'GlassBook Project' Show at NPL HQ Thursday
The GlassBook Project seems, from a complicated explanation in a press release, to be a combination art show and mental-health program for people who have suffered lasting damage from domestic violence and use glass in art to help them express what they have gone thru, and strive to recover. Seeing the art may be simpler than trying to explain it. Before I quote from the press release's explanation of the Project, let me give its basic information about the reception.
WHAT: Exhibition Reception and ProgramsI didn't know there was an auditorium on NPL's fourth floor. All the programs I have attended heretofore have been in Centennial Hall and the galleries around the atrium on the second and third floors. Good. I'll see another part of the building when I go.
WHEN: October 28th, from 5-8pm
WHERE: Auditorium Fourth Floor, Newark Public Library
Auditorium, Fourth Floor
Performance: Sarah Stengle and Rebecca Kelly, "Between the Letters"
Third Floor Gallery
Witness: Beyond Sensationalism
Poetry and fiction readings and topic discussion, moderated by Nora Luongo
Auditorium, Fourth Floor
Exhibition and programs are free and open to the public.
In any case, I was in no state of mind to deal with anything as complicated as this Project would seem to be. This is the one glass case I did fotograf.
Here is some of the description of the Project from the press release.
Exhibit and Special Program to Address the Nature and Impact of Psychological Trauma During Domestic Violence Awareness Month * * *Sounds very heavy, doesn't it, and probably depressing. But the stuffed animals in the case above and other things I noticed in my few minutes looking around indicate that the show is not wholly grim. I'll see Thursday.
The Project is an artwork of Nick Kline, a fine artist based in New York City [and a "fine art photographer and professor at Rutgers University-Newark"], done in collaboration with project partner Witness Justice, and other artists, survivors, students and community organizations. In the GlassBook Project, survivors meet with college students to share their trauma experience and explain how certain behaviors helped them cope. These behaviors (frequently labeled as symptoms of mental or other illness) are often a means of survival and resilience. ...students are guided to shift perspective from "What's wrong with you?" to "What happened to you?" and away from victim blaming, making books out of glass that reflect the survivor's point of view. The books have been exhibited all over the United States including Paramount Theater in Hollywood and the Museum of American Glass. The award-winning GlassBook Project has been hailed as one of the top mental health innovations in the country, as it facilitates meaningful social change for survivors and build[s] community understanding of the nature and impact of trauma.* * *
The NPL exhibit ... features a site-specific installation .... Seven large-scale photomontages of the glass books stretch across large wall mounted display cases, creating what the artist refers to as "glimpses that reflect on connectedness." Wrapping around the atrium, the images, along with the books themselves and compelling wall text, are intended to demonstrate the innovation and healing that can come from safe places where people share their stories to active listeners.
The existing three collections on view include: "Self Injury," "After Domestic Violence: Changed Relationships," and an advocacy effort titled "Violated: Domestic Violence And Child Abuse Victim Rights." These books were created in 2009 and 2010 by students at Rutgers University-Newark, Department of Arts, Culture and Media.
I saw tonite something new atop 1 Washington Park, a biz-school sign on the roof.