A local artist shared information about an art auction and live performance event. Markus Hughes, the artist produces extraordinary paintings. I really like his work, so I inquired further.
Speaking with Markus Hughes about this unique arrangement, I discovered that this program has been in existence for four years, and that he is inspired by the stories of survivors to create unique works of art. The survivor, sometimes referred to as ‘victim’ is a person who has encountered physical and/or emotional trauma and survived. Local artists pair with survivors in our community to listen to their story and originate a visual representation of that story. This year, Markus Hughes has created a painting that focuses on beauty, nature and an ardent uplifting of spirit.
I was greatly inspired to learn that a local non-profit (Rise Above Violence) fosters the connection between artists and survivors to design and produce works of art. The resulting art is offered to the community as a whole. Thirteen local artists have their artwork on exhibit at the Arts Council and online until October 5th. We can see and/or bid on the artwork now at https://www.riseaboveviolence.org/art-above-violence.html#/
Pairing local artisans with survivors requires training, coaching, and exceptional guidance. Rise Above Violence contributes to the Pagosa regional populace by assisting those who have experienced domestic or other types of violence. (riseaboveviolence.org)
Because I am a “survivor” who has experienced childhood abuse and domestic violence many years ago; and I have served on boards of crisis centers in the State of Florida, I am intimately familiar with the healing mission of Rise Above Violence. Also, my 30 years of practicing law in Florida, and resolving disputes through mediation give me quite a compelling level of curiosity. I set up a meeting with Ashley Wilson, who appears to be the mastermind behind Rise Up – Art Above Violence 2019, and its predecessors.
Everyone at Rise Above … is committed and on task. The quality and dedication of the staff and volunteers I felt is remarkable. Ashley Wilson earned a Masters of Public Health, and handles fundraising activities for this not-for-profit organization. Ashley offered a plethora of information and spoke highly of the education and guidance offered. The importance of healing from trauma, providing validation, and encouragement is paramount. The highly skilled employees provide a synchronistic and inspiring approach of shifting from a “Cycle of Violence to a Cycle of Healing”.
The Rise Up event will be held at Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts on the evening of October 5th, 2019.
The dark and dreary violence and trauma that caused the need to establish an organization such as “Rise Above…” still exists. But, Rise Up… Live Show with 10 performers, and Art Exhibit is lighthearted, fun, playful, and inspiring.
Join the merrymaking, and leave bullying, shame, and blame behind. I know that I’m inspired to RISE UP! on October 5th.