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Art and Writing Collaboration

June 1, 2021

Amazing project

Secretary Bellows hosts student artists and their artwork at office

AUGUSTA – On Wednesday, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows hosted student artists from King Middle School in Portland and Sweetland School in Hope, Maine-based artist Rob Shetterly and Assistant House Majority Leader Rachel Talbot Ross of Portland for a viewing of the students’ artwork and poetry on display in the Secretary of State’s main office.

The students made the artwork in partnership with Americans Who Tell the Truth, a non-profit arts and education organization founded to foster and inspire a profound sense of citizenship in students.

“Challenging young people to think deeply about the world and their place in it through art and poetry is a wonderful project and we’re honored to display it,” said Secretary Bellows. “I was delighted to get the chance to meet the students and hear what they learned about themselves through this project.”

Raya Luehman

“These students, some of them immigrants, are all well aware that this country has struggled to live up to its own ideals and struggled to infuse its laws with justice, so for them to meet Shenna Bellows and Rachel Talbot Ross who are dedicated to making those ideals real for everyone and making all of our laws just, was an incredible thrill,” said Shetterly, an artist whose portrait project became Americans Who Tell the Truth. “The students went home with new respect for Maine government and what they can do as citizens.”

“I was honored to spend time with students from King Middle School and Sweetland School alongside Secretary Bellows and Rob Shetterly,” said Talbot Ross, a legislator from Portland who represents the district that includes King Middle School. “I was really inspired by the words, the artwork and the level of engagement from the students in examining the lives of people who have been dedicated to truth and justice. It’s clear these students will carry on our legacy in years to come.”

Several of Shetterly’s portraits hang in both Secretary Bellows’ and Rep. Talbot Ross’s offices in the State House Complex.

The art will be on display on the second floor of the Nash School Building, which houses the Secretary of State’s main office, at 103 Sewall Street in Augusta through next week.

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