The Lost Women of Juarez Exhibit

After working almost sixty hours this week, I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to enjoy the exhibit opening of the Lost Women of Juarez, an event that I’d been waiting for for what seems like an interminable amount of time.


The Art Bar Gallery
Santa Ana, California

The event was awesome. While I’d hoped to meet up with some friends (and I did–Melody Nunez, formerly of Somerset Studio, was downstairs at the Art Bar, helping out behind the counter while owner Nicole Steiman was upstairs at the gallery, running the event with her husband Mark) my motivation to attend the event was to see the ‘mosaic’ displayed. It certainly was worth the visit because I was deeply moved by not only the pieces themselves, but by the number of artists who had contributed works.

My three pieces were spread throughout the mosaic, and not displayed together as I had hoped. Perhaps that had diminished their impact and I was almost disappointed to not see them go. We left the auction while the bidding was still at $39 per piece. Bidding started at $59 per piece, although it opened at $300 on downward to $75 for those that were willing to pay the price to ensure they got the piece of their choice prior to the official start of the auction.

What intrigued me was to try to figure out what moved people to purchase the pieces they purchased. I had no way of determining what “it” was, but sure would like to collect data on that (being the analytical sort). There was a local T.V. station present, taping some footage of the event, and I overheard an interviewee discussing one of my pieces with the cameraman, explaining how the piece had touched her, and that she was waiting for the prices to go down. After the interview was over, I told her that it was my piece, and she hugged me and told me how much she liked the piece, and how it had moved her. The piece in question was in honor of victim number five, who was a thirty five year old female, and five months pregnant at the time she was attacked. When the cameraman realized that I was the artist, he also interviewed me. I am camera shy, and while I am normally quite articulate, I’m not sure my commentary was quite worthy enough to explain the complexity of emotion that went into creating the pieces. Creating art is rather a visceral experience for me, so I often can not put into words exactly what it is that I mean to express in the piece. I did say to my husband during our drive home that that probably amounted to my “ten minutes of fame” for this lifetime.


“It Only Takes One to Make a Difference – Let it be You”
(Center)
In Honor of Victim No. 64
Artist LynnDee Nielsen

This ’cause’ touched me on so many different levels. Although this event magnifies violence against women on a microcosmic level, the town of Juarez came to represent to me a drop in the bucket of violence against women worldwide. This is happening all over the world, in all cultures. I, too, have been a victim myself in the past, and can understand first-hand how devastating the effects can be. I hope that the proceeds from this event, which will go to Casa Amiga of Juarez, Mexico, will in small measure help the victims, their families, and perhaps those that need it the most–those who are the perpetrators, whose paradigm of woman must be changed before progress can be made.

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