LEWISTON (NEWS CENTER Maine) — Students at the University of Southern Maine are divided on whether or not the school should have removed several paintings from an art gallery on the Lewiston-Auburn campus.
The art exhibit, which features industrial landscapes and images of Maine, is now missing three paintings by Bruce Habowski. The artist, who is from Waterville, was convicted of unlawful sexual contact in 1999 and served six months in jail.
USM said it received a call from a relative of a victim asking the school to take the artwork down.
USM President Glenn Cummings said, as a defender of free speech, it wasn't an easy decision. But in the end, he said it came down to the University of Southern Maine divided on whether or not the school should have removed several paintings from an art gallery on the Lewiston-Auburn campus
Cummings said, because the gallery is located inside the main entrance of the campus, students don't have the choice to avoid it.
Not all students agreed with the decision.
Bruce Habowski called NEWS CENTER Maine Tuesday afternoon and said he felt he was being unfairly treated. Habowski said what happened 20 years ago was bad, but that he served his time, went to therapy and just wants to move forward and have a career.