Students in the Portland Public School’s Multilingual & Multicultural Center’s Make It Happen! program have painted lobster buoys with international flags as a part of the Maine Historical Society’s “400 Years of New Mainers” exhibit.
The home country flags were painted by Lyman Moore Middle School and Casco Bay High School students and hung Feb. 4 on the Maine Historical Society’s fence in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition.
The project was coordinated by Natasha Mayers, the USM Art Department’s artist-in-residence this semester who is working on a project to welcome new Mainers to Portland. Community members and students have started to paint real lobster buoys with the flags of the 70-plus countries represented by Portland’s newest residents.
The Make It Happen! program provides academic support, language acquisition, and college readiness program for refugees and immigrants in grades eight-12. The program has centers in Portland’s three middle schools and three high schools.
Mayers hopes the buoy display will bring more awareness of the rich diversity being woven into Maine and help open hearts to the contributions and struggles of new neighbors. Plans are underway to install the buoys in other public spaces in Portland, including the Portland International Jetport, and to temporarily float them in the bay.
The historical society’s exhibit runs through April 2. The show’s narrative includes the centuries-long history of immigration in Maine.
Walker M. Foehl of Portland, who is attending Colby College in Waterville, recently returned from a fall semester spent in Dijon, France, through a special program that offers first-year students the opportunity to study abroad. Foehl, a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, is the daughter of Charles Foehl and Sara Mayo of Portland.
Zach Alexander graduated from Salve Regina University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Finance.
Abigail Nee, a member of the class of 2016
Elizabeth Berrang, Darcy Hinck, Julia Kang, Jacob Katsiaficas, Bradford Pineau, Andrew Warren, Adam Zieba
Christine Auclair, Alex Berger, Jon Dow, Cathryn Egan-Arnold, Kevin Martin, Winey Ogweta
Eleni Anderson, Cleo Barker, Holly Bauer, Sara Brink, Mariza Budri, Kaitlyn Burton, Benjamin Chapman, Jonathan Gatti, Sierra Gridley, Dominic Guimond, Julia Haberstick, John Hardy, Gene Herrschaft, Jamie Hunt, Hannah Isherwood, Meredith Johnson, Grace Kiffney, Ava Koenigsberg, Zachary Lane, Mackenzi Masselli, Mikayla Mayberry, Madeline Mazjanis, Jack Melcher, Hannah Noonan, Sean Perry, Samuel Pierce, Sean Randall, Christine Reynolds, Elin Roland, Olivia Ryan, Evan Sampson
Ibrahim Al-Musawi, Galen Hand, Alice Hempel, Nicole Pineau, Elizabeth Victor, Madison Pierce
Kelsey Janeen Foster
Gabriela Tourangeau Cardona
Marysa Alexander, who is studying for a degree in social work and is in the Class of 2018.
From left, Casco Bay High School ninth-graders Muaaz Ajail from Iraq, Prinnce Mazimpaka of Rwanda and Jean Michel Ntakiyiruta from Burundi paint the flags of their home countries on lobster buoys as part of a new exhibit at the Maine Historical Society.