Finding Our Voices exhibit to be shown starting in July

Photo by: Patrisha McLean Michelle and Jennifer, survivors #1 and #4 (as far as they know) of the same abuser.

Belfast, Maine — Finding Our Voices, an exhibit featuring Patrisha McLean’s photo portraits of 43 Maine survivors of domestic abuse, opens July 7 in the H. Allen and Sally Fernald Art Gallery at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast.


The exhibit, on display through October, is free and open to the public from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Monday–Friday. There will be an opening reception for the exhibit on Thursday, July 14 at the Hutchinson Center from 5-7 p.m. The community event, open to the public, will be an opportunity to connect with domestic abuse survivors, including some of the 43 sister-survivors of the Finding Our Voices project.


The show features framed color photographs by Patrisha McLean. McLean, a survivor of domestic abuse, is also the founder and president of Finding Our Voices. Documentation of the abuse the women in the show experienced, including customized power and control wheels, will be shown alongside their portraits. The exhibit is sponsored by Camden National Bank.


The survivors featured in this exhibit range in age from 18–82 and include an incarcerated woman, doctors, nurses, business owners and Gov. Janet Mills, illustrating that domestic abuse can happen to anyone and is everywhere.


“Empowering young people to recognize and talk about dating/domestic abuse is critical for healthy relationships, and also to break the intergenerational cycle of abuse,” says McLean. “I am grateful to everyone at the Hutchinson Center who is bringing this educational outreach to students of all ages.”


Various iterations of this project have been shown in and around Waldo County since its launch on Valentine’s Day 2019 at the Camden Public Library including a Belfast Pecha Kucha presentation and a Waldo County Breaks the Silence exhibit in June 2021 that papered the windows of the Belfast City Hall. The exhibit has been shown at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center in Augusta, Maine, University of New England’s Biddeford campus, and community centers in North Haven and Islesboro.


The award-winning educational outreach of Finding Our Voices features posters of 43 domestic abuse survivors. The posters have been in downtown business windows of more than 65 Maine towns in the past two years as well as in virtually every high school in Maine. The posters are in the dressing rooms of every Goodwill in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and every Maine Family Planning clinic. Through a collaboration with Maine Mobile Health Program, the survivor-powered outreach is going to farmworker communities statewide.


For information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Abby Spooner, hutchinsoncenter@maine.edu. More information about the Hutchinson Center’s H. Allen and Sally Fernald Art Gallery and the Finding Our Voices exhibit is online.


About Finding Our Voices:

Finding Our Voices is a grassroots, survivor-powered nonprofit marshaling faces and voices to break the silence and cycle of domestic abuse in Maine, and empowering women and children to get and stay safe. For more information, visit findingourvoices.net.


About the Hutchinson Center:

The Hutchinson Center is an outreach center for the University of Maine in Orono that serves as an educational and cultural center for the midcoast area. It is named for University of Maine President Emeritus Frederick E. Hutchinson. The mission of the Hutchinson Center is to broaden access to University of Maine academic and non-degree programs and services, lifelong learning opportunities, and professional and career development experiences using innovative approaches that increase synergy among University of Maine System entities, University of Maine departments and divisions, and that engage a wider Maine community.  For more information about the UMaine Hutchinson Center, visit hutchinsoncenter.umaine.edu.

 

About the University of Maine:

The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state's land grant, sea grant and space grant university, with a regional campus at the University of Maine at Machias. UMaine is located on Marsh Island in the homeland of the Penobscot Nation. UMaine Machias is located in the homeland of the Passamaquoddy Nation. As Maine's flagship public university, UMaine has a statewide mission of teaching, research and economic development, and community service. UMaine is the state's only public research university and among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast. It attracts students from all 50 states and 81 countries. UMaine currently enrolls 11,989 undergraduate and graduate students, and UMaine Machias enrolls 747 undergraduates. Our students have opportunities to participate in groundbreaking research with world-class scholars. UMaine offers more than 100 degree programs through which students can earn master's, doctoral or professional science master's degrees, as well as graduate certificates. UMaine Machias offers 18 degree programs. The university promotes environmental stewardship, with substantial efforts campuswide to conserve energy, recycle and adhere to green building standards in new construction. For more information about UMaine and UMaine Machias, visit umaine.edu and machias.edu.

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