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Sending a different message through artwork

A Week Without Violence displayed works of art throughout downtown to raise awareness
Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 9:14 AM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - After seeing cases of domestic violence rise in Grand Island during the pandemic, organizations got together to host A Week Without Violence to raise awareness on the issue.

Artists from around the area displayed works of art through downtown Grand Island, some made just for the week, others previously in existence, all dedicated toward showing a message of love, support, togetherness and change.

“We can see the statistics, we can hear the stories, but visually what does that look like?," Sarah Larsen-Astrones asked, one of the artists on the project. "Through art we can experience it differently, we can empathize with it.”

Larsen-Astrones says it can be difficult to understand the severity and depth of domestic violence simply by hearing about cases, reading reports or attempting to digest numbers. Through pieces of art, each one created with separate interpretation and vision, the artists hoped people would be able to react differently.

“To allow people to see, know and experience the truths, the facts, the faces," Larsen-Astrones said.

Although A Week Without Violence has ended, raising awareness and trying to solve the ongoing problem does not. Larsen-Astrones, who is also a licensed independent mental practitioner says these issues can be so prevalent that victims believe they’re normal, resulting in generational issues of domestic violence.

The artwork helped her show that. Sarah’s piece “Loss” was created to highlight the fact that victims of domestic violence can lose a figurative life, a victim’s future without the remembrance of violence, and literal loss of life.

Sarah’s piece is still up in Carpets N' More in Grand Island and can be seen from the street.

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