Twisted Path III: Questions of Balance

On November 14th and 15th, Native artists will convene at the Abbe Museum in downtown Bar Harbor for a Creative Summit with the goal of developing and sustaining a community of contemporary Wabanaki artists. The summit, inspired by and designed to complement the Abbe’s current main exhibit,

Twisted Path III: Questions of Balance

, will include discussions, an open artists’ studio and a mural workshop.

Twisted Path III

artists participating in the summit include Patricia Michaels, Taos Pueblo, from Season 11 of Project Runway, and Wabanaki artists Rick Hunt, Abenaki; Gina Brooks, Maliseet; Gabriel Frey, Passamaquoddy; Shane Perley-Dutcher, Maliseet, and Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Abenaki.

Friday’s events will be discussion-based and open only to Native artists. Conversations will be geared towards Native arts in Maine, and how to create support systems for emerging Wabanaki contemporary artists. In addition to the

Twisted Path III

artists, other Wabanaki artists and Maine Indian Basketmaker’s Alliance members have been invited to participate in the discussions, with the hopes of identifying the first steps towards creating a Contemporary Native Arts Guild. By bringing together some of today’s leaders in the contemporary Native art world, the Abbe Museum hopes to generate discussions about creative placemaking, cultural tourism, and the future of contemporary Native art in Maine.

On Saturday, the Creative Summit will open to the public with free museum admission. The day will be filled with opportunities to see the artists at work. From 10:00am – 12:00pm the public is invited to observe an open artists’ studio; the artists will work together, trading materials and techniques, to create collaborative pieces. From 1:00 – 4:00pm the artists will collaborate in a mural workshop and the public is again invited to observe.

Twisted Path III

Co-Curator, Rick Hunt, Abenaki, will lead the artists in the creation of a mural that will become part of the Abbe’s permanent collection. Anyone is invited to watch the Twisted Path III artists at work during Saturday’s events.

The Creative Summit is made possible through the support of Lead Corporate Sponsor, Bar Harbor Bank and Trust with additional lead support from the Maine Arts Commission. The Abbe Museum also thanks the

Twisted Path III

exhibit sponsors: the Sharpe Family Foundation/Douglas and Ann Sharpe, Anonymous Foundation, Fisher Charitable Foundation, Hattie A. & Fred C. Lynam Trust, The First, Maine Arts Commission, MPBN, and the Bangor Daily News.

POWs in the Passamaquoddy Homeland:

Indigenous Archaeology at a WWII Prisoner of War Camp
Presented by Bonnie Newsom, Nutalket Consulting

This presentation will highlight investigations of a former WWII German prisoner of war camp located within Passamaquoddy tribal territory at Indian Township, Maine. The site represents an episode of Maine history that has received minimal attention and reflects a unique and historic use of tribal lands in Maine. Nutalket Consulting worked closely with the Passamaquoddy Tribal Historic Preservation Office to apply an indigenous archaeologies framework to the investigation, resulting in a project designed to build tribal capacity through archaeological skills development and training within the Passamaquoddy community.

Bonnie Newsom is a member of the Penobscot Nation and President of Nutalket Consulting—a small business that blends archaeology and heritage preservation consulting with Native American art and jewelry design. Previously, she served for ten years as Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Penobscot Nation. Newsom is Chair of the Repatriation Review Committee for the Smithsonian Institution and is the first Wabanaki woman to serve as a Trustee for the University of Maine System. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology and an M.S. in Quaternary Studies from the University of Maine. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Monday, October 20, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM at the Jordan Pond House

Reservations Required

$20 for Abbe Museum Members

$30 for Non-Museum Members

Either Call or Email for more information
207.288.3519 |

Friends of the Collection Fund purchases

Sarah Sockbeson

Jason Brown

Penobscot basketmaker Sarah Sockbeson is known for her fine, detailed weaving, and beautiful use of color in her fancy baskets. This basket was “an experiment,” she told us when we purchased it. She used iridescent lacquer, painted onto the prepared ash splints, to create a basket that sparkles in blues, purples, and golds in the light. One of the things we look for when selecting pieces for the Abbe’s permanent collection is innovation-basketmakers and other artists trying something new blended with tradition, often to outstanding results, as can be seen in this little masterpiece.

Jason Brown’s childhood passion of making and selling jewelry has developed into a full-blown passion for jewelry design. While attending the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, he learned the basics of metalsmithing and jewelry making. His path led him to a career in marketing, working with fine jewelry companies to promote and sell high end and designer items. His experience in the fine jewelry industry has blended with his passion to hand-create his own line of jewelry and from this, jbrown designs was created. This stunning necklace, titled Wabanaki Elegance is hand forged from copper and represents the fundamental element of Wabanaki design known as the double curve.

Both of these were museum purchases, made possible by the Friends of the Collection Fund.

Birchbark canoe donation


The Abbe Museum is excited to announce that this wonderful birchbark canoe has been donated to the museum. Marcy MacKinnon (left, with her mother Marcia MacKinnon) of Bar Harbor generously donated the traditional-style Abenaki canoe crafted by Abenaki artist Aaron York in 2004. The 16-foot canoe is now on display at the Abbe Museum at Sieur de Monts Spring. Stop by anytime to visit it, and other artifacts. Photo by Hannah Whalen.

Abbe receives the 2014 Leadership & Growth Award

In March, at the 2014 Maine Governor’s Conference on Tourism, the Abbe Museum received the Maine Office of Tourism’s (MOT) Leadership and Growth Award. This is an annual award given out by the MOT. The Abbe was one of seven recipients who received various awards for their contributions to raise the visibility of Maine as a tourist destination and by adding to the quality of life in our state. Cinnamon and Hannah attended the conference along with 450 prominent members of Maine’s tourism industry. The conference’s theme was, “The Next 5 Years: Today’s Strategy for Tomorrow’s Success.”

2014 Winter Gathering

The fourth annual Winter Gathering was held on February 28 at the Abbe. A number of our Gathering Gala guests, volunteers, sponsors and auction donors joined us for savory treats made by members of the gala committee, as well as an assortment of beautiful smoked seafood donated by Sullivan Harbor Farm. This event is a way for us to thank our generous Gala supporters in the “off-season” and enjoy some one on one conversations in a relaxed atmosphere. Guests also had a chance to enjoy the new exhibit, Twisted Path III and to see the new lighting fixture changes in our Main Gallery that are a result of the Greening the Abbe Initiative, which was launched during our first paddle raise at the 2012 Gala.

The 2014 Gathering Gala will be held on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Please SAVE THE DATE and plan to join us for another fabulous event to support Abbe exhibits, projects and programs.

Twisted Path III: Questions of Balance opening

On Thursday, February 6, the Abbe opened the doors to the new feature exhibit, Twisted Path III: Questions of Balance, and that evening the hallways of the museum were flooded with excitement as guests poured in to celebrate the new exhibit. Several of the artists were in attendance, and partygoers had the opportunity to hear them speak about their artistic works. It was truly an exceptional evening, with remarks given by Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, President and CEO, Rick Hunt, Guest Curator and Twisted Path creator and artists, and Patricia Michaels, fashion designer from the Taos Pueblo and finalist on Project Runway, Season 11. Delicious food graciously prepared by the Abbe’s Culinary Arts Committee capped-off the evening. Thank you to everyone who attended! The new exhibit could not have received a more enthusiastic reception.

This exhibit is made possible thanks to support from the Sharpe Family Foundation/Douglas & Ann Sharpe, an Anonymous Foundation, the Fisher Charitable Foundation, and the Hattie A. & Fred C. Lynam Trust. Corporate sponsorship comes from The First Bank, with additional support from the Maine Arts Commission, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, MPBN, and the Bangor Daily News.

Patricia Michaels visits the Abbe

Last week, the Abbe Museum welcomed Patricia Michaels, fashion designer from Taos Pueblo and finalist on Project Runway, Season 11 to Bar Harbor. Patricia arrived on Wednesday as snow flurried down and instantly set to work installing her pieces for Twisted Path III. Her laughter and stories filled the exhibit hall and it was an honor to watch her work.

On Thursday, Patricia entertained attendees at the first Brown Bag Lunch with the many colorful stories from her life. Patricia and her companion, James, both joined us for the exhibit’s opening, during which she graciously spent a great deal of time in the exhibit with attendees, sharing insight on her four pieces.

We are grateful to both Patricia and James for making the trip all the way to Maine and we hope to welcome them back before too long! In the meanwhile, come see Patricia’s designs in the exhibit and peruse her scarves and other items in the Abbe Museum Shop.

Twisted Path III, Questions of Balance coming to the Abbe

Photograph by [Nicholas Galanin](

Color of Conflicting Values, by [Shan Goshorn](

Dress by [Patricia Michaels](

We are excitedly preparing for the new feature exhibit, Twisted Path III, Questions of Balance, opening to the public on Thursday, February 6. The evening before we will celebrate the new exhibit with a special opening reception, from 5:00 - 7:00pm on Wednesday, February 5. You must RSVP to attend this event, so please contact Abbe Director of Development, Hannah Whalen, if you are interested in attending - or 207-288-3519.

For now, we give you a teaser of what you will see when Twisted Path returns.

Welcome Jennifer Pictou, New Curator of Education

The Abbe Museum welcomes Jennifer Pictou, Micmac, as the new Curator of Education. Ms. Pictou has a wealth of experience working in the museum field in general and the museum education field in particular. Over the past ten years, she worked as the Museum Educator for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Mashantucket, CT, as the Education Programs Supervisor at the Mystic Seaport Museum and, most recently, as the Executive Director at the Bangor Museum and History Center. Ms. Pictou currently serves as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, a position she will continue to hold as she starts work at the Abbe. Ms. Pictou holds a Bachelors in Fine Art from the University of Maine, a Bachelors of Art in Anthropology from the University of Southern Maine and a Masters in American and New England Studies, also from the University of Southern Maine.

Ms. Pictou stepped into the role of Museum Educator at the Abbe on January 13. “The Abbe is a leading educational voice about the Wabanaki in Maine and I am pleased to be welcomed into the organization,” says Ms. Pictou. “As both a museum professional and a member of the Arookstook Band of Micmacs, I look forward to expanding cultural connections for museum visitors as well as helping integrate more Native voices in public dialogue. In addition to bringing the energy and vibrancy of Maine’s Natives to visitors from around the globe, I am eager to engage museum learners in multi-sensory experiences that will highlight our deep connections to the land, culture, and people.”

Jennifer Pictou succeeds Raney Bench, who left the Abbe in early December to become the executive director of the Seal Cove Auto Museum.