Panel Explores Native Art



BAR HARBOR — Contemporary Native American artists will discuss their craft during a panel discussion at the Abbe Museum from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14 as part of the museum’s exhibition “Twisted Path: Contemporary Native American Artists Walking in Two Worlds.”

The panel will be moderated by Darren Ranco, a Penobscot scholar and professor at the University of Maine-Orono.

“The discussion will explore the many ways that traditional and contemporary Native art forms represent and shape who we are as Native people,” Mr. Ranco said.

Watie Akins and Bonnie Newsom, both Penobscots, discuss contemporary Native art. Mr. Atkins will be part of an upcoming panel discussion at the Abbe Museum.—ABBE MUSEUM
Watie Akins and Bonnie Newsom, both Penobscots, discuss contemporary Native art. Mr. Atkins will be part of an upcoming panel discussion at the Abbe Museum.—ABBE MUSEUM

Artists from several tribes in the Northeast will participate on the panel: Penobscot Watie Akins, Abenaki Rick Hunt, Penobscot Jennifer Neptune, and Seneca/Tuscarora George Longfish. They will discuss the ways they use art to express their personal and collective journeys in re-connecting with traditions, communicating untold stories, and healing communities.

“In particular, we will explore notions of cultural sovereignty, whereby we use art as Native people to structure our own norms and values in structuring our collective futures,” Mr. Ranco said.

Mr. Hunt, curator of “Twisted Path” says, “Drawing, for me, is a way to meditate and pray. It is by pen on paper that I am able to be right there in the moment. If the purpose of art is to inspire, then I hope the viewer will simply experience and feel my art. If it talks to you then I hope that a positive dialogue is created.”

Admission to the panel discussion is free, open to the public and made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Abbe Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to the Wabanaki, the Native American people of Maine and the Maritimes. The Abbe has a collection of more than 50,000 archeological, historic and contemporary objects including stone and bone tools, pottery, beadwork, carved root clubs, birch bark 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. Its collections conservation program is recognized nationally as a model for museums.

For more information call 288-3519 or visit www.abbemuseum.org.

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