Saturday April 21, 2018
The Grand Theatre, in partnership with the Beth Wright Cancer Resource Center and the Abbe Museum, is proud to present “Rhythms of the Heart”, a film by Maine filmmaker Thom Willey. This is the story of David Moses Bridges, a Passamaquoddy craftsman who specialized in birchbark canoe making and basketry. David balanced his family life, artwork, and culture while undergoing treatment for a life-threatening illness. His legacy is one of perseverance, tradition, and passion.
David was a dear friend and trustee to the Abbe Museum. He was a natural educator, who used his empathy and patience to promote the importance of traditional art and knowledge. The Abbe is proud to open our collections for this special evening to share examples of David’s artwork.
This fundraiser aims to celebrate David’s life and legacy, while offering hope and inspiration to all who attend. Ticket prices are $25 (+cash bar) and include food, film, and a curated exhibit of David’s art. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Beth Wright Cancer Resource Center, an organization supported by David and his family.
The first-ever DMB fellow was designated earlier this year, Peter Williams (Yup’ik). Peter was a First People Fund fellow last year as well and was featured in their January 2018 eSPIRIT newsletter.
Here is the link to share that story with you. Peter is receiving a $7,500 grant as part of his fellowship. Congratulations Peter!!
In 2015, David loaned to the Abbe Museum a collection of his writings, drawings, paintings, letters, sketchbooks, newspapers, manuscripts, pamphlets, transcripts, publications, planners, basket patterns, watercolors, canoe patterns, Mocuck patterns, etching patterns, maps, canoe plans, stencils, prints, paint palettes, as well as copies of drawings, images, books and designs. His motivation was based on the need for these objects and documents to be in a suitable place for their conservation, inventory and research. After his death in 2017, more objects and documents were included to this collection and the Abbe staff made an inventory. Given David past relation with the Abbe –where he leaded several educational programs, participated in numerous exhibits, built two canoes and was a trusteed-, and his deep appreciation for this institution, we decided to sign a “long-term loan collection” agreement. Now the David Moses Bridges collection is available for artists, researchers and educators who would like to study its items or use them as an inspiration for their own work.
At the beginning of 2018 a birch bark canoe built by David and Steve Cayard (loaned by the Abbe Museum) was included in the Portland Museum of Art Biennial. This exhibition featured the work of 25 artists, highlighting the diverse perspectives and interests of artists connected to Maine and making a powerful statement about art’s impact in this historical moment. Recently, the Portland Museum of Art acquired one of David’s beautiful baskets for its permanent collection.
In 2019 the Maine Historical Society in Portland will open the exhibit Holding up the Sky that will include David’s art. Holding up the Sky will explore Wabanaki people, history, culture, and art. In addition to the Maine Historical Society staff, they are working with a group of native american advisors (scholars and cultural specialists) to curate the exhibition.
This year, a generous soul who valued David’s life and work started a scholarship in his honor at the Maine Community Foundation. Family, friends and MCF staff worked together to make this happen. This scholarship is available to artists, researchers and educators inspired by David’s life, values, and artwork. To make this scholarship meaningful, our dear friend Raney Morrison Bench organized a FB Fundraising some weeks ago.
The fundraising is over and exceed its goal! Now you can donate directly to the scholarship at through The Maine Community Foundation at: