See freedom fighters on First Friday

You may remember the censorship mess the University of Southern Maine got into back in the fall of '06. A brief refresher: the university put up an art show billed as starting a "conversation" about what a "political prisoner" is, and what they stand for, but when that "conversation" started to include police officers complaining to lawmakers about a public university's expression of free speech, the university caved with amazing alacrity, taking down a show planned to run for seven weeks after just seven days. It later went back up at Ubu Studio, without any protests, and then went on tour down the East Coast.

We had extensive coverage of it, which you can read in the links listed a bit farther down. The reason we're telling you about it today is that his work is again showing in Portland, at the Meg Perry Center for Peace and Justice, at 644 Congress Street. It includes some of the works shown in Portland before, and some new stuff never before seen in public.

There's an opening reception tonight as part of the First Friday Art Walk, starting at 6 pm, as well as a February 15 event about the history of SCAR (the Statewide Correctional Alliance for Reform, an activist group in Portland in the early 1970s), including a talk by Ray Luc Levasseur, a co-defendant of Manning's who was also involved in SCAR and spent 20 years in federal prison as a self-described political prisoner (see "Sanford's Son," December 17, 2004, by Rick Wormwood).

Here are the links to the past stories:

"Prisoners of Politics," September 15, 2006, by Rick Wormwood

"Brut Portraiture," September 15, 2006, by Ian Paige

"Whose Art is Next?" September 15, 2006, by Rick Wormwood

"Also Removed," September 15, 2006, by Jeff Inglis

"Liberals Collapse," September 15, 2006, by Rick Wormwood

See a slideshow of Manning's censored work


"Censored Artwork Hits the Road," September 22, 2006, by Rick Wormwood

"Painting at 3 mph," September 22, 2006, by Chris Thompson


"No Protests for Second Showing of Inmate's Paintings," October 20, 2006, by Rick Wormwood


"Art Censored by USM Hits the Road," August 28, 2006, by Jeff Inglis


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