Bold Faces

“The hair represents the loss of having it pulled out.
The choker represents strangulation.
The wire on the mouth represents being forced to keep quiet.
The words on the back of the head represent what I am leaving behind.
The words on the front of the head represent where I’m going in my journey through life.”

We live in a world where many women are beaten, bloodied, used, and abused, enduring darkness beyond comprehension. In the United States it is estimated that 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence during her lifetime, and 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hand of an intimate partner. Domestic abuse is a tender topic and a private plague that must be brought into public awareness.

Bold Faces of Truth presents a provocative collection of self portraits created by survivors of domestic violence. These self-portraits were created during a two-day workshop held by the YWCA where survivors were partnered with local artists. Guided by a professional social worker, survivors were given the opportunity to express their stories through art.

This exhibit walks you through each woman’s unique journey of trauma, abuse, fear, and recovery. The self-portraits are both brutal and beautiful, captivating and traumatizing, profoundly moving and deeply disturbing. While the darkness of the past is evident in the artwork, these pieces also communicate messages of empowerment, hope, and liberation.

In a culture that far too often silences the voices of women, we invite you to come and experience the power of art that communicates truth and breaks the silence surrounding violence against women. Bold Faces of Truth seeks to educate, empower, and inspire people as we fight for a world that upholds the dignity and worth of all human beings.

Bold Faces of Truth opens on October 15 with a reception 4:30-6:30 pm. Laskey Gallery is located on the second floor of the Laskey Building on Scarritt Bennett’s campus. The exhibit will run through December 15 and is free and open to the public daily.

Gallery Hours: Monday through Saturday 8:00 a.m. -9:00 p.m., Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Come and visit the exhibit to experience the trauma and to recommit yourself to work toward the end of domestic violence.

image-2Sarah Stell is a 2015-16 Belle Harris Bennett Fellow. She graduated from Belmont University in Nashville in May 2015 with a major in Social Work. During her college career she studied abroad in the Middle East, served as an orphanage caretaker in Uganda, worked with women involved in the commercial sex industry, and was a social work intern at End Slavery Tennessee. She feels a calling to create space for the voices of the oppressed, engaging churches on issues regarding race, sexuality, power, and oppression.