I am not a stranger

September 16 – October 26, 2019

Waterville, Maine—Presented by Waterville Creates! in partnership with the Colby Museum,
I Am Not a Stranger: Portraits by Séan Alonzo Harris, is an innovative and participatory exhibition featuring individual photographic portraits of community members who live and/or work in Waterville. Waterville Creates! and the Colby Museum of Art will present the full suite of approximately fifty photographic portraits at Common Street Arts Gallery and the Colby Museum.

There will be two concurrent exhibition openings on Thursday, September 19 to celebrate the exhibition. Common Street Arts will host its opening from 4:00-6:00 p.m. and the Colby Museum will include the opening of I Am Not a Stranger as part of its Fall Open House celebration that same evening from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Other venues that will participate and include a selection of community portraits are: Railroad Square Cinema, Waterville Public Library, Waterville Opera House, Waterville City Hall, Chace Community Forum, Beth Israel Congregation, Alfond Youth Center, Goodwill, United Methodist Church, Re-Books, Waterville Area Habitat for Humanity, Waterville House of Pizza, South End Teen Center, and Yardgoods.

Like many cities in the United States, Waterville has welcomed new residents in recent years, including more people of color and new Mainers. Using a combination of individual portraits and personal narratives, I Am Not a Stranger will create channels for storytelling, capture local history, and build bridges across difference.

“I’m looking forward to learning more about Waterville and hearing from folks about their individual histories and aspirations. It will be interesting to reveal the shared characteristics that connect and unite us as a community,” says artist Séan Alonzo Harris.

“Through his work, Séan is able to facilitate moments of visual and narrative exchange between members of our community,” says Patricia King, vice president at Waterville Creates! “This is an opportunity to challenge assumptions and make new connections, and we are thrilled to undertake this project with so many of our local partners, especially the Colby Museum.”

“This is a truly collaborative effort that invites participation and engagement across the city of Waterville. There will be a free printed map that will guide residents and visitors to the project’s multiple venues, generating new relationships throughout our community,” added Beth Finch, Lunder Curator of American Art at Colby College.

The Sterrs Gallery at Common Street Arts is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 – 5:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Hathaway Creative Center, 10 Water Street in Waterville. The Colby Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (and until 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays during the academic year) and Sunday from 12:00– 5:00 p.m. To learn more about the I Am Not a Stranger exhibition, please visit: www.commonstreetarts.org.

I Am Not a Stranger: Portraits by Séan Alonzo Harris is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

About Waterville Creates!
Waterville Creates! enriches lives and grows the creative economy by supporting and promoting high-quality, accessible arts and cultural programs and institutions. Learn more at www.watervillecreates.organd learn more about our ongoing community capital campaign for the Paul J. Schupf Art Center at www.downtownartscenter.org.

About the Colby College Museum of Art

The Colby College Museum of Art is a collecting and teaching museum dedicated to the preservation, display, and interpretation of the visual arts. We manage these resources for the benefit of the Colby College community, the region, and the nation, and we aspire to display works that embody the highest standards of achievement. For more information, visit www.colby.edu/museum.