Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Education Changes Everything

Have you ever had a learning experience completely change your life? 

Education changes everything. And at the Abbe Museum, education is at the center of what we do, every single day. Your support has helped us change the way our guests visit the Museum. Take twelve-year-old Clara's experience, for example:
"I went home and told my parents about everything I learned during my school's field trip to the Museum. The cool part was that they didn't know a lot about the Wabanaki people, and in a way, I became the teacher. Kids my age really need to learn the truth about Native Americans. I know I will never forget that day at the Abbe."
Thanks to our supporters, the 3,000 students who visit the Museum experience a different kind of engagement that includes aesthetic, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual exploration and meaning-making. They leave the Abbe knowing that Native culture is thriving in Maine. In 2015, we delivered 105 programs at the Abbe and 82 programs outside the Museum, influencing 6,677 individuals. We collaborated with Acadia National Park and presented 13 programs that drew a total of 3,191 visitors.

Your support is the only way we can accomplish all that we do.

Your support this spring will help change lives by providing cultural experiences that inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations. For as little as $30, you can directly impact our ability to offer life-changing experiences to more people like Clara.

From all of us at the Abbe Museum, thank you for believing in what we do!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Campfire Storytelling with George Neptune, Passamaquoddy

Storytelling is an important part of Wabanaki culture, as stories are used to pass on the knowledge of Wabanaki traditions, history, and worldview to the next generation. Join us on Saturday, April 23rd from 7 - 8:30 pm for an evening around the campfire and listen to stories from across the Dawnland. With s’mores and hot beverages, this is a unique and intimate experience open to all ages. Please note that the terrain of the location is uneven and rocky in spots, so may not be suitable for some audience members. 

Cost: $10 for members and $20 for non-members. Children under 10 are free. To buy tickets, please contact the Abbe at 207-288-3519. Tickets will not be available for purchase the evening of the event. 

Location: Private residence at 156 Indian Point Road, Bar Harbor, Maine.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Wabanaki Artists from Maine Take Top Spots at Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market

Sarah Sockbeson's winning baskets.
Sarah Sockbeson, Penobscot, won Best of Division in Traditional Baskets and Best of Class in Baskets at the 58th annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market, which draws nearly 15,000 visitors and more than 600 of the nation’s most outstanding and successful American Indian artists. George Neptune, Passamaquoddy, won first place in Non-Traditional Basketry and Emma Soctomah, Passamaquoddy, won Best in Classification in Junior Division-Baskets.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a Wabanaki artist,” said Neptune, an educator at the Abbe Museum. “For several years now, we've been traveling west to the biggest Indian art markets in the world and claiming top prizes in the basketry divisions at every market. This year, I won my first blue ribbon at the Heard Museum and I was beyond excited to have won with a piece that is so representative of my style as an artist. I hope it will inspire other Wabanaki people, especially youth, to take pride in our culture and practice our traditions—because when you do, beautiful things happen.”
Sockbeson apprenticed with Jennifer Neptune, Penobscot, in 2004 and learned the history, techniques, and art that has become modern Native basketry. Soon thereafter, museums and collectors across the country began to recognize her incredible talent. Her unique style incorporates many different elements of traditional Wabanaki technique and she combines that with innovative colors to create a fresh, new approach to a timeless and beautiful art form.

George Neptune's winning basket.
Neptune has been making baskets since he was four years old. At the age of seven, he wove his first basket by himself and has continued weaving through the years, fine-tuning his skills and attention to detail. His baskets now take on a sculptural element that is unique to his style, often featuring woven flowers, the signature of his family’s work. Twigs, woven birds, and other creatures are also used to create baskets that are truly one of a kind. At twenty years old, he was awarded the title of Master Basketmaker by the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, making him the youngest person to ever receive the title.
“It made me feel really good to win Best of Classification, and it made me feel like I can do a lot better and go further with my basket career,” said 12-year-old Soctomah. “My friends were really surprised how far you can go with making baskets, and where you can go. They all congratulated me when I got home. I'm really excited to go to Santa Fe Indian Market this summer and hopefully back to the Heard next year.”
Soctomah is one of the youngest basketmakers in the Wabanaki tribes and began weaving with her brother, George Neptune, at five years old. Now her brother's formal apprentice, Soctomah has already received national recognition for her work. At nine years old, she was one of the 2013 recipients of the SWAIA Youth Fellowship and was featured in Native Peoples Magazine. In 2015, Soctomah was one of the first artists to receive an Abbe Museum Wabanaki Artist Fellowship.

Emma Soctomah posting with her winning basket.

Other Wabanaki artists invited to attend the fair were Abbe Museum Trustees Jennifer Neptune, Penobscot and David Moses Bridges, Passamaquoddy, Molly Neptune Parker, Passamaquoddy, Jeremy Frey, Passamaquoddy, Gal Tomah, Passamaquoddy, and Theresa Secord, Penobscot. A complete list of winners can be found at http://heard.org/event/fair-2016/

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Abbe Museum Free Admission Program to Continue in 2016

Machias Savings Bank Branch Manager Matt Horton presents Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko with a check in support of the Abbe's free admission program.
The Abbe Museum will continue to offer free admission in 2016, thanks to the generosity of Machias Savings Bank. Admission will be free on select days throughout the summer and fall, as well as from November through December.
“For the past 24 years, Machias Savings Bank has been an incredibly generous supporter of the Abbe Museum,” said Abbe President and CEO, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “Thanks to their support, our free admission program during the 2015 winter months made a substantial impact on the Maine community. Not only did our visitor numbers dramatically increase—from approximately 900 in 2014 to 1,100 in 2015—we also received verbal and written comments from guests about how pleased they were to be able to visit the Museum for free during the quieter months.”
As Maine’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate, the Abbe’s free admission program aligns nicely with the Smithsonian’s goal of being easily accessible to the public, and it helps raise the Abbe’s statewide visibility as the only museum dedicated solely to sharing the story of the Wabanaki Nations. In 2016, the Abbe will be open free to the public on the following dates:
  • Opening day (May 1)
  • Memorial Day (May 30)
  • July 4th 
  • Labor Day (September 5)
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day (October 10)
  • Winter of 2016 (Thursdays-Saturdays in November and December)
The Abbe anticipates a lot more traffic in 2016 due in part to the opening of their new core exhibit and it being Acadia’s centennial year. Offering free admission on key dates will give visitors something the Museum has never actually done before: free admittance on high profile, popular holidays.
“We at Machias Savings Bank are once again honored to partner with the Abbe Museum to offer free admission to all that the Museum has to offer,” said Branch Manager, Matt Horton. "And especially with the installation of the new core exhibit, People of the First Light, I encourage everyone to take the time and visit.”
The Abbe is currently closed through the end of April 2016 while its new core exhibit is designed and installed in the Museum’s main gallery. The exhibit, People of the First Light, is the first large-scale permanent exhibit of its kind for the Abbe.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Abbe Museum and Dawnland, LLC Announce 2016 Fellowship Program

The Abbe Museum and Dawnland, LLC are pleased to announce the second annual Fellowship program, designed to help Wabanaki artists promote their work within the greater artistic communities. 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. The submission deadline is midnight on April 15, 2016.
“In our efforts to foster and promote contemporary Wabanaki art in both a regional and national context, these fellowships are designed to help Wabanaki artists promote their work within the greater artistic communities,” said Abbe Museum President and CEO, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko.
Two fellowships will be awarded to artists attending the 2016 Southwestern Association for Indian Art’s Santa Fe Indian Market, and one shall be awarded to an artist attending one or more of the four annual Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance shows:

  • Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market in Bar Harbor - July 9, 2016
  • Maine Native American Summer Market & Demonstration in New Gloucester – August 27, 2016
  • Common Ground Country Fair in Unity - September 23-25, 2016
  • Maine Indian Basketmakers Holiday Market in Orono - December 10, 2016
All applicants must provide proof of acceptance or eligibility to participate in the markets for the 2016 year. Each applicant is also expected to attend the Abbe’s Annual Meeting on June 3, 2016, to offer a demonstration and meet the donors (travel accommodations will be provided). In addition, they will provide a closing report by no later than December 15, 2016. Ten percent of the grant award will be held until this report is filed.

Visit www.abbemuseum.org/shop for eligibility details, including an application. Fellowship applications received before the deadline of April 15, 2016, at midnight will be added to the pool of applicants. The application will be entered into a lottery system where eligible applications will be pulled randomly from the pool. Award notification will be made on or before May 1, 2016.

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.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

People of the First Light Photo Contest

The Abbe Museum is currently in the process of installing our new, permanent exhibit, People of the First Light, and we're in search of some stunning photos in and around Maine to use in specific sections of the exhibit. Do you have any photos of Maine's natural landscapes, animals, or plants? Or of Mount Katahdin, Moosehead Lake, Mount Kineo, Mount Desert Island, Penobscot Bay, Downeast coast, or Aroostook County? If so, please consider submitting them to our People of the First Light Photo Contest, which begins February 24, and ends March 7, 2016, at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST).

The contest is open to anyone of any age, including Abbe Museum staff and trustees. Any photos chosen as finalists may be included in our permanent exhibit, People of the First Light, in the following ways: background images, murals, and in digital interactives.

Please only submit landscape photographs in the following two categories. All photos must be void of people:

  1. Natural Maine: Animals, plants, and landscapes specifically pertaining to the ocean, lakes, and rivers; geological or climatological features. 
  2. Travel: Locales or activities in Maine that convey a sense of place specifically in/around Mount Katahdin, Moosehead Lake, Mount Kineo, Mount Desert Island, Penobscot Bay, the Downeast coast, and Aroostook County.

Cropped photos are eligible in both categories. We do not accept digitally or otherwise enhanced or altered photos. Minor adjustments, including spotting, dodging and burning, sharpening, contrast, and slight color adjustment or the digital equivalents, are acceptable.

Entrants whose photos depict other people’s work (such as sculptures, statues, and other copyrightable works) may need to obtain a release from the rights holder and provide it to the Abbe upon request. When photographing the work of others, it must be as an object in its environment and not a full-frame close-up of another person's creation.

Photos that violate or infringe upon another person's rights, including but not limited to copyright, are not eligible. Photos that contain sexually explicit, nude, obscene, violent or other objectionable or inappropriate content, as determined by the Abbe in its sole discretion, are ineligible for all categories of this contest.

How to enter: By submitting an entry, each contestant agrees to the rules of the contest. Please submit high-resolution photographs to Allison Shank at allison@abbemuseum.org. When submitting your photo, please indicate the following information:

  • Name
  • Credit line (how to credit the photo)
  • Information about the photograph: what the photo is of, location, and any other important details
  • Contact information
  • Please submit a separate email for each photograph.
We do not accept photographs submitted through the postal service. We do not accept more than one contestant per e-mail address. Photographs submitted to the contest must be at least 300dpi or greater so that they can be displayed on our website and in our core exhibit, People of the First Light, without being stretched or distorted.

High-quality scans of non-digital photographs are acceptable. Digital photographs should be taken at the highest resolution possible. Photographs must be in a .jpeg, .jpg, or .png format. Files submitted may not be larger than 10 MB. We will not accept original negatives, prints, or slides.

You retain your rights to your photograph; however, by entering the contest, you grant the Abbe Museum a royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce, and create derivative works of the entries, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or later developed, for any People of the First Light purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising and promotion of the exhibit. Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit and possibly a short bio. The Abbe will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses.

Entry deadline: The contest begins on February 24, 2016. All entries must be received by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on March 7, 2016.

Judging: Photo entries will be judged based on creativity, quality, originality, responsiveness to the prompt, and overall impact. Judging will be conducted by the Director of Collections & Interpretation and the Manager of Creative Services. All final photographs selected will be used in some shape or form for the core exhibit, People of the First Light, which will open to the public on May 1, 2016. The finalists will be notified by March 11, 2016, and will appear on our website in spring 2016. The Abbe will notify the finalists via the contact information provided at the time of entry. Please do not contact us about the status of entries or judging.

Conditions of Entry: All entrants hold the Abbe Museum and their respective regents, directors, trustees, officers, employees, fellows, interns, research associates, and volunteers (the “Indemnified Parties”) harmless from and against all claims of any nature arising in connection with entrant’s participation in the contest and acceptance or use of a prize. The Indemnified Parties are not liable for any costs, damages, injuries, or other claims incurred as a result of entrants’ participation in the contest or winner’s acceptance and usage of a prize.  The Indemnified Parties are not responsible for incomplete or misdirected entries, technical or network malfunctions or failures, or causes beyond their control. Entrants are solely responsible for their entries. Entrants may not submit materials that introduce any software viruses, worms or other programs designed to damage software, hardware or telecommunications equipment or are off-topic, partisan-political, contain advertising, nudity, personal attacks or expletives, or is otherwise abusive, threatening, unlawful, harassing, discriminatory, libelous, obscene, false, sexually explicit, or that infringes on the rights of any third party.

The contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law. The Abbe Museum reserves the right to cancel the contest or modify these rules at its discretion. In the event of a dispute regarding the winners, the Abbe Museum reserves the right to award or not award the prizes in its sole discretion. The Abbe Museum reserves the right to disqualify any entrant whose entry or conduct appears in any way to: inhibit the enjoyment of others; tamper with the competition; violate these rules or other applicable law or regulation; infringe on the rights of third parties, or act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Decisions of the Abbe Museum are final and binding.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sponsor an art supply kit for $25 and inspire a young artist

The Abbe Museum is gearing up for our 15th annual Waponahki Student Art show, in collaboration with Maine Indian Education. This art show and artist reception always bring together a wonderful variety of art created by approximately 35 Passamaquoddy and Penobscot students from early childhood education through high school. And exciting news for this year, for the first time ever the show will also include student artwork from the Micmac and Maliseet communities in northern Maine! All the artwork will be on display in the Abbe's main gallery for six months.

As an award for having their artwork selected for this fan-favorite show, each student receives an art supply kit consisting of a few items to feed their artistic passion - sketch pads, paints, paint brushes, charcoal, pencils, pencil holders - and a framed certificate.

The Abbe Museum has been able to produce these popular kits through the support of Maine Indian Education and generous donations from community members like you. With the inclusion of Micmac and Maliseet student artists this year, your added support will make this a rewarding experience for all the young artists involved.

For just $25, you can sponsor one of these art supply kits, ensuring that each student receives an award for their creativity.

Each sponsor will have a kit named in their honor, as well as receive an invitation to the Waponahki Student Art reception held in May, which is usually a private reception reserved for students and their friends and families.

Please join us. Spread the word. Make a donation. 100% of your gift will directly fund these student art supply kits.