Meet the Staff – Abby Daggett, Gallery Manager of The Works

She may have been born and raised in Kennebunk, but Abby Daggett, our “new this spring” Manager of The Works on Maine Art Hill, hasn’t stayed still since graduating from high school.

“I have lived in Kennebunk, Boston, Dublin, Ireland and Italy in Venice, Rome, Florence,” shares Daggett. “School and studies prompted most of my travels. I earned my BS in Psychology with a minor in Art History from Northeastern University in 2013 and my Masters in Art Management from the Istituto Europeo di Design in Florence and Rome in 2017.”

Daggett’s Dad, originally from Kennebunk and Mom, who is from Burlington, Vermont met when teaching in the Kennebunk school district. It is these two she gives credit for her love of art.

“They got me to love art simply through “over” exposure. They traveled with me to Europe visiting museums starting when I was just six years old,” explains Daggett. “The best part though, every year for their anniversary they buy themselves a piece of art. They’ve been married for over thirty years. So needless to say I grew up surrounded by great art. They have now found of the love of sculpture since there’s no more wall space. It’s another new adventure!”

Both horses and soccer were part of Abby’s growing up years, and continue to be part of her world now. Of course, adding travel to her list of passions, she keeps a pretty full plate during her off hours. 

“I love horses and the ocean and Italy. I look forward to more traveling, and just being with the people I love, hopefully living on a farm by the beach,” says Daggett. “Recently I’ve changed my “when I grow up” phrase to ‘When I grow up I want to be an old Italian man farmer and drive my little Ape around my fields.’” 

Seems reasonable.

Daggett started her art career working at Kennebunkport Arts, then worked in galleries/museums in Boston for five years.

“When I left Boston, I took jobs that brought me abroad for three years. The first was a teaching assistant for an abroad trip to Venice, then Peggy Guggenheim Internship in Venice, followed by a Study Abroad Assistant in Dublin, Ireland,” explains Abby. “When I finished my masters and had to leave Italy, I came home to start my job search and worked at Ports of Italy. Hey, it’s sort of a connection to Italy. I enjoyed the fast paced environment there. Knowing the Italian language and typical dishes made it fun for me to talk about the food.” 

However, ultimately she wanted a job in her field.

Not being super fond of big cities, Abby was relieved when she didn’t have to move to NYC for an art job. Initially, she did not anticipate finding a role in the art field that suited her in her hometown. When she heard about “John’s new project” she was intrigued but had no idea what it was or what Maine Art Hill was. After contacting the gallery just seeking information, a visit turned into an interview which turned into a job offer and she said “Yes?” which later turned into a “YES!”

“I was excited by the gallery, and it’s vision as a whole but also how approachable, knowledgeable and kind everyone was who works here,” shares Abby. “I have had some horrible experiences with stuffy galleries and museums and would never want to work at one. I enjoy the fact that we can be professional and knowledgeable and still have a lot of fun. Joking around is fairly important for my daily well being.”

Abby is enjoying getting to see and live the phenomenon of people her age who can’t get wait to get out of Kennebunk after high school who soon return to realize this is a great place to be.

“In the future, I don’t have a list of things I want to see or do. I know I want to see and do things. I don’t plan too far ahead, but take opportunities that come along,” Abby laughs. “If there’s a random deal on a flight to somewhere, I’ll make it work. If a friend moves to some foreign country, I take the opportunity to go see them.” 

Eventually, she would like to find more permanently ties to Italy and is working on obtaining an EU passport since her mother’s family is from Greece. 

“I think Maine Art Hill in Venice should someday become a thing…”