VATA co-sponsors an art show in Richmond

The Art of Surviving Sexual Violence:Stories of victimization and healing told by survivors of sexual violence through their own artwork and poetry.

The Art of Surviving exhibit will be displayed at The Lucent Phoenix Resource Center of Gallery5, 200 W. Marshall Street – Richmond, VA 23220, (804) 644-0005. The Art of Surviving is an exhibit of artwork and poetry created by survivors of sexual violence across Virginia. The art and poetry provides survivors, many of whom have felt silenced in their victimization, a voice with which to discuss sexual victimization and healing and to speak out about the realities of sexual violence and survivorship through artistic expression.The artists and poets who contributed their work to The Art of Surviving exhibit range in age from 19 to 75. They are college students, great-grandparents, military veterans, activists, artists, therapists, crisis center staff and volunteers, and self-defense instructors. Some of the artists created their art shortly after they were assaulted; some created it over 40 years later. A few created their artwork and poetry while staying in a domestic violence shelter or participating in a sexual assault support group. A few are professional artists. Many created their artwork on their own.

The Art of Surviving is being brought to Richmond by The YWCA of Richmond in collaboration with the Virginia Art Therapy Association. It will be located at the Lucent Pheonix Resource Center of Gallery 5 in Jackson Ward Arts District of Richmond. The opening reception is February 6th from 7pm – 11 pm, coinciding with First Fridays’ Artwalk. The show will run through March 25th. A project of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, the exhibit has been on tour throughout Virginia since it debuted in April 2007. The exhibit is comprised of approximately 30 pieces of artwork and 10 poems, each with a written narrative submitted by the artist/poet that describes how her/his piece relates to surviving sexual violence.

The Art of Surviving seeks to raise public awareness about the prevalence and scope of sexual violence, its impact on individuals, families, and communities, and the process of moving from victim of sexual violence to survivor. For more information about the exhibit details, please contact staff at the YWCA of Richmond at 804-643-6761 or The Virginia Art Therapy Association at (804) 632-8696. To find out more about The Art of Surviving project, as well as how to submit artwork and poetry to the exhibit, visit


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