The history of the Twisted Path exhibits

Throughout North America, Native people balance the importance of tribal identity and knowledge with the non-Native communities that surround them. Art serves as one means of survival, expressing a wide range of emotions and experiences, from hopes and fears for the future, to dreams and anger about the past. Breaking away from stereotypes of Native American art and what is considered "traditional," the work of contemporary Native artists proves that art and culture are not static, but constantly evolving.

Blanket stories, by Marie Watt
Borrowed from traditional beadworking, the term "twisted path" is a pattern that meanders along the edge of an object. Here, it is a metaphor for the different paths Native American artists walk as they navigate a complex world. The Twisted Path series was conceived in 2008 by Rick Hunt, Abenaki. This series focuses on creating Maine-based conversations like those taking place nationally about contemporary issues, as expressed through Native art. The Native artists who are invited to participate in Twisted Path are well-known for their artistic talent, activism, and critical commentary regarding social issues related to sovereignty and the environment. 

Twisted Path: Contemporary Native American Artists Walking in Two Worlds opened in 2009, and featured nationally and regionally renowned artists whose works expressed the complexities surrounding Native identity.  

TwistedPath II: Contemporary Native American Art Informed by Tradition opened in October 2011 through May 2012, and invited regional artists to consider how traditional materials, styles, and art forms can be a foundation for new works of art, challenging assumptions of what constitutes “traditional.”