Art against assault


Camille Schwartz

Students drawing during the workshop

Camille Schwartz, Senior staff member

Art Against Assault, an organization whose purpose is to grant survivors of sexual assault and rape the opportunity to share their experiences through creative means, held a workshop in the multicultural center on Monday, April 23rd.

Mirabelle Jones founded the organization in 2011 after she was sexually assaulted while enrolled in graduate school. “I needed to know that I wasn’t alone, that it wasn’t my fault,” said Jones.

Jones conducted the workshop along with writer and journalist Genevieve Berrick.

After presenting the goals and missions of Art Against Assault, Jones talked about Jarring III, a set of artists’ books sharing the true narratives of 22 survivors of sexual assault.

“We wanted that all these experiences come together to make something solid,” said Jones.

This collection is hard to read, both figuratively because of the content as well as literally, because of the materials used to make the books. The artists tried to reflect this difficult topic by using unusual components. Indeed, the artists used a combination of letterpress, paper sculpture, intricate binding, and handmade paper with glass inclusions to talk about this sensitive topic.

“Art is here a way to speak about issues that can be hard for victims to talk about,” say Jones.

“Art is an easy way to deal with stress, it is a PTSD recovery tool as the process is relaxing,” said Jones.

Jarring III is being placed in university libraries across the country and all of the money collected by the sale of the books will be donated to sexual assault survivor resources.

In addition to talking about the organization and their project, Berrick and Jones also passed out papers and pencils so participants could create their own art.

The works created during this workshop are going to be part of a collection of drawings used to help survivors.

“I loved the concept, tell a story through art and turned out our work at the end is new and there should be more of these workshops on campus,” said biology major Tabitha Kamau.

Another DVC student, Jonathan Templin said, “It was very productive, I have the feeling that I may help someone who has been sexual assaulted, they should be more advertising around these events.”

For further information on Art Against Assault visit their website: