About the Art of Surviving
“Art can…take our unexpressed thoughts and desires and fling them with clarity and coherence on the wall, a screen, a sheet of paper, or against the long silence of history.”
--Adrienne Rich, 1929--
American feminist, poet, teacher, and writer
Frequently asked questions about The Art of Surviving [PDF]
What is the Art of Surviving?
The Art of Surviving is an exhibit of two-dimensional art (e.g. paintings, charcoals, drawings, poetry, collages), created by survivors of sexual violence across Virginia.
The exhibit is comprised of approximately 30 pieces of artwork and 10 poems, each with a written narrative submitted by the artist/poet that describes how her/his piece relates to surviving sexual violence.
Where did the artwork and poetry come from?
The contributing artists and poets range in age from 19 to 75. They are college students, great-grandparents, military veterans, activists, artists, therapists, crisis center staff and volunteers, and self-defense instructors. Some created their artwork and poetry while staying in a domestic violence shelter or participating in a sexual assault support group. Some of the artists created their art shortly after they were assaulted; some created it over 40 years later.
What is the purpose of the exhibit?
The exhibit seeks to raise public awareness about the prevalence and scope of sexual violence, its impact on individuals, families, and communities, and the process of moving from victim of sexual violence to survivor. The art provides survivors, many of whom have felt silenced in their victimization, a voice with which to discuss sexual victimization and healing and to speak out about the realities of sexual violence and survivorship.
How and where will it be exhibited?
The Art of Surviving was first exhibited March/April 2007 in Charlottesville in honor of April Sexual Violence Awareness Month, and will subsequently be exhibited in communities across Virginia. Groups such as Sexual Assault Crisis Centers, campus sexual assault programs, and local coordinating councils may reserve the project to display locally. The exhibit will be displayed in indoor areas, such as courthouses, malls, hospitals, campus student centers, churches, and other community buildings with public access.
Who is organizing this exhibit?
The Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance, the statewide coalition dedicated to stopping sexual and domestic violence, is organizing this project. A statewide multidisciplinary group of artists and survivors will establish the project’s guidelines and plan the statewide launch event.
Can anyone contribute artwork?
We welcome submissions from all adult survivors (18 years or older). It is possible that we may not be able to exhibit all artwork that we receive. In the event that we cannot display a piece, we will return the artwork to the artist.
What is considered “sexual violence”?
Sexual violence occurs any time a person does not consent to a sexual act. Examples include violations of personal space and safety, such as exhibitionism (or being “flashed”), voyeurism (secretly being watched), obscene phone calls, forced undressing, nonconsensual pornography, sexual harassment at work or school, being groped, child sexual abuse, and rape.
How can I get more info about the project or about submitting my own work?
To find out more, please contact Kate McCord, Public Awareness Manager, at email@example.com or (804) 377-0335 or toll-free (866) 387-3822.
|The Art of Surviving is funded in part by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities