With the aim of giving voices to women and children of domestic abuse, Coe College students Anna Carpenter ’16 and Tina Bailey-Murray ’16 presented the Phoenix Project during the college’s annual Student Research Symposium. In cooperation with Waypoint, Anna and Tina displayed a stunning array of student artwork in the Coe College Student Gallery.
Through photography, sketches, multi-media, and pastels, the Coe students expressed the experiences of domestic violence victims. “I’m happy these survivors were able to share their story and be inspiration to others through art,” said Waypoint Domestic Violence Services Program Coordinator Nelly.
One goal of the Phoenix Project was to help victims “create beauty from the pain.” By confidentially capturing delicate moments between victims and Waypoint’s Domestic Violence Advocates, Tina and Anna offered a glimpse into the journey toward recovery. Artwork titles including “Unrest,” “The Mind’s Storm Brews,” “Once a Flower, Never Again a Seed,” and “Spring,” show the vast range of emotions and stages involved in coping with domestic violence.
One particular piece, “The Giving Tree,” had an interactive design through which the audience could share domestic violence experiences and words of encouragement or support. Colored paper and pens were available to create these messages or drawings to hang on a small tree. Privacy options to protect participants were available. A sign near “The Giving Tree” read “If you want your message to be available to the public, leave the note unfolded. If you wish to keep your note private, you may simply fold the paper in half or may use the origami instructions on the wall to make a hanging ornament.” By recognizing the “healing power of shared experiences,” “The Giving Tree” achieved its objective of making the world a little more beautiful by collecting the voices of many people.
The Phoenix Project was also intended to increase domestic violence awareness, provide access to potential resources, and celebrate the voices of survivors. Waypoint’s 24/7 Resource and Support Line phone number was included in the exhibit.
If you or anyone you know are experiencing domestic violence, please call Waypoint’s 24/7 Resource and Support Line at 800-208-0388 or (319) 363-2093.