The Zonta Club of Greater Reno in Nevada, USA, District 9, collaborated with the Nevada Youth Empowerment Project (NYEP) to create an art installation for their Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
NYEP is a residential housing facility that works with young women who have aged out of the foster care system by providing them with a home-like environment to live in and a structured approach to developing job and life skills to speed their transition into adulthood and self-sufficiency.
With assistance from Zonta club member and retired art instructor Karen Gulash, the staff and residents at NYEP came up with an idea using mannequins to showcase the “light” (the side we present to the outer world) and the “dark” (our inner thoughts, fears and experiences, especially those based on harassment, abuse or violence).
The mannequins are painted and are separated by a mirror-like partition to reflect how we sometimes hide the bad experiences even from ourselves. The Zonta Says NO banner is displayed alongside the installation, along with orange ribbons, facts about sexual harassment and abuse, and a poster that invites onlookers to “Add your voice to end violence against women.” The display is in the lobby of Reno City Hall, where it can be seen both from the outside as people walk by, as well as by the public and elected officials as they walk through the lobby to City Council chambers.
For more information on the club’s Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign and the artists involved in the art installation, read NYEP’s blog post.