October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and in response, Al Black, Bonnie Goldberg, and Anastasia Chernoff have teamed up with visual and performing artists to bring you, “A Sense of Self.” “A Sense of Self” is a three-part series and a combination of visual works created by artists (who-happen-to-be-women) focusing on work that both empowers women and exemplifies their strengths and vulnerabilities, along with performance art by poets and singer/songwriters in response to the topic.
“October is Domestic Violence Month, and I wanted to tip the month-long observance on its ear by uplifting women in these complimentary ways,” says Al Black, Columbia poet and author of I Only Left for Tea, a new collection of poetry from Muddy Ford Press.
"When Al proposed the show idea to me, I immediately said, yes," says Anastasia Chernoff, owner of Anastasia and Friends, where the show is exhibited, "because the concept hit so close to home. Last year, I experienced a brutal attack by a man I had been dating. Through this experience and other times difficult times in my life, I’ve realized there’s a whole lot of light and knowledge to be experienced in the darkness if you’re willing to open your eyes and take a look at it. This show is in response to Domestic Violence Awareness month, but is not specifically about domestic violence. It’s about women who have experienced tremendous, difficult times in their lives and, rather than becoming victimized by their experience, they have become stronger, wiser and more empowered.”
"A Sense of Self" opened on October 2nd as part of the First Thursday on Main Street art crawl. The second part of the series will take place on Tuesday, October 14th, from 6pm to 8pm, with performance of original works related to the topic by three male poets and three males singer/songwriters. The closing reception for the series will fall on October 28th, from 6pm to 8pm, and will feature a combination of 6 male and female poets and singer/songwriters who will create new pieces based on their response to the exhibited art being shown.
The visual artists represented include Michaela Pilar Brown, Anastasia Chernoff, Bonnie Goldberg, Molly Harrell, Mana Hewitt, Heidi Darr-Hope, Dawn Hunter, Lee Ann Kornegay, Laurie McIntosh, Virginia Scotchie and Kirkland Smith.
The poets and singer/songwriters performing throughout the month are Ron Baxter, Al Black, Debra Daniel, Mason Diction, Pretty Feet (Alexander Madison Hoffman), Hope, Anna Howard, Katera, Susanne KlapperSense, Ed Madden, Mario McClean, Deb McQueen, Jerlean Noble, John Scollon, Tammaka Staley, Cassie Premo Steele, Tabu, Kendal Turner, Tonya Tyner and Rev. Marv Ward
“A Sense of Self” runs from October 2nd through October 31st. Anastasia & Friends art gallery is open to the public, Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm and located at 1534 Main Street in Columbia in the front of the Free Times’ building, across the street from the Columbia Museum of Art. For more information, contact Anastasia Chernoff at 803 665 6902 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.