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CHS Art Exhibit Throughout Bergen County

October 2, 2017 - October 31, 2017

Baring Our Soles art-exhibit showcases ornately decorated footwear created by clients in the Center for Hope and Safety’s Art Therapy program. These decorated shoes are an expression of the journey that domestic violence victims take as they work through their trauma toward a more optimistic future. The exhibit which also includes individual narratives written by the client, illustrates the hopeful and promising life-saving services that Center for Hope and Safety (CHS) provides women and child victims of domestic violence. 

“The clients choose shoes that are symbolic of who they are and where they came from,” explains Marta Levy, CHS’s Art Therapist who works directly with the CHS clients.  “By choosing shoes that most represent the client we explore and share the internal emotional connections that set us on our own personal journey.  The project gives the victims an opportunity to have a voice and share internal emotional connections with their shoes.  The art process of decorating the shoes sets us on our personal, visual journey of healing from abuse. As they complete their designs and write down their personal stories, the shoe is no longer just a shoe.  It becomes a symbol of breaking the silence of each survivors’ journey.”

The ART of Survival art exhibit was created by Bergen County’s survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault who participated in art workshops given by Center for Hope and Safety.  The workshops were held under the direction and management of Marta Levy, Art Therapist, Center for Hope and Safety, and the inspiring instructions of artist Karen Snyder-Kadish.  The workshops encourage open communication and interaction, while experimenting with various art materials.  The participants can express experiences and feelings and can communicate the effects of trauma and abuse through their artistic creations.  Imagination and artistic expression through the creative process can foster growth, development, self-exploration, a sense of empowerment and ultimately healing.

This creative project was made possible by Center for Hope and Safety and a grant administered by the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs from funds granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.


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