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