Awakenings runs a beautiful gallery space that showcases rotating exhibits featuring art made by survivors of sexual violence. Our past art exhibits have grappled with themes such as reclamation, upheaval, generational trauma, and challenging stereotypes.
Fall 2019: RECLAIM
This summer, we hosted a workshop where attendees transformed undergarments and other personal items of clothing into paper. Witnessing the transition from private objects to bold, artistic expression set the foundation for our theme of reclaimation. For the artists in this exhibition, to reclaim is to heal. Many of the pieces now bear little resemblance to their original form. Underwear has become paper, has become text. Sappy romance novels have been destroyed until they uncover hidden narratives. From shredding fabric to erasing text, the destruction of the original form is liberating.
Summer 2019: [Upheaval]
[Upheaval] wove together striking artwork from four artists to show how the violence of sexual assault throws a person into turbulence, into violent change, and how their deepest internal layers become warped. The beauty and grit, the warm mixed with cold, and the soft materials mixed with sharp objects in each artist’s work shrouded the viewer in the swirling experience of surviving sexual violence and the upheaval it causes.
Spring 2019: Healing Generations
This exhibit explored ofrendas as an artistic expression of hope, home, and personal truths that are often silenced across generations, cultures, and gender lines. These ofrendas offered deeply symbolic and sacred understanding around difficult pasts, the present, and show us what hope for tomorrow looks like through the creators’ eyes. Collectively, the ofrendas wove a narrative threading the artists’ individual experience to a present journey they are initiating together to the dismantle the systemic oppression that leads to gender-based violence. Healing Generations reached through the past to reclaim the sacred and reaches to the future to offer hope and healing.