BELFAST — “Finding Our Voices,” an exhibit featuring Patrisha McLean’s photo portraits of 43 Maine survivors of domestic abuse, opens Thursday, July 7, in the H. Allen and Sally Fernald Art Gallery at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave.

The exhibit, on display through October, is free and open to the public Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There will be an opening reception Thursday, July 14, at the Hutchinson Center from 5 to 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 to 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,” McLean said. “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 Belfast City Hall. The exhibit has been shown at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center in Augusta, 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 at 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 at hutchinsoncenter.umaine.edu.

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.