On Wednesday, February 8, 2012, Buzzine attended Artworks for Healing at LA's beautiful and iconic Skirball Cultural Center.
Artworks for Healing was a combination silent and live auction to benefit A Window Between Worlds, a Los Angeles-based non-profit which establishes and manages art programs for survivors of domestic abuse. We should note that the use of the term "survivor" here is absolutely critical to understanding what AWBW does. AWBW is art therapy, but it isn't therapy only in the sense that it allows victims to understand and cope with their circumstances; it is therapy in the ultimate sense, in that it allows victims to transcend the victim role.
We've all heard that the greatest force for the perpetuation of abuse is silence -- not just the silence of witnesses, but the silence of victims. When things go unexpressed, they can be repressed, denied, and ignored forever. Expression is the key that opens the door to transcendence. And, in that sense, AWBW, now in its 20th year of service, is a phenomenal transcendental tool. By putting art in the hands of victims of domestic violence, AWBW facilitates expression and kickstarts healing.
Wednesday's event was wildly successful. The evening saw an excellent turnout, and the auction featured works from LA staples like Shepard Fairey and Chase, the instantly recognizable photography of Rena Small (who was also in attendance) and William Wegman, and interesting pieces from visual artists as unexpected as Herb Alpert (yes, the same Herb Alpert!).
The event was punctuated by heated bidding and inspiring addresses. Actor Victor Rivas Rivers related his own unexpected and immensely impactful tales of a childhood crippled by domestic violence, driving home the point that none of us, male or female, are immune to domestic violence, or abuse in any sense.
Taking an editorial liberty, We would say that it was outstanding to see so many people in one place taking a stand and raising a voice (in whatever form) on behalf of those who suffer what is often a silent, private and socially, personally crippling form of abuse. And it was great to see LA's art world stepping it up a bit.
More information on 20 years of creativity and healing can be found on the official website of A Window Between Worlds.