Abbe Museum to stage virtual Indian Market

Passamaquoddy artist Geo Soctomah Neptune is shown with their piece, “Piluwapiyit: the Powerful One,” which won the 2019 Abbe Museum Indian Market’s Artist’s Choice award. TAILINH AGOYO PHOTO

BAR HARBOR — After its decision last month to cancel the 2020 Indian Market, the Abbe Museum is forging ahead with plans to hold the three-day festival in a one-day virtual format in light of the continuing public health crisis arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

From 2 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, the public can meet some of the 2020 Abbe Museum Indian Market artists on a digital stage, learn more about them, their process, and their body of work. Not only will the artists be able to connect with the community, they also can discuss their process and sell their wares.

In addition to spotlighting artists, Digital AMIM will include performances (from dancers to singers, and everything in between) and educational programming. At the end, there will also be a film screening and panel discussion.

“We are extremely excited about Digital AMIM,” Executive Director and Senior Partner to Wabanaki Nations Chris Newell said. “The Abbe Museum’s mission is ‘Inspiring new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit.’ The health crisis created a situation where the public can’t come to visit us, so with Digital AMIM we’re bringing our mission into your homes. We invite you to join us throughout the event both to support the AMIM artists and engage in the opportunity to learn about Native arts from the artists themselves.”

The Indian Market was created to shine a bright light on Wabanaki artists and deepen the economic impact of art making for tribal communities. Its cancellation, alongside the cancellation of several other markets throughout the country, will have a significant effect on native artists who depend on these events for their livelihoods.

Staging the event in a digital space enables the Abbe Museum to continue its work and fulfill its mission toward creating accessible economic opportunities and supporting the preservation of cultural art forms.

With more and more people connecting with one another virtually, it became possible for the Abbe to consider bringing the market into a digital space.

For more info, go to, where the Digital AMIM schedule and participating artists and their profiles can be seen.


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