Inaugural Abbe Museum Indian Market
May 18-20, 2018, in downtown Bar Harbor, Maine
About Bar Harbor
Bar Harbor is the largest town on Mount Desert Island (MDI) in Hancock County, Maine with approximately 5,500 year round residents. Nearby Acadia National Park spans some 50 square miles.
MDI encapsulates Maine's rocky shorelines with majestic forests, awe-inspiring mountains, traditional fishing villages, and coastal towns. Anchored by the vibrant and artistic community of Bar Harbor, the area's cultural, lodging, shopping, dining, and outdoor and water based activities offer all the amenities a modern traveller could want.
Come summertime, more than 3 million tourists travel to MDI's idyllic shores — including Martha Stewart and members of the Rockefeller family.
Originally incorporated as the Town of Eden, the town’s name was changed to Bar Harbor in 1918. Bar Harbor’s fascinating history as a summer destination began long before explorer Samuel de Champlain’s visit in 1604.
During the 1850s, the number of visitors began to increase, and while it was mostly artists, scholars, scientists, and writers who journeyed to Bar Harbor, more and more came to the picturesque community after the Civil War.
Maine is a Wabanaki Place
The Wabanaki are a confederacy of tribes that include the Abenaki, Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Nations. The Wabanaki have been here, in their homeland, for thousands of generations.
Wabanaki people and their ancestors have lived in Pesamkuk, this place we now call Mount Desert Island and Frenchman Bay, for thousands of generations.
In what is known as the encampment period, from about 1840 to 1920, Wabanaki lived like the other residents of Maine, speaking English but retaining cultural values, language, and limited privileges. Artists and craftsmen would travel to tourist areas, like Bar Harbor, in the summer to sell baskets and other items supplementing their income. They offered guiding services and other services and performances of traditional music and dance. The purchasers were the seasonal residents known as “rusticators” – people like the Abbe Museum's founder, Dr. Abbe, and his colleagues who were drawn to the natural beauty of the Maine coast.
These summer encampments were both the tribal members’ homes and retail outlets. Bringing people together at the encampments and the market for Native baskets and other goods helped to sustain Native culture and community. When the encampment period ended, Wabanaki became largely invisible to non-Native Maine, but they continued to live in their communities, sustaining their cultures.
May on Mount Desert Island
May is considered "pre-season" along most of Maine's coastline, including Bar Harbor. Regardless, the majority of shops, restaurants, and accommodations will be open. And, since the day-time temperature in May ranges from 47-60 degrees, the cooler temps make it ideal for hiking, trout fishing, bird watching, and exploring downtown Bar Harbor.
Acadia National Park will be open, as will the campgrounds. The Park offers many outdoor activities that are easily accessible. Travel to (you can hike or drive) the top of Cadillac Mountain, or Wapuwoc, the “white mountain of the first light,” and be the first to see the sunrise. Or, take a walk along the Bar toward Bar Island and see one of the areas that mark a location of the Indian encampments during the Rusticator Period. Bar Harbor was then known as Moneskatik, “the Clam Digging Place,” reflecting the seasonal use of resources by Wabanaki hunter-gatherers.
A few other notable highlights include:
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park Tours
Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company
The 1928 Criterion Theatre
Dorr Museum of Natural History
Jesup Memorial Library
Kebo Valley Golf Club
Maine Foodie Tours
The Museum in the Streets
The Natural History Center
Reel Pizza Cinerama
The Shore Path
By Air: Bar Harbor is serviced by a local airport, the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, located just 12 miles from downtown, and by Bangor International Airport, which is 50 miles away.
Driving: From Boston (268 miles), follow Interstate I-95 through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and to Bangor, Maine (exit 182A - I395) and pick up Route 1A to Ellsworth. Follow Route 3 to Bar Harbor. Another route is I-95 to Augusta (exit 113), take Route 3 to Belfast over to Route 1 to Ellsworth, then back to Route 3 into Bar Harbor.
Local taxi service is available from all airports and bus stations. Additional travel details can be found on the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce website.
There are several maps available of the Bar Harbor area, including:
Where to Stay - Bed & Breakfast Association
Anne's White Columns - Off-season rates in effect, so there is no further discount. The best rate is direct with them (either by calling or visiting their website) and not through a third party like Expedia.
Cleftstone Manor - Off-season rates in effect, so there is no further discount. The best rate is direct with them (either by calling or visiting their website).
Elmhurst Inn - Off-season rates in effect, so there is no further discount. The best rate is direct with them (either by calling or visiting their website).
Heathwood Inn - 10% discount. Call to book your reservation and mention AMIM.
Holbrook House - 10% discount for booking May 17-21, 2018, dates. Online code: Abbe2018.
Holland Inn - Off-season rates in effect, so there is no further discount.
Manor House - 10% discount. Online code: AMIM518.
Saltair - 10% discount. Call to book your reservation and mention AMIM.
Shorepath Cottage - 10% discount. Call to book your reservation and mention AMIM.
Thornhedge Inn - Off-season rates in effect, so there is no further discount. The best rate is direct with them (either by calling or visiting their website).
Where to Stay - Hotels
More hotel details will be announced soon.
Bay View - $175; must call and mention AMIM
Quimby House - 5% discount. Call and mention AMIM.
Where to Stay - Southwest Harbor
Cranberry Hill Inn - Off-season rates in effect, so there is no further discount. Mention AMIM in online contact form or call directly.
The Lindenwood Inn - 15% discount. Call and mention AMIM.
Penury Hall - Off-season rates in effect, so there is no further discount. Call and mention AMIM for best rates.
This is a tentative schedule of events and will be updated on a regular basis. The Market is a free event. Ticketed events are flagged below.
Friday, May 18
5 pm Market kick-off event (buy tickets at right)
7 pm Indigenous Film Festival (buy tickets at right)
Saturday, May 19
10 am Market opens
11 am – 1 pm Performances & demonstrations
1 pm Native American Fashion Show
2-5 pm Performances & demonstrations
5 pm Market Closes
5 pm Indigenous Film Festival (buy tickets at right)
Sunday, May 20
10 am Market opens
11 am – 3 pm Performances & demonstrations
4 pm Market Closes
5 pm Indigenous Film Festival (buy tickets at right)
Monday, May 21
Indigenous Film Festival (buy tickets at right) - time to be determined
In the News
The Abbe Museum Indian Market has been featured in the following media outlets:
- Mount Desert Islander - Inaugural Abbe Museum Indian Market set for May
- Mainebiz - Maine Office of Tourism grants boost creative tourism approaches
- Portland Press Herald - Bar Harbor to host Northeast’s biggest Native American marketplace
Sponsorship of the Abbe Museum Indian Market provides you with the unique opportunity to connect with Native artists from across the US and Canada as well as the Mount Desert Island year-round and summer communities, build brand awareness, and show your company’s support of an important cultural event.
Looking for the opportunity to become a part of one of the biggest events of the year? To put your company name in front of sophisticated collectors and travelers? Want to show your employees and investors your dedication to our community? Reach out to Heather Anderson, director of advancement, for more details at email@example.com or 207-288-3519.
Abbe Museum Fellowship Program
The Abbe Museum and Dawnland, LLC are pleased to announce the third annual 2017 Fellowship Program. Three fellowships will be awarded to provide support for travel, lodging, and other costs associated with exhibiting at Indian art markets in Maine and New Mexico.
2017 Abbe Museum Fellows are Donna Brown, Penobscot, Jeremy Frey, Passamaquoddy, and Geo Neptune, Passamaquoddy. Read more about them over on the Abbe's blog.
Mount Desert Island calls to many artists. Its cragged shores, woodland trails, and calming lakes inspire creativity and have lured artists to this place for generations. Wabanaki people are part of this artistic tradition, dating back thousands of years on this island. During the Rusticator era (the 1840s to 1920s), the Wabanaki people helped make Bar Harbor and the island so attractive to visitors - making art and selling it to the visitors ensure cultural survival for many art forms.
As Abbe Museum Fellow Gabriel Frey recently wrote, “For many Native artists, their artistic expression is a family tradition, a connection to the past, present, and future, interwoven to create functional pieces of art. Family traditions, culture, personal experiences, and hopes for the future live within each piece created. For most, making art provides a source of income, but more importantly, maintains cultural traditions, family connections, and language. Wabanaki artistry is a tool for education, cultural resilience, and decolonization.”
As someone who has supported the Abbe, you may know the full measure of Wabanaki artists. Jeremy Frey, Molly Neptune Parker, Jason K. Brown, Jennifer Neptune, Gina Brooks, Sarah Sockbeson, Theresa Secord, Gabriel Frey, Geo Neptune, Butch Phillips, and David Moses Bridges - just a few of the names you know that represent outstanding creativity and skill. For years, artists like these have been traveling across the country to enter the Indian Arts marketplace. And, as they’ve traveled away from the Dawnland, they’ve repeatedly taken top prizes in Sante Fe and Phoenix.
The importance of creative placemaking and how it supports Wabanaki artists, as well as the local community, is what led us to create the Abbe Museum Indian Market. The board and staff are excited to produce a three-day event in downtown Bar Harbor, May 18-20, 2018. By creating this event, we 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.
In addition to a two-day market, we are planning a concurrent Indigenous film festival and a fashion show. And, as the event grows, we envision a marketplace in the streets, an artist competition, and a gala event much like our annual fundraiser, the Abbe Midsummer.
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 board and staff know this is an immense undertaking. But we also know that the time to invest in Wabanaki artists and creating a robust marketplace is long overdue. With your help, Bar Harbor will be THE destination for Northeastern Native Art and Wabanaki artists will have the spotlight that they so richly deserve.
The Abbe Museum Indian Market is supported by the Maine Office of Tourism. For additional information on Maine, visit www.visitmaine.com.