April 20, 2019

Artist wins fellowship from state

INDIAN TOWNSHIP — Mary Mitchell Gabriel of Indian Township is one of eight Maine artists who received fellowships from the 1993 Individual Artist Fellowship program administered by the Maine Arts Commission.

Gabriel received the award for her talents in basketry during a ceremony held at the Maine Coast Artists Gallery in Rockport. Her baskets are a combination of sweet grass and brown ash, with her trademark intricately woven in braided sweet grass handles.

She was born in 1908 in the Passamaquoddy village at Indian Township. She speaks her native language fluently. She has been making baskets for more than 60 years and is an acknowledged master among Indian basket makers.

Among her many activities, she has been a senior companion for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service for more than 12 years.

According to John Ahlin, a University of Maine Extension agent who originated the Senior Companion program, Gabriel “is typically as modest about receiving the honor for artistry as she is about the fact that she serves 20 hours a week helping other senior citizens.”

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