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Abbe Museum and Dawnland, LLC announce Fellowship winners

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The fellowship allows Wabanaki artists more opportunities at Indian art markets

BAR HARBOR The Abbe Museum named recently its 2015 Wabanaki Artist Fellows, recognizing three exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for significant artist contributions in the future: Donna Brown (Penobscot), Ganessa Frey (Penobscot) and Emma Scotomah (Passamaquoddy). These fellowships were made possible through support from Dawnland, LLC, the concessioner in Acadia National Park.

The fellowships awarded are intended to provide support for travel, lodging and other costs associated with exhibiting at Indian art markets in Maine and New Mexico. Soctomah and Frey will attend the 2015 Southwestern Association for Indian Art's Santa Fe Indian Market (SWAIA), and Brown will attend the 2015 Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market.

'We are delighted to award these fellowships. Their creativity is inspiring and innovative and market participation is critical to an artist's development and viability,' said Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, president and CEO of the Abbe Museum. 'They expand our view of what is possible, and they inspire us to apply our own talents and imagination. We hope this is the first of many fellowships we offer in the years to come.'

Brown handcrafts jewelry and traditional beadwork made from various metals, semi-precious gemstones, and glass beads. 'My work is motivated by my desire to create colorful jewelry and regalia that will be passed on to future generations. It gives me great joy to see others enjoy and wear my creations, whether for everyday wear or worn specially for traditional gatherings,' she said.

Frey, a third generation weaver, has artwork on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, Dartmouth College's Hood Museum and the Abbe Museum. 'As a parent and an artist living in an artist family, I strive to teach and encourage my entire family to chase their artistic dreams,' she said.

In the past two years, 11-year-old Soctomah has placed first and second in her division at SWAIA with several different baskets: six-inch sweetgrass crisscross basket, 12-inch wastebasket, four-inch rainbow basket and a six-inch blue basket. 'I want to be sure that basketmaking keeps going so that we don't lose the tradition. I want to be just like my gram and teach people to make baskets and keep it going,' she said.

Each Fellow will attend the Abbe's Annual Meeting on Aug. 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. to give a demonstration. Members and friends of the Abbe are invited to attend. Please contact the Abbe Museum at (207) 288-3519 to RSVP.

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