Saturday, August 20, 2016

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!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

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 visit www.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

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.

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.

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.

Friday, July 8, 2016

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

New this year, the Abbe Museum 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


Monday, June 27, 2016

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


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

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.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Abbe Museum and Dawnland, LLC Announce 2016 Fellowship Winners

The 2016 Wabanaki Artist Fellows, Gabriel Frey, Theresa Secord, and Jason Brown, all gave artist demonstrations at the Abbe Museum's Annual Meeting on June 3, 2016. 

The Abbe Museum is honored to announce the 2016 Wabanaki Artist Fellows, recognizing three exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and significant contributions to the arts: Jason K. Brown, Penobscot, Gabriel Frey, Passamaquoddy, and Theresa Secord, Penobscot. These fellowships are made possible through support from Dawnland, LLC, the concessioner in Acadia National Park.

The fellowships are intended to provide support for travel, lodging, and other costs associated with exhibiting at Indian art markets in Maine and New Mexico. Brown and Secord will attend the 2016 Southwestern Association for Indian Arts Santa Fe Indian Market (SWAIA) in August, and Frey will attend one of the local markets.
“It is an honor to support talented Wabanaki artists and we look forward to hearing about their success and supporting them through fellowships, our Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market on July 9, 2016, and through our museum shop,” said Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, president and CEO of the Abbe Museum. 
Brown, owner of Bangor-based jewelry studio Decontie & Brown, handcrafts jewelry and traditional beadwork made from various metals and semi-precious gemstones. “My work is motivated by my desire to bring to life the designs created by my imagination,” Brown said. “I find inspiration in nature, and in the designs of my Penobscot culture. Historically, the Wabanaki people hired local metalsmiths to create adornments for them. I feel that as a contemporary Wabanaki jeweler, I am breaking new ground as a metalsmith and jeweler.”

Frey, a Passamaquoddy brown ash basketmaker, specializes in utility baskets such as pack baskets, market baskets, and purses. “I weave each basket solely with brown ash and handcraft leather straps for each basket,” Frey said. “My artistic process includes locating and harvesting basket quality brown ash trees from the woods, processing brown ash logs, and weaving brown ash materials into basket forms. I carve the hoops, rims, handle, and wooden pins to fasten leather straps. The majority of my tools, such as basket molds, gauges, and my shave horse, are adaptations of traditional designs. Maintaining the traditional knowledge of Wabanaki basketmakers is an important aspect of my artistic process.”



Over the past ten years, Secord has won awards for her basketry, including several first places at Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, and the Eiteljorg Indian Market. She is also the first U.S. citizen to receive the Prize for Creativity in Rural Life by the Women’s World Summit Foundation at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, for helping basket makers rise out of poverty. “My art journey is currently focused on the use of alternative, natural materials to supplement ash, due to the Emerald Ash Borer beetle,” Secord said. “I’ve been dedicated to the preservation/protection of the sacred ash trees for 23 years, and helped pioneer the use of cedar bark overlay on ash in Maine Indian basketry a few years ago.”


About Dawnland, LLC
Dawnland, LLC operates the Jordan Pond House restaurant, including the traditional tea and popovers on the lawn overlooking Jordan Pond and the Bubbles, and retail services at Jordan Pond House, Cadillac Mountain, and Thunder Hole. Dawnland's parent company, Ortega National Parks, LLC, has more than 45 years of hospitality experience and over 16 years' experience operating concessions in the National Park Service, including at Bandelier National Monument, White Sands, Muir Woods, Carlsbad Caverns, Death Valley and Gateway National Recreation Area.