Artlab Steps Into the Night

CARE’S “We Step into the Light” and ASUCI’s “The Art Lab” held its second annual collaboration at the Student Center Terrance last week and continued to spread awareness of survivors of sexual assault through art with this year’s theme of empowerment.

Phuc Pham | New University

Phuc Pham | New University

Nearly 30 students attended last Wednesday night’s collaboration that featured performances, spoken word, and a public speak-out from survivors of sexual violence.

This year’s theme, empowerment along with opportunity, is a way to show how individuals of sexual violence have overcome their experiences. The artwork is an opportunity to gain insight of the individual voices, and shows that the survivors embody such passions and strengths as depicted through the individual art pieces.

At the beginning of October, CARE reached out to a number of artists at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts and in November, an artist orientation was held where 16 “thrivers” were paired with the reciprocated artists.

Kelly Kimball, one of the CARE coordinators, says that this year has seen a vast improvement in the number of volunteers and amount of time involved to reach out and promote the event in the campus and the larger community.

This year the project was no longer led by two student coordinators and has benefitted accordingly.

“This has been the most widespread program of all four years that we’ve had this,” Kimball said. “Literally, the entire school of the arts knew about this. We have a wealth of artists that contributed and a lot of them learned a lot out of it.”

“This year was an eight people organization. Because this has been so inspiring to people, there were people that just wanted to do it.

The CARE office was gracious enough to give them that leadership opportunity, so everyone that was on board volunteered,” Kimball said.

The program consisted of an artist orientation in early November, a three step process that involved reaching out to potential artists, maintaining meeting arrangements between “thrivers” and artists, and publicizing the event to the encompassing student campus.

Essentially, it’s unique because this year’s term of empowerment seeks to reach out to survivors and the school campus. As such, students and the community have the opportunity to relate to the event, and reveals that everyone is individually capable of living stronger, healthier lifestyles.

“It’s not only the healing to be given to the survivor community, but also for the healing and the empowerment to be passed onto the UC Irvine community,” Kimball said. “There are thrivers in the east coast [who] are in this year’s event. It’s just very naturally widespread because of these topics.”

“To be able to allow this opportunity for artists to give to someone in such a profound way as to show that person their own light, is something that I think is really powerful.”