Saturday, September 14, 2013

Working Through: Art That Addresses the Problem of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence against women is a serious problem in our nation. For this reason, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) lobbied congress to create a national hotline for victims of abuse. To help bring increased awareness to the problem, October was declared Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

In conjunction with these efforts, the NACDV maintains a website where women who have been killed by the men with whom they were in an intimate relationship. The project is called Remember My Name. Much like the Viet Name War Memorial, the simple process of listing the names makes an impact, producing a deepened sense of the breadth of this tragic issue.

On a local level there are a number of groups working to bring awareness to the problem of domestic violence. Many of these groups intersect with the arts community.

In two weeks there will be an art opening for a new exhibition titled Working Through featuring new 2-D mixed media artworks by Gary Nelson of Maple, WI at the Superior Council for the Arts North End Arts Gallery. For the uninitiated, the gallery is located on the second floor of the Trade and Commerce Marketplace at the corner of Broadway and Hammond.

Nelson has spent 25 years working in the Douglas County Human Services department. In retirement he has returned to making art depicting aspects of the human experience and conditions utilizing pastels, pencil, and craypas. This show will display the new body of work to which he has focused his energies.

Here is what a friend of the artist wrote in conjunction with this show:

Working Through
I was asked to write about this exhibit—actually I volunteered and jumped at the opportunity—as someone who knows the artist and his work. Personally, I believe everything is a process—life, death, work, play, problem solving, celebrating joy and grieving loss, raising a family and sustaining relationships. This artist’s creativity is less about producing a product but very definitely more about working through the creative process. There is urgency to his creative process. It is as necessary as breathing, eating, moving and sleeping. The artist’s work is less about the message, more about working through the expression of that message. And since creative expression is sometimes an outlet for us as we work through our own personal struggles, certainly the artist as social worker also witnessed the struggles of individuals and families and the myriad situations that we can all find ourselves in as we work through our own life processes. The viewer will no doubt see themes of relationships, family systems and personal struggle in the artist’s work uniquely expressed in a style that often makes use of primitive, organic, elemental and spiritual motifs. The artist’s vivid use of color and abstract composition draws the viewer in and invites them to work through the images and find what is meaningful to them.

The opening will be September 27, 5-7 p.m., but will be available for viewing throughout the month of October. If you have never been to the North End Arts Gallery space, I do recommend making it a regular stop now and then. While there check out the latest works on display at The Red Mug downstairs and have a cup of soup... or a brew.

Meantime, art goes on all around you. Engage it.

1 comment:

My Inner Chick said...

I will def be checking this out.

Thank you for bringing awareness to this epidemic.

It is appreciated.