The Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine, is a museum of Wabanaki art, culture, and history. The first and only Smithsonian Affiliate in Maine, the Abbe is launching an important new event that will shine a bright light on Wabanaki artists and deepen the economic impact of art making for tribal communities.
More than 75 Native American artists and performers from 35 Nations across the U.S. and Canada will attend the inaugural Abbe Museum Indian Market on May 18-20, 2018, in downtown Bar Harbor. The event will also include a fashion show, film festival, storytelling, dancing, music, and other internationally acclaimed performers.
Small festivals are found throughout the year in Maine, but a juried Indian art show is relatively unknown in the Northeast. Award-winning Wabanaki artists like Jeremy Frey, Theresa Secord, Emma Soctomah, Geo Neptune, and Sarah Sockbeson travel out West each year to participate in the Indian Arts marketplace, and they’ve repeatedly taken top prizes.
The Museum has a successful history of collaboration with the Smithsonian. Most recently, the Abbe staff has partnered with Curator emeritus Elizabeth Weatherford from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian to screen and select Indigenous films, which will be shown all three days of the Abbe Museum Indian Market. In 2015, the Abbe launched a new exhibit, Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos: Star Stories of the Dawnland, an exhibit based on an astrophotography program in collaboration with the Smithsonian and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. It featured students from Wabanaki communities in Maine and promoted increased interest, awareness, and knowledge of astronomy content and Wabanaki oral histories. In 2013, the Abbe hosted IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas, a traveling exhibition from the National Museum of the American Indian that discussed the intersection of American Indian and African American people and cultures. And each year, the Abbe Museum participates in Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day LIVE!, opening its doors for free in the spirit of the Smithsonian.
The Abbe Museum is just one of the amazing organizations in our network of 216 Affiliates in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Panama. For more information about the Abbe Museum Indian Market, visit www.abbemuseum.org/indianmarket