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.
AMIM will be a multi-day event that invites Native American artists from across North America to participate, with the goal of developing Bar Harbor as the destination for Northeastern Native Art. Small festivals are found throughout the year in Maine, but a juried Native American art show is relatively unknown in the Northeast.
In addition to a two-day market, there will be 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.
As Maine’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate, the mission of the Abbe Museum is to inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit. The Abbe is committed to telling the human story—using objects as an effective way to illustrate and teach about the past and present.
The history and culture of the Native American communities in Maine, New England, and Canada— the Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, and Abenaki, collectively known as the Wabanaki—are showcased through changing exhibitions, special events, teacher workshops, archaeology field schools, and craft workshops for children and adults. Members of the Native communities in Maine are actively engaged in all aspects of the Museum, including policymaking as members of our Board of Trustees. The Museum annually welcomes around 30,000 visitors, 3,000 of whom are students.
The Abbe has a collection of over 75,000 archaeological, historic and contemporary objects including stone and bone tools, pottery, beadwork, carved root clubs, birchbark canoes, and supporting collections of photographs, maps, and archival documents. It holds the largest and best-documented collection of Maine Native American basketry in any museum.