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The Salus Project, an art initiative that aims to highlight various aspects of wellness, is seeking to bring awareness to domestic violence in its latest exhibition.

In partnership with Fujon Media and the Bahamas Crisis Centre, the exhibition and silent auction, entitled “Get Out”, features the works of 10 artists and will raise funds for the crisis center.

“We are so excited to be involved with this project,” said Salus Project founder Dr. Graham Cates. “The crisis center is doing a great job, and with the help of the Salus Project, we can increase the awareness of the impact of domestic violence in The Bahamas. Salus Project, through art, is committed to engaging Bahamians in conversations that are often difficult to discuss or overlooked.”

The work will reflect the artists’ interpretations of domestic violence and convey messages to victims as well as abusers.

“We were told about the film being produced on domestic violence. Everyone had opinions, and so a deep conversation began. We realized it was a great opportunity for action,” said participating artist Yutavia George.

“My works communicate a repressed message of desperation, hopelessness and guilt. I’m saying, ‘Get out of that situation and feeling’ by showing the negative to project the positive.”

Artist June Collie, who will contribute three portrait paintings, said of her work, “My pieces are about celebrating life. I think people in these types of relationships don’t realize their self worth, and once they see how important they are, then the healing and loving themselves will begin. Life is too short and beautiful to be unhappy.”

Other participating artists include Allan P. Wallace, Edrin Symonette, Preston Hanna, Charlthorn Strachan, Jalan Monique, Deime Ubani, Piaget Moss and Richardo Barrett.

The exhibition’s title comes from the Fujon Media film of the same name, which is a docudrama about domestic violence in The Bahamas.

“We are seeing a hopeful resurgence of the government’s efforts to put the equal rights of women and men to the people, the time therefore is now to address domestic violence. Fujon Media is proud and honored to be a part of this project with Salus and The Bahamas Crisis Centre. The expression of art has long since reflected the thoughts and feelings of a people,” said Patrice Lockhart-Stubbs of Fujon Media.

“The upcoming art exhibition and ‘Get Out’ film release are how we in the arts express ourselves against domestic violence in all its forms. Domestic violence is and has been almost a subculture in The Bahamas and must be brought to the surface and eradicated.”

Fujon Media hopes the film will awaken and empower victims to improve their situations, as well as challenge abusers to change their mindset and seek help.

The Red Carpet Premiere of “Get Out” will be held on Saturday, November 2 at the Atlantis Imperial Ballroom, 7:30 p.m. Part proceeds will also go to the crisis center.

Founded by Dr. Cates and his wife, Nurse Anita Cates, the Salus Project is a way for young artists to express themselves in all five areas of wellness: spiritual, financial, physical, emotional and social.

Salus, which is Latin for “wholeness”, was founded in summer 2011, “out of a desire to provide a bridge between art/beauty and health/wellness – two core values of New Providence Community Church”.

“The Salus Project invites student artists to come around a theme and create art so as to increase awareness and positive changes in the artist and the wider community,” said Dr. Cates.

Said Nurse Cates: “Art has a unique way of getting a message across. It allows the viewer to pause, think and formulate ideas which might not occur through traditional media methods. Art brings beauty into our lives and we certainly need more of that.”

The Salus Project has collaborated on projects to highlight five dimensions of wellness, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, heart disease and the environment.

“These initiatives are all interconnected to our core values of health and wellness,” said Dr. Cates. “We want to provide as many different opportunities for The Bahamas to become aware of and engage in meaningful conversation that will result in positive behavioral changes for a healthy Bahamas.”

• “Get Out” opens at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 17 at the Ladder Gallery, New Providence Community Centre, Blake Road.

Reva Cartwright-Carroll
The Nassau Guardian
Published: Saturday, October 12, 2013