Anti-Bullying Art Exhibition Online
The You Will Rise Project site launched last April by artists Linda Regula and Paul Richmond, has almost 200 posts dedicated to giving the victims of bullying a voice through their art. The site is accepting ongoing submissions with no deadlines, and those wishing to remain anonymous can do so.
“People of all ages and backgrounds are invited to submit work whenever they are ready, and we try to update content every day,” said Paul Richmond. “We want people to visit our site, connect with the powerful work they see, and know that if they come back tomorrow they're going to see something new.”
Richmond recalls one of the first submissions the site received, and that set the tone for this project, was from a mural painter named Adam Crum who had included photos of his paintings along with the simple statement, "These and hundreds of my other paintings would not exist if my parents hadn't found me after I attempted suicide."
“We've heard from many people that the site has helped them realize they are not alone. The artists themselves often write to thank us for valuing their work enough to include it in the project”, said Richmond.
Paul and Linda themselves were victims of bullying in their childhood, so can easily empathize with the emotions behind these artworks.
As a victim of childhood bullying, I turned bullies' words and even physical injuries into MY truth, (just as many children do). It took me a long time to understand what bullies said, and did, had nothing to do with me...and by discovering a creative outlet, I learned how not to be a victim,” Linda said.
Even the colorful You Will Rise Project logo is a painting of a phoenix rising from the ashes, created by Linda as an adult response to a damaging childhood experience. The logo art is available on T-Shirts sold as a fundraiser to help fund the site and future outreach projects.
Both Paul and Linda would like to see these artworks hang in physical exhibits, even travel nationwide shows to schools, colleges and galleries where authors would read their poetry and short stories. There could be workshops, collaborations, and even a book at some point. A number of organizations have already contacted Paul and Linda expressing interest in helping them bring this message to a wider audience.