We were asked to post the below in an effort to spread the word about this. Please read and pass it on to all you think would be interested! If you would like to participate in this please use the contact information contained in the website given below.
My name is Michelle Major.
I am a mother, a teacher, an artist.
I am also a survivor of domestic violence.
In August 2008, my husband tried to murder me in an act of domestic violence. Before beating me and strangling me to unconsciousness, he took a butcher knife and slashed ninety-four of my paintings. Through my artwork, I have moved from victim to survivor and I have turned my second chance at life into advocating for victims of domestic violence. I am spreading my story by sharing my butchered artwork through gallery showings and speaking engagements. I have turned this passion for shining a light onto the ugliness of domestic violence into an organization called BAVA: Be A Voice Arts to provide healing through artistic expression.
For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, BAVA is hosting an "Artist Trading Card" challenge. An ATC is a small card, about the size of a playing card on which people write , draw, paint, collage, use photographs and more. ATC's are a worldwide art form where people often have 'groups' , create 'themes', and then create miniature works of art to trade and collect. They are almost like modern day baseball cards to some folks! I have complete details on my website: http://www.beavoicearts.com/i-have-a-voice-atc-challenge (***There is a 5.00 participation fee that will be waived if someone participates through a group home, therapy session, or some other type of organization designed to promote their healing). BAVA wants their voice, not their money!!
The theme is "I HAVE A VOICE!".
My creative vision for these ATC's is this:
I want to create a work of art where the cards hang on my wedding dress as an interactive gallery piece. The reason I am creating this wedding VOICE piece comes as an outcropping of a painting I did called "Til Death". 'Til Death' is a painting of me as a bride, tortured and hopeless, with 'X's" over the mouth to symbolize the secret and shame and inability to speak up during a relationship of abuse. After viewing that portrait, one would think that my wedding dress would be a symbol of the loss of hopes and dreams for a marriage and a future, yet in actuality, the dress will be transformed to symbolize the literal artistic VOICES that have come together as one to "Speak Up Against Domestic Violence". I want to hang all the submitted cards from the dress skirt and viewers can come up, turn the cards over in their hands, move around the piece and experience the "Voices!" I am hoping to generate enough response to fill up the skirt. I think it will be a very powerful piece and full of hope!
Help me fill the dress with YOUR artistic voice. You may save a life!