The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine in partnership with the Kennebec Valley Art Association present “Equal Protection of the Laws,” an exhibition featuring the work of 17 Maine artists inspired by the rights granted by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The exhibit, featuring 36 original works, opens on Sept. 22 and runs through Dec. 16 at the Michael Klahr Center on campus at the University of Maine at Augusta, 46 University Drive, Augusta. An opening reception will be held on Sept. 22 from 5 to 7 p.m., with a brief program beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Thanks to funding support from the Maine Humanities Council through their broad and sure foundation program, the exhibit is the result of a call to artists to respond to the important themes of the 14th amendment. The MHC notes, “Passed by Congress 150 years ago (thanks in large part to Maine’s own William Pitt Fessenden), the Fourteenth Amendment laid the groundwork for many of our most valued — and debated — rights. Some of the Supreme Court’s most famous and influential cases have hinged on the justices’ interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, such as Plessy v. Ferguson (18 May 1896), Brown v. Board of Education (17 May 1954), Loving v. Virginia (12 Jun 1967), and Obergefell v. Hodges (26 June 2015).”

Themes in the exhibit relate to themes covered by the 14th amendment, including: due process, liberty, gender and sexuality, race, legal protections, equality in the workplace, housing, education, law enforcement, rights of the incarcerated, tolerance and local, state and federal representation.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, or on evenings and weekends by appointment. Several additional programs are being planning in association with the exhibit. The exhibition, opening reception, and other associated programs are free and open to the public.

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