Susan Harmon’s mixed media painting “Weakened parts of her were crumbling” will be in the FOV art show opening March 18 at The Business of Art Center (BAC) in Manitou. Susan Harmon has studied and taught art in Costa Rica, India, Italy, Australia and the U.S. FOV is a local nonprofit with the mission of empowering sexual abuse survivors through art. In 2008, the first show featured less than 20 pieces. In 2011, the show has spread beyond our borders with art from survivors in a dozen Colorado cities and out of state. The success of the program is reflective of the evolving attitudes in our society: breaking the silence about sexual abuse and incest is the best way to prevent sexual violence.
In speaking of art and healing, Ms. Harmon says, “My intention is to use the universal language of art to increase people’s awareness through the presentation of strong emotive and expressive paintings. Awareness is the first step in helping to find more successful treatments for mental illness…The artist forms a distinct visual language which acts upon the viewer at a more complex level than a representation will allow.”
Ms. Harmon emphasizes mark-making and the use of thick intuitive strokes to express these subjects and their journeys. She quotes Robert Frost who said, “Every poem begins with a lump in your throat.” Intuitive paint marks combined with scratching, tearing and smearing of paint on Harmon’s canvas give the surfaces the depth required to make strong expressions of raw emotion.
The 2011 FOV art exhibit will open at 5:00PM on Friday March 18 at The BAC in Manitou Springs with a Silent Auction and Artists Reception. At 6:00, guest speakers from TESSA and Spring Creek Youth Center will welcome visitors to the exhibit. BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) will tell how they empower child abuse victims.
Joyce Aubrey, who has guided FOV the past four years, urges community members to come to the BAC to show their support of these artists who use their creative voice to advocate for the prevention of child abuse. Visitors of the FOV show will witness hope and healing through visual and performing arts.