Last month we had to make the difficult decision to cancel our fundraising luncheon due to recommendations from Governor Inslee and the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department. As this virus continues to attack the vulnerable and weak, we look to find ways to share our stories of need and to let you know our services to the community have not diminished. While we hope to someday resume planning towards a community event, we want to continue sharing pieces from our luncheon with you. Some of these art pieces are from both local artists in the community and clients from Rebuilding Hope. We hope they provide you with greater insight into personal stories of struggle and healing so you may have a chance to witness the strength and bravery that we are privileged to experience alongside our clients daily. If you are interested in purchasing any of these art pieces please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This is a drawing from one of Rebuilding Hope’s clients called “Joker”. Here is their story that they wanted to share. “Joker experienced so much trauma and pain. He was a broken man and was abused. He didn’t know how to love nor did anyone love him. I relate to the Joker as myself. I have felt pain and afflicted it on others. I have experienced trauma and pain for being sex trafficked and abused as a child. Like the Joker has a mask to the world because he can’t be himself, I put a mask on the world to cover my pain. I am a girl that was pimped out at five years old for years because my abuser said they loved me. I am twenty three years old and still being trafficked. I am the girl just wanting a normal life, but can’t seem to grasp her life.”
This anonymous young artist made a glass work piece and painted the canvas with the female with blue hair.
This anonymous young artist created this drawing called “They’re All Betraying You”. “I drew this piece when I was dealing with really severe trauma, and it felt as though no one would listen to me or help me. It felt like in my hardest time I wasn’t able to trust or reach out to anyone. I have always felt like I didn’t have anyone that I could rely on, not even my family. Art is the only thing outside of drugs that will numb the pain. When I draw, hours can go by and I can lose myself in that instead of thinking about the horrible things that have happened. Many times, it feels like art and drawing are the only things that I know I can rely on.”
These poems “Age Old Wings, The Flock, and (Isolated) Flights” were written by an anonymous local artist.
This painting is by Kristin Johnson, a local artist, and is titled “One Space of Silence (II)”. “The shape and movement of circles inspires me. One symbolic message of circles is wholeness. Whether created with a single line or an elaborate mathematical design, they are whole, complete, and beautifully simple. If one looks at nature, circles can be discovered in trees and bark, seashells, rocks, water, clouds, and more. Earth elements are my palette-inspiration for color, shape, and texture. I create depth with my media, allowing for a sculptural outcome in my work. My final product is vibrant and textural. I share my world of circles in abstract visions of nature.”
The staff at Pierce County AIDS Foundation (PCAF) made this dress called “Condom Couture: Pinning Our Hopes”. Condom Couture historically brought awareness of the impact of HIV and AIDS and reminded us of the strong connection between AIDS and art. In recent years, condom couture helps to de-stigmatize HIV, promote safer sex, and support prevention efforts. In an age where discussion about HIV and AIDS is dominated by science and statistics, art and fashion encourage people to examine their own relationship to sex and stigma. By appropriating an object of protection–the condom–and using it to create a work of style, color, and texture, PCAF seeks to raise awareness of and inspire the use of condoms, a critical vehicle for preventing HIV. Condom couture de-mystifies and de-stigmatizes condoms and “refashions” them as objects associated with pleasure. In our design, we demonstrate the pinning of our hopes on the ending of HIV.
This “Me Too” painting is by an anonymous local artist. It represents every person who has experienced sexual harassment or sexual violence. Nobody believed me when it happened to me, so I want to create a safe space around me where other people who have experienced sexual trauma can know that they are believed and valued.
Local artist Nikki Brook made this painting titled “Where We Go To Be Heard”. “I want my work to be sincere. I want to say the most, in the simplest way. I begin painting with a loose idea which usually changes and takes another direction. Sometimes the first mark informs the direction, other times I envision exactly what I’m going to paint. I’m working intensely, adding and removing layers until I find resolve. The images usually come from memories, longings, they are emotional and spiritual expressions of my life.”
Local artist Erika Jensen made the following paintings “This is my Body, Pasties, I am Proud, V-Day Lingerie, and In our Skin.” “I paint people who are confident in their bodies, in their own skin, and embracing their personalities because it’s something I felt like I didn’t see often enough when I was growing up. I also, being someone who has struggled finding their confidence when there are daily reminders on social media of what I need to look like, act like, speak like, wanted to have diversity in my work. I think it’s important that we start to train ourselves to not label or judge when we take one look at someone. In my biggest piece, I wanted to bring up the narrative of what it would be like if society was fine with nudity. If we saw people in the nude on a regular basis, would we be less quick to judge because our bodies were out in the open too? Would we be more accepting? Or would things be how they are now? I strive to inspire confidence. As I paint I’m reminded that I am worthy and loved by myself. My body is beautiful.”
Local artist Jessica Colpitt made this art piece called “Peace, Love, and Happiness”. “In a time where there would seem to be an increase in hate, intolerance, and war-tendencies. I believe we need to push the idea that these feelings are a choice we make based on what we see, hear, and feel. It’s okay to have these feelings and thoughts, though I want folks to remember also to think about and choose to feel at PEACE with where you are in life. In LOVE with yourself and who you’ve become. Find your HAPPINESS everyday. Your happiness is different than everyone else’s, so do what makes you feel good. PEACE, LOVE, HAPPINESS to all.”
Local artist Jill A. Frey’s art piece is called “Body and Beauty”. “Even the idea of having a body is terrifying after early childhood trauma and a lifetime of eating with an eating disorder. Art serves as a witness for me, and an avenue to cultivate voice, process emotions and experiences, and spur healing. Body/Beauty was my first foray into large scale painting, and I jumped feet first into my fears. For me, beauty and terror are often companions and painting a nude woman’s body amplified my experience in many ways. I remember recalling Rike’s poem, Go to the Limits of your Longing when I was painting Body/Beauty.”
Go to the Limits of Your Longing
Let everything happen to you:
Beauty and terror.
Just keep going.
Nothing is Final.
An anonymous client made this “Self-Portrait” painting. “This is (close anyway) to a self portrait and things that have affected my life in some way. And things about me. It states that “I am a survivor of pain and trauma”. In the Bubble next to my head there is a broken heart, a book (I’m an author), music (I love music), sexual assault awareness ribbon, and a headstone (grief and loss).”