In November of 2014, the Abbe hosted a Creative Summit for Twisted Path participants, as well as other Wabanaki artists. On the first day, 15 artists gathered to have constructive conversations surrounding the future of contemporary Native art in Maine, what Native artists need in order to be supported in their work, and the role that the Abbe plays within these conversations. We learned that the Abbe is seen as the fulcrum to creative placemaking and Native art in the Northeast, and is essential to the advancement of Northeastern artists within the Indian Art world.

The second day of the summit shifted its focus from that of discussion and brainstorming to a more creative atmosphere. Artists helped to create an open artist studio, in which visitors to the Museum were able to see the artists at work in their chosen mediums. During the studio, artists also worked with each other, experimenting with new materials and techniques in order to learn from and be inspired by one another. After the open studio, the artists collaborated to create the Twisted Path Mural, a multi-media piece created by a total of 10 Wabanaki artists. Now on display at the Abbe Museum’s downtown location, the mural is meant to serve as a marker for the beginning of these crucial conversations. With personal touches representing each of the artist’s unique styles, the mural accompanies the following definition to help describe a contemporary Native artist:

Any Native person making art today is a contemporary artist. Regardless of whether or not their work is considered to be traditional or modern, the fact that they are making art today is what makes them contemporary.