Crowds fill the Ba Harbor Village Green for the Abbe Museum Indian Market. (Courtesy of H.B. Mertz)

The first of its kind for the region, the Market celebrates Indigenous art and cultures

BAR HARBOR – After a 3-year hiatus, the Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM) returns to Bar Harbor’s Village Green for the weekend of June 2–4. This multifaceted event will feature more than 50 Native artists working in forms ranging from baskets and pottery to jewelry and sculpture – along with performances, demonstrations, and educational programs. “We’re delighted that AMIM is re-emerging from the necessary closures of the past few years to once again illuminate Wabanaki artistic excellence and support tribal creative economies,” says Executive Director & Senior Partner with Wabanaki Nations Betsy Richards (Cherokee).

Almost a decade ago, the Abbe set out to produce a juried Indian Market developed with and for Wabanaki artists, responding to their desires for more accessible market opportunities than those in the Southwest. The inaugural AMIM in 2018 saw this dream realized, with more than 5,000 people heading to Mount Desert Island for a weekend celebrating Indigenous art and cultures.

The Abbe Museum plans to bring back some of its most popular events including the weekend’s kick-off AMIM Preview Party at the Museum on June 2 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Guests will have the chance to meet exhibitors, preview the art, and vote on the People’s Choice competition. On Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors can walk the Village Green visiting exhibitor booths to discuss their work and make purchases. There will also be opportunities to further engage with Native art and cultures through performances from musicians and storytellers, as well as demonstrations and educational programs from participating artists.

“Members of the Wabanaki art community have worked hard in the past several decades to revive and save our own endangered art forms, particularly the basketry,” Penobscot basketmaker and AMIM artist Theresa Secord states, “Native artists appreciate and count on partnerships with museums like the Abbe to help maintain culture through research and exhibitions and to co-host markets that support long-standing, Indigenous entrepreneurship through sales of art.”

The Museum will communicate more details about the Market on its website and social media pages, including information about participating artists and special events.