Press Releases
March 8, 2002
Survivors of sexual violence mend their hearts
Empowering art exhibit sparks international participation

AUSTIN, Texas -- In an effort to help promote Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, Arte Sana and La Peña Latino Arts Organization present Corazón Lastimado, Healing the Wounded Heart, an art exhibit offering visual testimony to the impact of sexual violence in our lives. Begun in 2001 primarily as a statewide effort, this year the project drew interest from survivors, victim advocates and artists from throughout U.S. and Latin America.

Laura Zárate, President of Arte Sana expressed, “There are few of us who are not touched by sexual assault whether it is within our families or among friends, especially considering the fact that one in four women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetimes. Furthermore about three percent of American men – a total of 2.78 million men have also experienced rape at some point in their lives."

The exhibit, whose opening is set to coincide with International Women's Day on March 8, invites survivors of sexual violence to decorate wooden hearts and encourages the use art as a vehicle of expression and healing. This year the exhibit will include local, national, and international entries. Sexual assault coalitions and domestic violence agencies from throughout the country are participating, as well as women’s rights groups from Mexico and Argentina. Much of the works will also be available for viewing at, Arte Sana’s online virtual gallery.

“We hope this project will continue to grow as people gain a greater awareness of the importance of providing a forum for healing as well as serving as a platform for further discussion," Zárate added. As was the case with the first sexual assault survivor art exhibit last year; more than 50 percent of those who submitted the art were abused at 16 years of age or younger.

This year’s promotional piece titled Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault,” is the collective creation of the national Sexual Assault Women of Color Leadership collaboration comprised of sexual assault coalition representatives from various states.

The hearts are on display through March 30 at La Peña Art Gallery, 227 Congress Ave.

About Arte Sana

Arte Sana (art heals) is a nationwide organization dedicated to helping underserved survivors of racial and gender-based violence. As a 501(c)3 non-profit group based in Austin, TX, Arte Sana promotes healing and empowerment through the arts and community education. Founded in 2001, Arte Sana believes that violence risk reduction programs and services must be culturally competent and linguistically appropriate and are committed to the value of indigenous leadership and collaboration sin fronteras (without borders).


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