University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston Campus reopens the Atrium Gallery

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Exhibition features solo show of Frederick Ndabaramiye, survivor of Rwandan Genocide

Netty Provost, director of USM’s Lewiston campus, announced the reopening of the Atrium Gallery at 51 Westminster Street and welcomes the public to view exhibitions from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Long a premier exhibition space in Lewiston-Auburn, the Atrium Gallery will present its first show of the 2023-2024 season with the work of Frederick Ndabaramiye, an artist originally from Rwanda who is now living in Portland.  At the age of 15, Ndabaramiye was traveling in Rwanda when rebels attacked the bus he was on and all of the passengers were killed except him. Although Ndabaramiye was spared, the rebels cut off both his hands and left him for dead.  He spent years remastering basic tasks without prostheses, eventually learning to grip a pencil between his arms. He began to draw and, ultimately, paint. 

The exhibit was recommended to USM by LA Arts and the Maine Jewish Museum. Provost said the exhibit “ideally meets the key focus of the Atrium Gallery to connect art with the academic programs on the Lewiston campus and to the broader Lewiston Auburn community.”  She continued, “USM’s signature masters and doctoral degrees in Occupational Therapy are located in Lewiston, along with a public clinic. Frederick’s work will inspire OT students to understand how creativity can be used as a tool to heal.”

A gallery reception is scheduled for Tuesday, January 9, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with an artist’s talk with Ndabaramiye at 6 p.m.  His show will move to an adjacent space on January 10 and be on exhibit until February 28.

The Atrium Gallery is free and open to the public. It is accessed through the main campus entrance at USM in Lewiston.