Basket artist wins award at national competition

PHOENIX, Ariz. — David Moses Bridges, a Passamaquoddy basket artist from Bar Harbor, won first place in Traditional Basketry at the 57th annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market. The event, which draws nearly 15,000 visitors, featured 645 artists, five of whom were Wabanaki artists from Maine.

Bridges, a birch bark basket maker and Abbe Museum Trustee, won first place for his Etched Winterbark Basket. His work has been exhibited at the Abbe, Eiteljorg Museum of Indians and Western Art, Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian and internationally. He is renowned for etching traditional double curl patterns in bark, and his stitching with spruce roots along basket seams distinguishes his work from other birch bark artists.

“This is an exciting time for Wabanaki artists working on a national stage, and these wins tell us that northeastern basketry is the one to watch!” exclaimed Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, Abbe Museum’s president and CEO.

Other Wabanaki artists invited to attend the fair were Abbe Museum Educator George Neptune (Passamaquoddy), Abbe Museum Trustee Jennifer Neptune (Penobscot), Theresa Secord (Penobscot) and Jeremy Frey (Passamaquoddy), who won the Best of Show award.

The Abbe Museum shop features artwork by each of these Wabanaki artists. Winter hours are Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free through April, thanks to Machias Savings Bank.

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