Artist: Sybil Alfano - www.sybilalfano.com
Non-Profit: Rape Crisis Center - www.victimtosurvivor.orgGlobal Awareness Project's Board of Directors selected non-profits for their 2010 Calendar themed "Synergy". Local artists also applied and were selected to partner with the non-profit to create the art piece that will be highlighted in the calendar. GAP's board chose the theme "Synergy" to reflect the importance of collaboration and working together to create a better community.
I applied and was lucky enough to be chosen and paired with The Rape Crisis Center. To be completely honest, I wasn't sure where to start. Collaborating with such a serious organization was going to be very difficult, but I was ready to give it a go.
I met with Joyce Hart and some of the ladies at the center to discuss what the organization was all about and what they wanted to convey in the art piece. I found out that they not only help women that have survived sexual abuse, they also help men and children in similar situations, as well as people dealing with any other type of abuse, that need support and healing. They have a crisis hotline available 24/7 and provide the community with small groups to aid in recovery. The week that I met everyone, they were in the middle of planning a local awareness event. They are truly focused on getting victims the help they need as well as promoting prevention through outreach and community education.
After our first meeting, we schedule our second, so that I could come back and look through some old t-shirts that were designed at a previous RCC event. The event was held at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC and was a chance for survivors and family/friends of victims to tell their stories through words or artwork on t-shirts. They then hung the shirts from a line to show how many people are effected by sexual abuse.
I looked through at least 50 of these shirts and was taken back by almost all of them. Some were straight forward, "When you raped me, you broke my heart". Some were poetic and sad, "Giggles and laughter, braids and bows, she's so cute from head to toe, little did anyone know, she was being molested from the time she was one year old". One of the shirts stood out to me because it shown a light on such a terrible, unfortunate situation and inspired hope in healing. The front of the shirt said, " This was me, dead and barren, eternal winter" with a dead, leafless tree and storm clouds painted on it. The back was a bright and colorful tree with flowers and birds and said "Now, life lives here". I thought I could run with this idea and hopefully have a positive take on an otherwise negative subject.
While painting, the lyrics from the song "Blackbird," by The Beatles, "Take these broken wings and learn to fly," would not leave my mind, so I decided they needed to be included. All in all, I feel blessed to be involved with this project because GAP is doing great things to unite the community, spread culture and promote awareness of so many important issues.
Please stay tuned and become a fan of GAP on Facebook...there's much more to come! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Global-Awareness-Project/127065687397?ref=ts
By: Sybil Alfano