BAR HARBOR — Gabriel Frey and Sarah Sockbeson have been appointed to the board of trustees of the Abbe Museum. The pair assumed their new roles in June. Abbe trustees Jeff Dalrymple and Richard Cleary were elected to a third term.
“We are honored to have Gabe and Sarah join the Abbe’s board,” said Ann Cox Halkett, chair of the board. “Both bring talents and new perspectives that will complement and strengthen our energetic and engaged board. Their leadership will be especially important as the Abbe continues its commitment to decolonization and launches the first annual Abbe Museum Indian Market in Bar Harbor in May 2018.”
Frey is a Passamaquoddy artist who learned to make brown ash baskets from his grandfather. His baskets can be seen in museums and galleries across Maine, and his work was recently featured in museum exhibits in Maine and Connecticut. Frey was a recipient of a Native Arts New England grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts in 2008, and he teaches basketmaking to apprentice Wabanaki basketmakers.
Sockbeson is a Penobscot artist raised in Brooklin. Her great-grandmother made Penobscot baskets in the early 1900s on Indian Island. In 2004, Sockbeson apprenticed with Jennifer Neptune and learned the history, techniques and art that has become modern native basketry. She was soon being recognized by museums and collectors across the country from Maine to Arizona. Her unique style incorporates many different elements of traditional Wabanaki technique; however, she combines the tradition with innovative colors and patterns to create a fresh, new approach to a timeless and beautiful art form.
The Abbe Museum trustees also include Halkett (chair), Joseph F. Cistone (vice chair), Curtis Simard (secretary), Dalrymple (treasurer), Cleary, William Haviland, Abbe Levin, Jamie Bissonette Lewey, Margo Lukens, Roger Milliken, Jennifer Neptune, Patricia DiIanni Selig, Douglas Sharpe, Chris Sockalexis and honorary trustees Alice Wellman and Darren J. Ranco.
The mission of the Abbe Museum, Maine’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate, is to inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit. With two locations – in downtown Bar Harbor and inside Acadia National Park at Sieur de Monts Spring – the Abbe works closely with the Wabanaki people to share their stories, history and culture with a broader audience. With a collection of over 70,000 archaeological, historic and contemporary objects, the museum’s collections conservation program is recognized nationally as a model for museums. The Abbe also holds the largest and best-documented collection of Maine Native American basketry in any museum. Visit abbemuseum.org.