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Teens’ work sheds light on domestic, dating violence

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This photo, taken by Ellen Hacker, will be part of the ''He(art)'' exhibit  
Feb. 15 at the Indiana University Center for Art and Design.
This photo, taken by Ellen Hacker, will be part of the ''He(art)'' exhibit Feb. 15 at the Indiana University Center for Art and Design. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Art has long shed light on painful topics. Toward that end, the local 2-year-old Teens For Change, a dating violence awareness group, has organized a free art show to highlight February as Dating Violence Awareness Month.

The exhibit, “He(art),” will be displayed at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at the IU Center for Art & Design, Third and Jackson streets.

“It’s hard not to cry looking at some of the pieces,” Jessica Smith said.

She’s the Bartholomew County prevention services program manager for Columbus-based Turning Point Domestic Violence Services, which fights domestic violence and helps its victims.

About the exhibit

What: The display of “He(art),” a variety of 35 works of art in various media from Teens For Change, a local dating violence awareness group. The exhibit is in conjunction with Dating Violence Awareness Month and Valentine’s Day weekend.

When: 7 p.m. Feb. 15

Where: Indiana University Center for Art and Design, Third and Jackson streets

Admission: Free

Information: Jessica Smith, 379-5575, ext. 211;

Smith frequently speaks to local young people about signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships. And now Smith sees some of those ideas reflected in her audiences’ art.

Most of the teens involved in the exhibit have never displayed art so publicly. In fact, most never would consider themselves artists. Sixteen-year-old Jacob Bricker, a sophomore at Columbus North High School, is among those, showing two acrylic paintings.

As a member of Teens For Change, he openly acknowledges he carries a message that healthy, respectful relationships are important.

“We want to get out the message that there’s dating violence all around us, whether people recognize it or not,” Bricker said.

The show will offer a teen-oriented perspective on aspects of healthy and unhealthy relationships, Smith said.

The display includes crafts, two- and three-dimensional art, paintings, photography and more.

“We have been fortunate to have been offered such a wonderful space,” Smith said.

She also said she believes visitors “will find it very interesting and impressive what teens think about relationships — good and bad.”

Bricker said teens already have discussed the possibility of making the show an annual event.

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