consulting lobbying and association management firm. She is married to Angus King and lives in Brunswick, Maine.

Roger Milliken is President and CEO of the Baskahegan Company, which owns and manages 120,000 acres of family forestland in eastern Maine. Baskahegan is a recognized leader in Maine’s forest products industry, known for its commitment to managing for timber while respecting the dynamics of natural systems. Baskahegan’s forest has been green-certified by the Forest Stewardship Council since 2004.

Milliken is a Director of Milliken & Co, and a Trustee of the Northern Forest Center. He and his wife Margot serve on the Advisory Board of the American Indian Institute. Roger served on the (global) Board of Directors of the Nature Conservancy from 2000-2011, chairing the board for the last three years of his term. He previously chaired the Maine Chapter of the Conservancy and the Advisory Board of the Manomet Forest Conservation Program.

The Abbe Museum Trustees also include: Ann Cox Halkett (Chair), Richard Cleary (Vice Chair), Curtis Simard (Secretary) Jeff Dalrymple (Treasurer), David Moses Bridges (Passamaquoddy), Joseph F. Cistone, Linda K. Dunn, William Haviland, Abbe Levin, Jamie Bissonette Lewey (Abenaki), Margo Lukens, Jennifer Neptune (Penobscot), Patricia DiIanni Selig, Douglas Sharpe, Chris Sockalexis (Penobscot), Sandra K. Wilcox, and Honorary Trustees Alice Wellman and Darren J. Ranco (Penobscot).

Backyard Bash at the Abbe Museum

The inaugural Backyard Bash at the Abbe Museum was a huge success! More than 250 people stopped by to sample the delicious food, play some fun games, listen to show-stopping live music, check out the Wabanaki artist booths, and peruse all the amazing items in our silent auction. Word on the street is everyone had a blast and some are already asking about next year. Thanks again to everyone who helped make this event possible!

Anonymous
Atlantic Brewing Company
Bangor Daily News
Bar Harbor Catering Company
Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company
BHA, LLC
Blaze
Cadillac Mountain Sports
Coca Cola
Dawland Tours, LLC
Dead River Company
Decontie & Brown
Frogpipe
Havana
L.S. Robinson Company
Gus La Casse
Leary’s Landing
Lynam Agency -Insurance and Real Estate
MDI High School students
MDI Ice Cream
MPBN
Mt. Dessert Bakery
Martha Newell
Bonnie Newsom
Molly Neptune Parker
PeekyToe Provisions
Project Social
Queen Anne’s Flower Shop
Siam Orchid
Side Street Cafe
Stanley Subaru
Tea House 278 / Tea Garden Tea Company
Lisa Tompkins

And, finally, a HUGE thank you to all our amazing silent auction donors!

Tea & Pops Archaeology on October 17th

ACADIA CENTENNIAL LECTURE: Is Archaeology Still Relevant In The 21st Century?

Presented by Rebecca Cole-Will, Chief of Resource Management at Acadia National Park

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. This Act transformed the practice of archaeology and change has been rapid and existential in the discipline since then. Rebecca Cole-Will will reflect on how archaeology has evolved, the current role of archaeology in the National Park Service, and where the study of the past may lead us in the future. Tea and popovers will be served after the lecture.

Rebecca Cole-Will is the Chief of Resource Management at Acadia National Park. She has done archaeological research in Maine and the Canadian Arctic and was the curator at the Abbe Museum before joining the National Park Service. She has a BA in anthropology from the University of Maine and an MA in anthropology from the University of Alberta.

Monday, October 17, 2016, from 7-9 pm.

$20 members, $30 non-members.

For reservations, please contact the Abbe Museum at 207-288-3519 or email rsvp@abbemuseum.org.

Abbe Museum will Host Return of the River Film Screening

The Abbe Museum will host an exclusive program around the documentary Return of the River on Monday, September 26, 2016, from 6-8 pm. The writer, director, and co-producer of the film, Jessica Plumb, along with Wabanaki panelists, will discuss the importance of the film as it pertains to relatable issues currently happening in Maine.

"I am particularly thrilled to share the Elwha River’s remarkable story at the Abbe Museum, because of the Museum’s commitment to contemporary Native culture in Maine,” said Plumb. “Return of the River features an unlikely success story for environmental and cultural restoration. The film follows members of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, working with activists to attempt the impossible: to change the public opinion of a town and eventually the nation to bring two dams down."

Filmed over four years, Return of the River is a narrative with global ramifications, exploring the complex relationship between communities and the environment that sustains them. The Elwha River is the ancestral home of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, who witnessed firsthand the impact of two dams on the river and its legendary fish runs.

The film addresses environmental justice issues that resonate far beyond the Pacific Northwest. The Penobscot River, for example, has been home for the Penobscot Nation for generations. It is a vital part of their identity, a source of sustenance, and a place of connection and contention with outsiders since the first arrival of European explorers. Protection of the river, their ancestral home, continues to be of critical importance to the Penobscot Nation.

All Wabanaki peoples make their homes on and around rivers. The Passamaquoddy live along the St. Croix River watershed and the bays it feeds. The Maliseet, the People of the Beautiful River in their own language, live along the St. John. The Aroostook Band of Micmac live along the upper reaches of the Penobscot and St. John Rivers, while Mi’kmaq bands in Canada reach from the St. Lawrence the rivers of Nova Scotia and bays of Newfoundland.

"I grew up in Maine, and I wish that I’d had a chance to learn a complete history of my home state, now beautifully revealed at the Abbe Museum,” said Plumb. “As a filmmaker, I’ve been witness to an exceptional story in the Pacific Northwest, exploring environmental justice issues that resonate far beyond the region. It’s a special pleasure to return to Maine with this film, and to stand with Maine tribes working on river issues."

To learn more about the film, please visit www.elwhafilm.com. This program is free and open to the public and is sponsored and generously supported by the Quimby/St.Clair family. For more information, please contact the Abbe Museum at 207-288-3519 or info@abbemuseum.org.

About Jessica Plumb
Producer and writer Jessica Plumb is a filmmaker focused on the relationship between people and the places they call home. She moved to the Olympic Peninsula a decade ago, after starting her career in Boston and Beijing. Jessica directs a video production company and has produced numerous educational and promotional videos for clients. She has worked on documentary and narrative films screened at festivals in the role of editor, and behind the camera, and have created award-winning short films best described as video poetry. Her video art films have been screened in galleries throughout the United States. Jessica holds a B.A. from Yale University and an interdisciplinary MFA from Goddard College. She also studied documentary film at 911 Media in Seattle and the New School University in New York. See www.plumbproductions.com for more.  

The Fall PechaKucha MDI Event Celebrates Acadia

The Abbe Museum, Northeast Harbor Library, and Southwest Harbor Public Library are proud to present PechaKucha MDI (PKMDI) Night on Friday, September 30, 2016, from 5:30 - 7:30 pm atThe 1932 Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor. This special themed event features a series of presentations celebrating Acadia National Park on its 100th birthday. The event is free and open to the public.

“PechaKucha events are always surprising and entertaining,” said Southwest Harbor Public Librarian and PKMDI organizer Lisa Murray. “It’s not just about learning, it’s about meeting people in our community and gaining some insight into their lives. I walk away at the end of the night inspired,  impressed, and brimming with knowledge. Our community is full of talent and passion!”

In the usualPechaKucha format, each presenter is allotted 20 slides, advanced automatically every 20 seconds. The presentations revolve around Acadia National Park’s Centennial Celebration and will include hiking Acadia’s 10 highest peaks, natural history, traffic issues then and now, and a behind the scenes look at the search and rescue team.

Speakers include Jack Russell, Lynne Dominy, Julia (Clark) Gray, Tim Garrity, Amy Niemczura, Johannah Blackman, Hope Rowan, Davin O'Connell, Suzanne Greenlaw, and Mike Hays.

A special free Centennial ticket will be required to enter the event, which you can pick up in advance at the Abbe Museum, Northeast Harbor Library, or Southwest Harbor Public Library. You can also get tickets the night of the event. The box office will open at 4:30 pm on Friday, September 30th, and concession stands will be open during the event.

PKMDI is held three times a year at to be determined venues all over Mount Desert Island. For more details about the event, including the full line-up of speakers, please visitpkmdi.com and www.facebook.com/pkmdi. For information on how to become a participant, please visit pkmdi.com.

About PechaKucha
PechaKucha, literally translated as “chit chat” or “blah blah” in Japanese, was created by Klein Dytham Architecture in Tokyo in 2003 as an opportunity for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. It has since gone viral, and turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in more than 700 cities around the world, inspiring creativity worldwide. www.pechakucha.org

Improvements to Acadia National Park infrastructure to be completed this fall

Beginning on September 6, 2016, the National Park Service (NPS) will close Seawall Campground and certain visitor facilities at Sieur de Monts in Acadia National Park to complete major improvements to the septic systems that serve those areas.  Island Explorer bus stops at Seawall Campground and Sieur de Monts will be relocated during the construction. Both projects are expected to be completed by the end of November.

At Sieur de Monts, the Abbe Museum, Nature Center, and restrooms will be closed for the season beginning September 6. Access to hiking trails and the Wild Gardens of Acadia will remain open, and portable toilets will be available. Parking will be available for a limited number of cars, but buses and RVs will be prohibited from entering Sieur de Monts during construction. The Island Explorer will continue its regular fall service with the Sieur de Monts stop relocated to the Park Loop Road for the outbound Sand Beach route (#3) and to Otter Creek Road (State Route 3) near the park entrance for the inbound Sand Beach route (#3) and both directions for the Loop Road route (#4).

The last night of camping for the season at Seawall Campground will be September 5. Visitors who would like to camp in Acadia should check for availability at Blackwoods and Schoodic Woods campgrounds online at recreation.gov.  The Island Explorer’s Southwest Harbor route (#7) will continue its regular fall service with the Seawall Campground stop relocated to Seawall Road (State Route 102A) at the entrance to the campground.  The Seawall Picnic Area will remain open and restrooms will be available there through September. Visitors will continue to have non-motorized access to Hio Road through the campground.

During construction, visitors may also encounter temporary one-lane closures on the Park Loop Road near Sieur de Monts and on Seawall Road across from Seawall Campground.

“We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of visitors as we complete essential upgrades to the septic systems at Seawall Campground and Sieur de Monts,” said Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “These improvements will provide better service to park visitors and enhance the protection of the environment.”

For the latest information on the Island Explorer bus service, please call 207-288-4573 or visitwww.exploreacadia.com. For updates on the closures and other park information, please call 207-288-3338 or visitwww.nps.gov/acad.  Please join Acadia’s online conversations atwww.facebook.com/AcadiaNPS and https://twitter.com/AcadiaNPS.

This information was provided by:
Acadia National Park News Release
Release Date:  August 31, 2016
Contact:  John Kelly, john_t_kelly@nps.gov, 207-288-8703

Kindling Fund Grants for Visual Artists Working in the State of Maine

SPACE Gallery in Portland, Maine has announced its third round of Kindling Fund grants for visual artists working in the state of Maine.

Initiated in 2014, theKindling Fund provides grants to artist­organized projects that have a strong public component. The most competitive projects are ones which don’t fit in established venues, but rather occur in unconventional spaces or as site­specific presentations.

The Kindling Fund is a part of the Regional Regranting Program of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This program matches Warhol Foundation support with localized partner organizations who value artist­driven contemporary and independent practices.

SPACE is one of ten other regranting projects around the United States, bringing a new kind of support to the state of Maine. Artists may request between $1,500 and $5,000 for their projects.

This is the third year SPACE has offered the Kindling Fund to Maine artists. Over the past two years, a total of 20 Kindling Fund grants has been awarded. Past projects supported by The Kindling Fund have included The Chart, an online arts journal for artists, writers and cultural producers to write and create traditional and experimental art criticism (2015); The Institute for American Art, an educational organization designed as a museum and located within a domestic home (2015); and New Fruit, a women­run alternative arts space located in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood (2016).

The Kindling Fund feeds the energy of Maine’s visual arts community by funding artist­organized projects that engage the public in ways that are both inventive and meaningful. The Kindling Fund values risk, experimentation, unconventional engagement, critical dialogue, and collaboration. Successful projects reach new audiences and create new models for presenting artists’ work. The mission of SPACE Gallery is to present contemporary, emerging and unconventional arts, artists and

ideas. The Kindling Fund extends this mission around Maine, beyond the reach and capacities of SPACE as an organization.

A series of informational sessions will be held around the state which will provide opportunities for potential applicants to learn more and ask questions:

  • SPACE Gallery (Portland) will host a session at its location at 538 Congress Street on Tuesday, September 13 from 6-­7 pm
  • Engine Gallery (Biddeford) will host a session on Wednesday, September 14 from 6-­7 pm
  • Launchpad (Bangor) will host a session on Thursday, September 15 from 6-­7 pm
  • The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (Rockland) will host a session on Monday, September 19 from 6­-7 pm
  • The Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor) will host a session on Tuesday, September 20 from 5­-6 pm
  • SPACE will hold an information session and budget workshop on Saturday, October 1 from 11 am - 12 pm

All information sessions are free and open to the public. Applications are to be submitted online (www.kindlingfund.org/apply).

The deadline to submit grant applications is October 22 at 11:59 PM. 

For more information, visit www.kindlingfund.org or reach out to SPACE at the contact details noted below:

SPACE Gallery
538 Congress St.
Portland, ME 04101
207-828-5600
www.space538.orgContact: Elizabeth Spavento, Visual Arts Programmer / elizabeth@space538.org

About SPACE Gallery
Established in 2002, SPACE Gallery is a nonprofit contemporary art space that presents visual arts exhibitions, live music and performance, film screenings, artists talks, literary events, and more, for a sum of approximately 200 events and 15 exhibitions each year.

About The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was established in 1987 for the advancement of the visual arts. The Foundation’s objective is to foster innovative artistic expression and the creative process by encouraging and supporting cultural organizations that in turn, directly or indirectly, support artists and their work. The Foundation values the contribution these organizations make to artists and audiences and to society as a whole by supporting, exhibiting, and interpreting a broad spectrum of contemporary artistic practice.

Abbe Museum Launches Online Collections Database

The Abbe Museum, the first and only Smithsonian Affiliate in the state of Maine, is excited to announce the launch of its online collections database. The Museum’s in-house collections focus on contemporary and historic Native American art, artifacts, and objects from Maine and the Northeast, and totals more than 70,000 items. The goal is to upload all of the non-archaeological items to the database over the course of the next 12 months.

“We have been looking forward to sharing our collections online for a long time,” said Director of Collections and Interpretation Julia Gray. “With only a small portion of our collections on exhibit at any time, this gives people a chance to see so much more, and to learn about Wabanaki history and culture through art and objects from anywhere in the world. We are also excited to use this as a platform to welcome Wabanaki community input and perspectives on our collections.”

The Museum has been using PastPerfect museum software since 2000 to manage its collections, and as part of the current strategic plan, they are now using their online platform to share its collections with everyone, near and far. The database allows users to browse the collections, carry out a general keyword search, and even dig a little deeper with a more targeted advanced search. Images and detailed information about each piece are available and virtual visitors can share what they find with friends through email and social media, as well as share feedback with the Museum, directly from the website.

To start, approximately 375 of the roughly 1,800 records in the Museum’s local database have been uploaded, and more will continue to be added until all of the non-archaeological collections can be seen on the site. Work to put the archaeological collections online is scheduled to begin in 2018.

Visitors can check out everything from an etched birchbark box by Tomah Joseph that illustrates Passamaquoddy life to mid-19th century Penobscot baskets that are still vivid with indigo and other natural dyes. Intricate porcupine quill boxes created by Mi’kmaq artists during the late 1800s and some of the most outstanding work being done by Wabanaki artists today can also be viewed. Visit abbemuseum.pastperfectonline.com for more details.

The launch of the Abbe’s online collections database was made possible by the outstanding work of summer intern Katy Matthews, who spent the past several months preparing records for upload and gathering information that was missing from the database.

This project is funded by grants from the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine Community Foundation.

Wabanaki Artists Win Big at Santa Fe Indian Market

Photo credit: SWAIA-Santa Fe Indian Market

Photo credit: SWAIA-Santa Fe Indian Market

Five Wabanaki artists from Maine won a total of seven ribbons at the Santa Fe Indian Market in New Mexico on August 19, 2016. For more than five years, Wabanaki artists have taken top spots at the prestigious market.

Jeremy Frey, Passamaquoddy, took first in Division B: Outside the Southwest Baskets - Plaited, Wicker category, and 2016 Wabanaki Artist Fellow Theresa Secord, Penobscot, won first place in the same division in the Twined category.

George Neptune, Passamaquoddy, placed second in Division B: Outside the Southwest Baskets - Plaited, Wicker category. Emma Soctomah, Passamaquoddy, won first and second place in Division B: Ages 10-13 - Basketry category, which is her fourth consecutive year winning the top two spots. She also won best of division.

2016 Wabanaki Artist Fellow Gabriel Frey, Passamaquoddy, got an honorable mention in Division B: Outside the Southwest Baskets - Contemporary category. Along with Gabriel Frey, Jason and Donna Brown, the duo behind Penobscot jewelry studio Decontie & Brown, attended the Santa Fe Indian Market for the first time. Jason Brown is also a 2016 Wabanaki Artist Fellow.

"I am honored and humbled to be among the many East Coast weavers recognized at the market this year," Frey said. “I’m looking forward to many more successful markets.”

For the past 91 years, Santa Fe Indian Market has been bringing together the most talented Native American artists from around the US. As the largest Native arts fair in the world, the market spans an entire plaza and surrounding streets and consists of a myriad of events — galas, art openings, music and experiences, fashion shows, and the much anticipated juried art show. Of the more than 1,000 artists who participated this year, eight were Wabanaki artists from the state of Maine.

Abbe Museum Trustee Jennifer Neptune, Penobscot, was also accepted to attend the market and showcased her brown ash and sweetgrass baskets, beadwork, and porcupine quill jewelry.

This just in from the Santa Fe Indian Market: Wabanaki artists win big!

Wabanaki artists have had a big week out in Santa Fe. For some, it's their first time attending the prestigious Indian Market as artists and as Wabanaki Artist Fellows.

First Place!
Jeremy Frey, Passamaquoddy, took first in Division B: Outside the Southwest Baskets - Plaited, Wicker category.

2016 Wabanaki Artist Fellow Theresa Secord, Penobscot, took first place in the same division in the Twined category.

Second Place!
George Neptune, Passamaquoddy, placed second in Division B: Outside the Southwest Baskets - Plaited, Wicker category.

Best of Divisions!
Emma Soctomah took best of division in Division B: Ages 10-13.

First and Second Place!
Emma Soctomah, Passamaquoddy, placed first AND second in Division B: Ages 10-13 - Basketry category.

Honorable Mentions!
2016 Wabanaki Artist Fellow  Gabriel Frey, Passamaquoddy, got an honorable mention in Division B: Outside the Southwest Baskets - Contemporary category.

First Time Attendees!
Along with Gabriel Frey, Jason and Donna Brown, the duo behind Penobscot jewelry studio Decontie & Brown, attended the Santa Fe Indian Market (SWAIA) for the first time. Jason Brown is also a 2016 Wabanaki Artist Fellow. In addition to getting a shout out from SWAIA, Decontie & Brown put on quite a fashion show.

Congratulations to everyone for such an amazing week! Follow the Abbe Facebook page throughout the day today for more photos, videos, and news about what the Wabanaki artists are up to in Santa Fe!

Legendary Hawaiian Canoe to Visit Mount Desert Island on Global Voyage

Unprecedented voyage to stop in Somes Sound where crew will honor and engage in cultural exchanges with Native Americans and share about Polynesian wayfinding and sustainability efforts with Mount Desert Community

Traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a will be stopping in Mount Desert Island (MDI), as part of her leg through the New England area. This sail is part of a historic Worldwide Voyage covering more than 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, and 27 nations. Hōkūleʻa is a double-hull sailing vessel that voyages without the use of modern instruments, using stars, winds, and waves to navigate from destination to destination. During this current leg, the crew is honoring Native American tribes in the region and teaching and learning about traditions and practices of protecting cultural and environmental resources. Weather permitting, the crew conducts community and educational outreach programs, including canoe tours for the public during each stop.

Following is the tentative schedule for MDI. Since the schedule is subject to change, the public is encouraged to visitwww.hokulea.com for the latest information.

Saturday, July 23

  • 9:00 am: Wabanaki and the Mount Desert community will gather for a public Arrival Ceremony to welcome Hōkūleʻa at JW Boat Company (Hall Quarry Road, Mount Desert, ME) 
  • 12:00-4:00 pm: Public Engagement and Canoe Tours to follow Ceremony and Exchange

Sunday, July 24

  • 6:00 pm: Crew Presentation at JW Boat Company, Open to the Public

Tuesday, July 26

  • 10:00 am - 3:15 pm: Youth Groups visit Canoe (by appointment)
  • 4:00-5:00 pm: Crew Presentation in Community Gallery at Abbe Museum, 26 Mount Desert Street, Bar Harbor, Open to the Public

Youth groups are invited to visit Hōkūleʻa on Tuesday, July 26th. Group size is limited to 50 youth and reservations are required for time blocks throughout the day. Interested groups should contact Debra Deal at Camp Beechcliff to inquire about reservations: (207) 244-0365, debra@campbeechcliff.org.

Hōkūleʻa is sailing the Earth’s oceans to visit and learn from those who are working to solve some of the greatest challenges facing the world today. Her crew spreads the Mālama Honua (care for Island Earth) message as it grows the global movement for a more sustainable world. The stories exchanged among crewmembers and communities they visit add to the collective wisdom shaping global lessons for the future health of our Island Earth, and the health of our people, lands, and oceans.

For Hōkūleʻa's most up-to-date US east coast schedule, visit http://www.hokulea.com/hokuleas-planned-east-coast-port-stops/.

To follow the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, visit http://hokulea.com/track-the-voyage.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Sonja Swenson Rogers
Polynesian Voyaging Society
sonja@pvshawaii.org
(808) 745-3386

The online press kit is available at www.hokulea.com/press.

About Hōkūleʻa
A symbol of cultural revival, the history of Hōkūleʻa is also being shared on this journey to inspire other indigenous cultures. This replica of an ancient Polynesian voyaging canoe was built 40 years ago and revitalized voyaging and navigation traditions throughout the Pacific. The canoe’s twin hulls allow her to handle large ocean swells and recover easily in the troughs of waves, and her triangular canvas sails can harness winds up to 20 knots. Hōkūleʻa first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Through the revival of the traditional art and science of wayfinding–navigating the sea guided by nature using the ocean swells, stars, and wind–Hōkūleʻa sparked a Hawaiian cultural renaissance and has reawakened the world’s sense of pride and strength as voyagers charting a course for our Island Earth.

About the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage presented by Hawaiian Airlines
The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage will cover over 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, and 27 nations, including 12 of UNESCO's Marine World Heritage sites. Voyaging from Hawaiʻi in 2013 with an estimated sail conclusion date of June 2017, the Worldwide Voyage is taking the iconic sailing vessel, Hōkūleʻa, around Island Earth and her sister canoe, Hikianalia, around the Hawaiian Islands to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The voyage seeks to engage all of Island Earth - practicing how to live sustainably while sharing Polynesian culture, learning from the past and from each other, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of the precious place we call home.

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hōkūle‘a has sailed more than 26,000 nautical miles and made stops in 14 countries and 70 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 200 volunteer crewmembers have helped to sail Hōkūle‘a to spread the message of Mālama Honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited. So far, crewmembers have connected with more than 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa, Brazil, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Cuba. The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage reached the East Coast of the United States in March 2016, stopping in Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia before continuing north to Washington D.C., New York City (where it celebrated World Oceans Day at the United Nations on June 8) and New England.

To learn more about Hōkūleʻa and this historic voyage, view: https://youtu.be/tRHtu8rCAC0.

For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, visit http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/.

About the Polynesian Voyaging Society
The Polynesian Voyaging Society was founded in 1973 on a legacy of Pacific Ocean exploration, seeking to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves, one another and their natural and cultural environments.

For more information about the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Worldwide Voyage, visit www.hokulea.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+.

Note: The Polynesian Voyaging Society is sensitive to and understands the importance of diacritical markings. In mediums where the reproduction of these markings is true (i.e., in print), diacritical markings will be used. If a communication crosses several mediums to include the Web, which does not always reproduce diacritical markings correctly, diacritical markings will not be used.

Abbe Museum Celebrates 88 Years with Annual Gathering Gala

Photo © by Rogier van Bakel, eagereyephoto.com

Photo © by Rogier van Bakel, eagereyephoto.com

New Gala format will offer guests opportunities to mingle and meet with Native Artists

On July 29, 2016, at 6 pm the Abbe Museum will host their signature annual fundraiser at the Bar Harbor Club.

The Gathering Gala benefit dinner and auction have become a summer tradition on Mount Desert Island, celebrating the work of the Abbe Museum with a fun evening of food, drink, friendship, and philanthropy. This year’s event will celebrate the importance of creative placemaking and how it supports Wabanaki artists and the Bar Harbor community. The live auction will be led by auctioneers Andrew Simon of the Barn Arts Collective, and Nora Miller, a former Abbe staff member who currently works for WomanCare Global.

“The Abbe board, staff, and I are so excited about this new creative work for the Museum,” said Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “Wabanaki artists are incredibly talented and we're thrilled to focus our Gala around their talents and showcase the exciting artistry happening in tribal communities across North America. At the Gala this year, we'll be offering a "taste" of what's to come at the Abbe, and we can’t wait to share it with everyone!”

In its 15 years in downtown Bar Harbor, the Abbe has become a Smithsonian Affiliate, an active member of the International Coalition for the Sites of Conscience, a partner to Acadia National Park, and a committed and involved community anchor. The annual Gathering Gala attracts cultural luminaries and civic leaders, as well as renowned artists, premier collectors, and devoted patrons of the arts and culture.

This year, the Gala will have a slightly different look and feel. With the launch of the Abbe’s new strategic plan in the fall of 2015, the Museum has big plans for the future, one of which includes developing a juried art show in downtown Bar Harbor. Modeled after markets like the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market and the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Abbe is planning a multi-day event in May 2018 that will invite Native artists from across North America to participate, with the intention of developing Bar Harbor as the destination for Northeastern Native Art. More details about this market will be revealed the night of the Gala.

Nuhkomoss Packbasket, by Gabriel Frey, Passamaquoddy, is one of more than a dozen items available in the live auction.

Nuhkomoss Packbasket, by Gabriel Frey, Passamaquoddy, is one of more than a dozen items available in the live auction.

The silent auction, which typically happens early in the evening, has been moved to a later event, the inaugural Abbe Backyard Bash scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2016. The live auction is comprised entirely of exquisite Native art - from Wabanaki artists to other Native artists across the U.S. - and two exceptional experiences. The majority of the live auction items will be on exhibit at the Abbe Museum and can also be viewed online. .

The Gathering Gala will kick off with a red carpet arrival, followed by a cocktail hour outside on the Bar Harbor Club's gorgeous patio. Enjoy gourmet passed hors d'oeuvres and mingling with Native artists who donated items to the live auction before being entertained by a live performance that will bring you into the main ballroom for a seated dinner. From there, a festive live auction that is as entertaining as it is successful will end the evening.

Mahoosuc Guide Service Maine's "Ways of the Wabanaki Wilderness Canoe Trip" is one of two experiences available in the live auction. 

Mahoosuc Guide Service Maine's "Ways of the Wabanaki Wilderness Canoe Trip" is one of two experiences available in the live auction. 

Tickets for the evening are $150 per person . To RSVP, please visit www.abbegala.org, email the Abbe Museum at gala@abbemuseum.org, or call 207-288-3519. Absentee bidding and underwriting opportunities are also available for those who cannot attend.

Schoodic Institute Artist in Residence: Gina Brooks, Maliseet

Gina Brooks and Abbe Museum Director of Collections & Interpretation Julia Gray at the 2015 Native American Festival & Basketmakers Market

Gina Brooks and Abbe Museum Director of Collections & Interpretation Julia Gray at the 2015 Native American Festival & Basketmakers Market

New this year, the Abbe Museum and Acadia National Park are partnering to offer an artist in residence program at the Schoodic Institute in order to provide more opportunities for park visitors to learn about Wabanaki history and culture.

The artist, Gina Brooks, Maliseet, works in many art forms, including pen and ink, acrylic paint, ash baskets, quillwork, moosehair embroidery, and countless more. Considering herself an artist that is informed by Wabanaki culture and tradition, Gina uses traditional knowledge and designs to create intricate, one of a kind pieces that often reflect Wabanaki oral histories. Join Gina at various times during the week to learn about her different mediums, artistic process, and cultural influence as a professional artist.

Monday, July 25

Painting Demonstration at Dorr Hall, Schoodic Institute

11 am – 3 pm

Storytelling at Schoodic Woods

7:30 – 8:30 pm

Rain Date: July 26

Tuesday, July 26

Basketmaking Demonstration at Dorr Hall, Schoodic Institute

11 am – 3 pm

Wednesday, July 27

Porcupine Quill and Moosehair Embroidery Demonstration at Nature Center Patio, Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia National Park

11 am – 3 pm

Rain Location: Abbe Museum downtown

Wednesday, July 27

Storytelling at Schoodic Woods

7 – 8 pm

Thursday, July 28

Birchbark Etching Demonstration at Dorr Hall, Schoodic Institute

11 am – 3 pm

Friday, July 29

Pen and Ink Demonstration at Dorr Hall, Schoodic Institute

9 am – 12 pm

Location: Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, 9 Atterbury Cir, Winter Harbor, ME 04693

IMG_1426.JPG

23rd Annual Native American Festival & Basketmakers Market

The Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market will celebrate 23 years on July 9, 2016, from 10 am to 4 pm at College of the Atlantic (COA). The Festival is free and open to the public and features the celebrated Native arts market, Native music, dance, storytelling, craft demonstrations, and delicious food. A collaborative partnership between the Abbe Museum, the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA), and COA, the Festival offers visitors, collectors, and gallery owners the opportunity to buy directly from the artists.

“This will be my 12th year participating in the Festival, as a jewelry vendor,” said Donna Brown, Penobscot, who attended the 2015 Festival as an Abbe Museum Wabanaki Artist Fellow. “This festival brings together a blend of creativity, culture, and sharing of knowledge that is surrounded by the joyous energy of vendors, festival organizers, volunteers, collectors of Native American art, and visitors from around the world. The support and exposure that I have received by attending this festival have greatly influenced my career as an artist, and as a result, I have been able to move forward with confidence, as well as the knowledge, that there is a great market for Native American jewelry.”

The Festival itself began in 1989 at the Abbe and moved around to several locations in town before landing at COA. The location on the ocean-front grounds of the college allowed the Festival to grow, with ample space for vendors and parking for many more guests. This nationally renowned Indian Market features exquisite handcrafted Wabanaki ash and sweet grass baskets, wood and stone carvings, jewelry, beadwork, dolls, and other handcrafted items representing the beauty and culture of the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot people of Maine and the Maritimes. For many visitors, this is a rare opportunity to meet the artists and learn about contemporary Wabanaki arts and cultures from Maine and the Maritimes.

MIBA, as part of its mission to preserve and extend the art of basketmaking within the Wabanaki communities, is responsible for bringing in dozens of new, “next generation” basketmakers and their families to the event. Many of these talented basketmakers first got their start at the Festival over the 23 years it has been in Bar Harbor.

From a bow-drill fire starting demonstration to children’s storytelling to a Mosquito Dance to a Wabanaki cuisine demonstration to a regalia making demonstration to a silent auction, there is undoubtedly something for everyone at the Native American Festival. Proceeds support the non-profit teaching and apprenticeship programs of MIBA.

Parking is limited, and public transportation is available. Visitors are encouraged to use the free Island Explorer bus system which stops at COA. The grounds of the College of the Atlantic are handicap accessible.

About Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance
The Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance is a nonprofit Native American arts service organization focused on preserving and extending the art of basketmaking within Maine’s Native American community. MIBA seeks to preserve the ancient tradition of ash and sweetgrass basketmaking among the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot tribes. www.maineindianbaskets.org

Waponahki Student Art Show Alumna

Do you ever wonder if the artists featured in our Waponahki Student Art Show keep creating art once they leave the Maine Indian Education schools?

Christiana Becker, Penobscot, is a student at the University of Maine and has been using her art as a medium through which she displays and shares her culture. When she was in the eighth grade, she participated in the Abbe Museum's annual Waponahki Student Art Show with the following submission.

Hidden Warrior Spirit

Christiana R. Becker, Penobscot
Grade 8
Indian Island School

"I've always like to read fantasy books or books with swords. I like it when there is a woman who is a hero or warrior. So I drew a woman who wanted to be a warrior. She goes to one of her favorite spots to ask for guidance from her ancestors. She then sees a reflection of herself and finds she does have the spirit of a warrior. It's hidden inside her."

Fast forward to 2016 where several of Christiana’s original pieces were recently featured in the University of Maine's Senior Art Exhibit “Ghosts of Carnegie Hall." Christiana hopes observers take from her art the importance of “giving back to the Earth, being grateful, and making sure that your descendants and your people will also benefit from your actions.”

Read more about Christiana's success in a recent article posted by the Maine Journal.