LEWISTON – Artist Robert Shetterly will speak at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College. His talk – “How, Then, Shall We Live?” – reflects the perplexing question first posed by Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy and responds to citizenship in 21st century society.

The talk and Shetterly’s exhibition of portraits, “Americans Who Tell the Truth,” celebrates USM LAC’s 20th anniversary.

“How, Then, Shall We Live?: Citizenship in a Global Society” is also the theme of USM LAC’s new core curriculum, which guides students and faculty for all majors and disciplines. Questions related to justice, sustainability, democracy and difference are considered in a variety of contexts under the new curriculum designed to prepare students for careers and citizenship.

Shetterly’s talk will include an opportunity for discussion, followed by a reception in the Atrium Art Gallery. Copies of his book “Americans Who Tell the Truth” will be available to purchase and have signed by the artist.

The talk and reception are open to the public free of charge.

“Robert Shetterly’s Americans Who Tell the Truth,” a landmark exhibition of portraits touring the country, continues at the Atrium Art Gallery until Dec.19.

The collection of 38 portraits includes many who are well-known such as Helen Keller, Dwight Eisenhowe and Rachel Carson, but also those who are lesser known such as Alice Waters and Jim Hightower. Waters, a chef and community activist, called for a revolution in public education – specifically that school lunches be healthful, prepared from local sources and away from “fast food” culture.

Hightower’s recent book, “Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow,” introduces readers to commonsense folks who “celebrate the triumph of grassroots gumption over the tight-fisted grip of corporate control.” A New York Times best-selling author, Hightower advocates that citizens should question authority, trust their values, stand up for their beliefs and “swim against the current.”

People in the exhibition have diverse backgrounds with differences that seem greater than their similarities. They are held together by what Shetterly calls a “willingness to participate in the world, to improve it and to stand up for the promise of America.” Shetterly continues to be an advocate for engaged citizenship as a responsibility that comes with living in a democracy.

For more information, call USM LAC at 753-6500 or log on to www.usm.maine.edu/lac/art/shetterly.

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