CAMDEN — Love is in the air all across Midcoast Maine in June with a Finding Our Voices exhibit by young people exploring what love is, and what love is not.

Local students aged 4 to 18 contributed more than 50 works of art including painting, sculpture, anime, collage, poetry and a comic strip on bold display through June in windows of the Farnsworth Art Museum, Center for Maine Contemporary Art and dozens of downtown businesses in Thomaston, Rockland, Rockport and Camden. The Bagel Cafe in Camden and Rock City Roasters in Rockland are hosting inside exhibits.

“Puppet” by 13-year-old A.H. from Riley School.

Further opening eyes, minds, and hearts of the general community are handwritten comments by local students about what Love/not Love means to them, and also — in keeping with the mission of Finding Our Voices to break the silence of domestic abuse — why someone might remain silent.

The June exhibit is the culmination of months of conversation and art exploration by Finding Our Voices and local educators empowering young people to find their voices around love, not love and also love/not love.

Every one of the 70 young participants is receiving art kits courtesy of The Farnsworth Art Museum.
Gwendolyn Loomis Smith, Phyllis Wyeth director of learning and engagement for the museum, said “we are so honored to be able to show our support to Finding Our Voices, and to the many youth voices who bring triumphant messages of hope, courage, and resilience through their art that is being shared with Rockland and the local communities. Art continues to inspire and connect us all.”

The schools/youth organizations partnering with Finding Our Voices for this project are Camden Hills Regional High School, Hope School, South School after-school program, the Penobscot Bay YMCA, The Landing Place, Thomaston and Camden public libraries, Riley School, Sweetland School, and Children’s House Montessori.

Sweetland School’s contribution includes collages with a black and white photo of the student surrounded with colorful statements about what they love including cats, recess, the color orange, friends — and themselves. “The love/not love project provided our learners many opportunities to engage in creative and meaningful conversations.” said Lindsay Pinchbeck, director of the Hope school and arts center. “We are grateful to Finding Our Voices for engaging our community in this important work.”

Patrisha McLean, president/founder of Finding Our Voices said that to provide the fullest latitude for creative expression, there was no size limit, and all creative mediums were welcome. “Young people found their voices to an even more beautiful extent than we hoped. The voices are diverse and powerful and much thought and conversation by all in the community is sure to result.”

For more information visit FindingOurVoices.net or contact Patrisha at hello@findingourvoices.net