Letter to the editor: Patrisha McLean

Together, louder. Together, stronger

Sun, 11/08/2020 - 8:30pm

In a divisive and scary time, Midcoast Maine came together in a beautiful way to break the silence of domestic abuse in October with a survivor/solidarity Window Art Exhibit and online silent auction.

 A huge thank you to everyone who stepped up to make this a truly blockbuster event and helped to mitigate the spike in domestic abuse during the pandemic that will only get worse with the coming winter, including: 

💛Fifty Maine-based, nationally- and internationally renowned artists for creating/donating paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, calligraphed poetry, paper collages to open everyone's eyes, minds and hearts to the domestic abuse all around us. 

💛The big-hearted businesses that sponsored this event:  Reny’s, Pen-Bay Glass, Rockport Automotive, Camden Real Estate Company, Camden Hospital for Animals and McLean Hospital. 

💛Fifty businesses on and surrounding Rockland's Main Street for displaying for at least a month the art work, and/or one and sometimes two 4’ x 2’ Let’s Talk About It banners in their window. 

Coming on board this social-justice Art Walk were not only the wonderful traditional art-exhibit spaces of the Caldbeck Gallery, CMCA, Dowling Walsh and the Farnsworth (giving over windows, and six, for the first time in  their history to outside art!) but such non-traditional art-exhibit venues as Doug’s Barber Shop, Black Parrot and Camden National Bank.

💛The bidders who, in the silent, online auction of the art that was the main fundraiser of the year for our fledgling non-profit organization,  brought in $16,000 to help Finding Our Voices continue to boldly and creatively break the silence of domestic abuse all over Maine.

💛Valli Geiger for presenting a request to the Rockland select board to set up tables on Winter Street for a  "Let's Talk About It " day, to the select board for unanimously granting this approval, and to New Hope for Women for joining us at this outdoor event.  

💛Christine Buckley of Christine's Framing Gallery in Camden for coming up with the idea of putting all of the art on a stiff black mat-board for uniformity and drama, and hanging it from suction cups to protect it from the windows, and for doing this all as a donation to Finding Our Voices, and also for keeping track of all of the artwork, and giving winning bidders a discount on the framing of the pieces.

💛The Finding Our Voices Sisterhood of Survivors, now 50-strong, showing our faces and speaking our truth on "Let's Talk About It" banners, bookmarks and a WERU radio show, shaking off misplaced shame to help others recognize, avoid, safely leave and heal from dangerous relationships.  

That is a lot of noise from a lot of Voices, and a massive show of solidarity to everyone who was or still is trapped with angry and controlling family members. 

Together, louder. Together, stronger! 

Patrisha McLean

founder/president Finding Our Voices