Upper Valley art exhibit aims to heal, benefit survivors

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 6:08 PM EDT
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NEWPORT, N.H. (WCAX) - Art can be used to inspire and excite. It can also be used to heal.

“Just out of the blue got beaten,” artist C.M. Judge said.

When Judge was 29 years old, she was attacked by a complete stranger.

Her sculpture, entitled “Belt,” hangs on the wall at the Library Art Center in Newport, New Hampshire.

“As a person who has experienced physical violence, I know full well how that experience can haunt one,” Judge said.

The exhibit is entitled “Turning Points-Art for Survivors.”

“In doing so we are hoping to build community through the artists, through people learning about Turning Points,” said Kate Luppold of the Library Arts Center.

The Turning Points Network is a Sullivan County-based nonprofit that supports survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking.

“It’s right in our community, it’s right in Sullivan County. It’s everywhere,” Luppold said.

And women are not the only victims.

Turning Points helped Hiroaki Nishinaka-Cook find housing when his abusive relationship got out of control.

“It became a toxic relationship,” he said.

Nishinaka-Cook says art helps him find peace.

“When I am painting my focus is going away from negative thoughts and any bad experience I had that goes away,” he said.

The works each have their own story.

Women’s Caucus for Art, which is partnering in the exhibit, was formed decades ago to empower women.

“I think that art enables not only the artist but those who experience their art an access to who we are as human beings,” Judge said.

Most of the works in the exhibit are for sale and part of the proceeds will directly benefit survivors.