'Home Fires' opens Oct. 22 at the UNE Art Gallery in Portland

Digital art piece showing white ghost inside empty room
Julie K. Gray, "Self-Portrait as Ghost in Mid-Orange Correctional Facility (No. 1)," C-print. 16x24 inches, 2021.

The University of New England Art Gallery on the Portland Campus is pleased to present its latest exhibit, “Home Fires.” An opening reception, free and open to the public, will be held Friday, Oct. 22, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Part of the statewide exhibition partnership “Freedom and Captivity,” “Home Fires” centers the narrative of the families and loved ones of incarcerated people.

The experience of having a family member or friend who has been through the carceral system, or having family history that involves incarceration, is very common in the United States. However, this experience is not commonly shared outside of the family context.

Incarceration can also encompass larger historical experiences while maintaining its personal impact. “Home Fires” presents the work of artists who have experienced incarceration in their immediate or distant family, or who use this concept as a structural theme in their work, to shine a light on what incarceration can mean for those of us who have stayed at home. The exhibit features the work of Gustavo and Gaelyn Aguilar (TUG Collective), Carol Ayoob, Julie K. Gray, Judy Glickman Lauder, Forrest Meyer, Mai Snow, Lauren Tosswill, and Kim Wilson.

“Freedom and Captivity,” a statewide initiative that includes multiple exhibitions, explores the use of captivity as a corollary to freedom by asking the question of why we imagine that the freedom of some is dependent on the captivity of others.

The project aims to explore how we might be able to envision a de-incarcerated, abolitionist society. “Home Fires: Freedom and Captivity,” will be part of this curatorial project, including linked exhibitions and events at Maine’s college campuses (University of Maine; University of Maine at Farmington; Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin Colleges; and the University of Southern Maine), as well as exhibitions and virtual events and performances throughout the state.

“Home Fires” will be on view Oct. 22, 2021, through Jan. 23, 2022. The Portland Campus Art Gallery is open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. or by appointment.

For more information, please contact Hilary Irons at hirons@une.edu or (207) 221-4449.

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